The pearl culturing industry began over 700 years ago in China with the culturing of the Mabé Pearl. Often referred to as “blister pearls” or “cultured half-pearls,” the Mabé Pearl offers customers the opportunity to acquire a bold piece of jewelry for an easily accessible price.
Mabé pearls form on the inside shell of the oyster rather than in its soft tissues. The culturing process is initiated by the insertion of a hemispherical or half sphere nucleus. The half-pearl grows into a domed blister as the shell secretes pearl nacre in its normal process of shell growth. At the end of the growing period, the blister is removed from the shell and then backed with mother of pearl.
As with other cultured pearls, valuation criteria include the degree of luster, degree of surface marks and smoothness, and strength of color. The most desirable color preference is white with pink undertones but there is increased interest in dark, smoky, and blue color. Handling Mabé cultured pearls with care is important as the thin nacreous layer can crack or be damaged by misuse.
As a complement to our collection of Mabé finished jewelry, you can select loose Mabé cultured pearls along with a mounting of your choice and have it set and delivered in three to five days with Stellar Jewelry’s Design It Your Way (DIYW) program.