Pearl Encyclopedia - SelecTraders

Mabe Pearls

Mabe pearls are of hemispherical shape, grown against the inside of the oyster's shell, rather than within its tissue. Mabes occasionally appear in nature. Cultured Mabes are cultured intentionally by using a hemispheric nucleus, rather than a round one; and by implanting it against the oyster's shell, rather than within its tissue.

The pearl then develops in a hemispheric form, with a flat back. While in the oyster a Mabe pearl is actually considered a blister pearl not a mabe pearl. After the blister pearl has been 'worked' it then becomes a mabe pearl.

Blister pearls are worked by cutting the pearl out of the shell with a circle-bit drill.The nucleus is then removed and replaced with a resin.The back of the pearl is capped with a piece of mother-of-pearl to complete the Mabe pearl.

Cultured Mabes are used for such things as pearl rings and pearl earrings, rather than for stringing on pearl necklaces.They tend to be very beautiful with high lustre and orient, but are priced much lower than round pearls.