Mother of Pearl Jewelry
Mother of pearl, or MOP as it’s often abbreviated, is the iridescent inside layer of fresh- and salt-water shells like abalone and conch. Also known as nacre, mother of pearl is literally the stuff pearls are made of, hence its name. That “stuff” is about 95 percent aragonite, a hard, calcium-carbonate mineral secreted by the mollusk that lives inside the shell. Normally, aragonite is quite brittle, but when it forms into nacre on the inside...