Mabe pearls are cultivated from the silver and black lipped oysters from the waters of Australia and the South Pacific. Mabe pearls are half round or dome shaped and are grown on the inside of the oyster.
The Mabe pearl is cultured by a half piece nucleus which is implanted against the inside of the oyster shell, rather than within its tissue. The mollusc secretes nacre over the bead commonly known at this stage as a blister pearl. The pearl is then cut from the shell, and the nucleus is filled with resin, the back of the pearl is then capped with a piece of mother-of-pearl to complete the Mabe pearl. Mabe pearls usually take around 9-12 months to culture with each oyster producing an average of 4 – 6 Mabe pearls.
The silver lipped oyster produces white and cream, while the black lipped oyster produces Mabe pearls with green, peacock or black with varying overtones. The Penguin oyster produces Mabe pearls with pink, champagne and gold hues, these colours are considered to be very rare.
Mabe pearls are commonly hemispherical or dome shaped, however they also come in shapes such as tear drops and heart shapes.
Mabe pearls are measured by the diameter, however the height can be incorporated dependent upon the shape. Mabe pearls range from 8.0mm – 15.0mm, average sizes produced are between 10.0mm – 13.0mm.
|ORIGIN:||Australia, Indonesia, Philippines|
|MOLLUSC:||Silver lipped oyster, Black lipped oyster, Penguin oyster|
|SPECIES:||Pinctada maxima, Pinctada margaritifera, Pteria Penguin|
|SIZE RANGE:||8.0mm - 15.0mm; Average size 10.0mm - 13.0mm|
|NATURAL COLOURS:||White, cream, champagne, gold, silver, green, peacock|