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(nā`kər), the iridescent substance that forms the lining of the shells of some fresh-water and some salt-water mollusks. Like the pearlpearl,
hard, rounded secretion formed inside the shell of certain mollusks, used as a gem. It is secreted by the epithelial cells of the mantle, a curtain of tissue between the shell and body mass, and is deposited in successive layers around an irritating object—usually a
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 it is a secretion of the mantle, composed of alternate layers of calcium carbonate and conchiolin. Among the chief sources are the pearl oyster, found in warm and tropical seas, chiefly in Asia; freshwater pearl mussels, which live in many rivers of the United States, Europe, and Asia; and the abalone of California, Japan, and other Pacific regions.



(also nacre), the internal layer of the shell of bivalve and gastropod mollusks; it is attached to the mantle, from which it is secreted. Mother-of-pearl consists of thin plates of aragonite (a variety of calcium carbonate) that are distributed parallel to the surface of the shell. It is distinguished by an iridescent sheen, which results from the interference of the light reflected by its surface. Mother-of-pearl is used for making ornaments, buttons, and other items.

Mother-of-pearl of saltwater origin is obtained from the shells of gastropods of the genera Turbo, Trochus, and Haliotis, as well as from the shells of bivalves of the genera Pteria and Mytilus. These mollusks inhabit the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and the waters off Australia and the Philippines. Mother-of-pearl of freshwater origin is obtained from the shells of bivalves of the family Unionidae. In the USSR, mother-of-pearl is obtained principally in the Bashkir ASSR, the Tatar ASSR, Moscow and Voronezh oblasts, the Ukrainian SSR, the Northern Caucasus, and the Far East. Pearls are a special variety of mother-of-pearl.



[′məth·ər əv ′pərl]
(invertebrate zoology)
The pearly iridescent internal layer of the shell of various pearl-bearing bivalve mollusks.


a hard iridescent substance, mostly calcium carbonate, that forms the inner layer of the shells of certain molluscs, such as the oyster. It is used to make buttons, inlay furniture, etc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Turning mother-of-pearl into life-size sculptures is just raising the bar.
Traditional crafts, such as eggshell and mother-of-pearl inlay, are at the heart of everything that DK Home does.
It has 80 Top Wesselton diamonds on the flange, the brand emblem in the form of the patented Montblanc Diamond and the 126 stones on the mother-of-pearl dial representing the contours of the Montblanc emblem.
There can be no doubt of this couple's deep and abiding passion for the works they collect, their eyes lighting up when discussing future acquisitions that will make their collection complete: a rock-crystal Baby Jesus, an ivory casket from the group presented by Dom Joao III to the King of Kotte and additional outstanding examples of Gujarati mother-of-pearl mounted by European goldsmiths of the 16th century.
Again, mimicking the designs of the furniture, you can buy handmade boxes featuring the now ubiquitous mother-of-pearl, in square, oblong and hexagonal shapes from dhs250.
Beneath the shimmer of an oyster's mother-of-pearl, an intricate microstructure bestows both strength and toughness on the natural ceramic.
1700), and a Sicilian gilt-copper mounted coral and mother-of-pearl frame mirror (c.
Utensils can be made of mother-of-pearl, bone, enamel, or even plastic.
It includes butterflies and dragonflies made of mother-of-pearl, abalone and malachite inlays.
At the same time the iridescent mother-of-pearl pigment that Bucher rubbed into these smaller skinnings gave them a purplish or silvery sheen that metamorphosed solid, domestic detail into the forms and tones of the shells and fish scales that inspired the tiny collages she made in the mid-'50s.
The other day at home, I went online to research antique mother-of-pearl buttons to embellish my wedding invitations.
Mother-of-pearl and silver picture frame take your loved one with you, $45, by Towle.