About Mother of Pearl Cremation Urns
Mother of pearl is not only resilient but durable and lustrous. Many of the funeral urns that utilize this material use thin layers of the shell as inlay to create beautiful, nature-themed designs featuring hummingbirds, fish, trees, and flowers. Usually, a dark glossy lacquer is used to showcase the shimmering shell. Other designs feature small square chips of Mother of Pearl on highly polished golden brass and sparkling silver all topped with a layer of clear coat to create a smooth, protective finish.
What is Mother of Pearl?
One of the more popular yet delicate-looking styles of cremation urns available are those made with mother of pearl. Also commonly known as nacre, Mother of Pearl is an organic material found on the outer coating of pearls, as well as the inner layer of pearl oysters and freshwater pearl mussel shells.
Mother of pearls are made from mollusks, specifically abalones and oysters, which secrete a calcium carbonate, a harder mineral compared to others.
Mother of Pearl: Properties and Characteristics
Mother of pearl is typically very glossy or shiny white, but can have a gray or iridescent tint. Its resilience comes from its layered structure, which is flexible and resistant to fractures. It is quite soft in comparison to most metals and gemstones. While this makes the nacre easy to work with, it is more prone to scratches.
Its aragonite crystals have different ranges of thickness that are very close to the wavelengths of visible light. As a result, some of the light goes through the layers while some are reflected. What makes nacre unique is the small irregularities found on each piece.
Mother of Pearl also has New Age and traditional healing properties. Some say it is used to attract prosperity, while others feel it heightens intuition, imagination and psychic sensitivity.
Where is Mother of Pearl Used?
Today, Mother of Pearl can be found in a variety of decorative items including architecture, musical instruments, fashion, jewelry, cremation urns and more. When used for architectural purposes, nacre is oftentimes artificially tinted to a different color. It can be cut into shapes and mounted to fiberglass, marble bases or ceramic tiles. It's also used to create mosaics that, when polished, have a durable yet glossy finish.
In the fashion world, mother of pearl is used in buttons, decorative watches and other kinds of jewelry. Interestingly, a nacre inlay is commonly used in music keys and other motifs on various musical instruments, such as accordion and concertina cases, guitar fingerboards and violin and cello bows.