Natural Beauty

Believe it or not, historically some cultures eschewed the soft glow of pearls in favor of mother-of-pearl, which is derived from mollusk shells (hmmm...dinner and jewelry...). Even the famed Japanese pearl divers abandoned the pearls in order to keep the shells which housed them! Egyptians used mother-of-pearl to decorate as early as 4000 BC. (Pearls themselves didn't come into vogue until about the fifth century BC.) Islanders in the eastern Pacific used it to make fish hooks and lures, files, spoons, spatulas, and graters as well as jewelry for both sexes. If you're a vintage clothing buff like I am, you probably know that buttons were often mother-of-pearl, and some higher-end designers still use it as such.

This naturally occurring, iridescent shell that often features a hint of the entire colour spectrum comes in black as well as a creamy white, and can be tinted to just about any colour. The mollusk which provide the luminescent pseudo-gem are found nearly worldwide, in tropical Asian seas, the rivers of the United States, Asia, and Europe, and of course along the Pacific rim.

Now, the classic nature of a string of softly glowing pearls can't really be beat, but I've always had an affection for mother-of-pearl for its soft colours in all their lovely variegations and the gentle changes of shading in each piece. The white variety, which often tends to be a yummy creamy colour reminiscent of a pale butterscotch, is my favourite (although I have this very fun lime green mother-of-pearl necklace and bracelet set that are fabulous fun for summer wear); it matches just about everything and despite the fact that 'it isn't the real thing', it never fails to look sophisticated while still being approachable (like wood, I think it's the naturalness of the shell). The ancients were on to something, if you ask me!

This mother-of-pearl wrap bracelet is one of those pieces you just can't go wrong with. Simple and elegant, perfectly classic, a bracelet such as this really is perfect for anything - out to dinner, a wedding, church, concerts...anywhere! Created with memory wire, it will fit nearly any wrist and wraps at least three times around - four if you've smaller wrists, according to the artist.

Since it would be equally as beautiful with jeans as it would a cocktail dress, and at only $20, I don't think you'll regret your purchase.

From A Pretty Rock, where you'll find some of the most beautiful natural stone handmade jewelry on the web, and it won't shred your wallet into small, whimpering pieces. There's a small page explaining the gemology of the stones used. I think you'll really like the work here - for yourself or a friend.




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