Tag Archives: maeshori



A blister pearl which has been hollowed out and filled with a substance and backing. Mabe pearls are often made into earrings A mabe is a hemispherically shaped pearl which is grown against the inside of the oyster’s shell, rather than within its tissue 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.


This is a Japanese term which means before (mae) treatment (shori). It encompasses treatments used on all akoya, freshwater and some South Sea pearls. Maeshori treatments vary from factory to factory. The processes tighten the nacre and pull moisture out to enhance the lustre. This has a side effect of tending to make the nacre more brittle, so that freshwater, pearls that have been overtreated will turn chalky very quickly. Maeshori processing on South Sea pearls is very common in Japan. It makes the pearls whiter, brighter, and more saleable. One basic maeshori process is tumbling in chips of walnut shell which cleans and burnishes. This is considered so standard that it is not normally a declared treatment


Majorica or Majorcan pearl

A high-quality fake pearl manufactured in Spain by Majorica, S.A. These nuclei are dipped in high quality essence d’orient ( varnish made up of the scales from bleak, shad, herring and salmon. 2,000 fish make one litre of essence, which is an organic substance similar to uric acid.)

Mantle tissue

The special tissue inside certain molluscs which secretes nacre Metallic Lustre A pearl has a metallic lustre when the lustre is so shiny that it resembles polished metal. Metallic lustre is not a criterion in the usual grading system


What are Ming pearls? They are usually the better quality generic bead nucleated freshwater pearls, but some people throw that description at any quality of such pearls. As a quality description it is really pretty meaningless. Calling a pearl a Ming pearl does not of itself guarantee any sort of quality.(see bead nucleation and Edison for further info)

A Ming pearl necklace


A momme is unit of weight, used for silk or pearls, and you will still sometimes see pearl prices quoted as per momme – with the price given against quality. One momme is 3.75 grams and one Kan is 1000 momme