Mother of pearl is the common name for iridescent nacre, a blend of minerals that are secreted by oysters and other mollusks and deposited inside their shells, coating and protecting their bodies from parasites and foreign objects.
Nacre is the same substance that is deposited around an object that becomes lodged in the mollusk--either naturally or inserted by humans--to become a pearl;
Although pearls are popular today, some past cultures regarded colorful pieces of mother of pearl as more desirable decoration for jewelry and other objects.
Jewelry made from mother of pearl is in the group called organic jewelry, which includes all jewelry that originates from a living creature, plant or other living organism.
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