Mabe Pearls are flat-bottomed, half-spherical Pearls that have grown attached to the inner shell of a mollusk, rather than in the soft tissue, as is more common. Sometimes this
can occur naturally. Some common mollusks that grow mabe pearls are the Pinctada Maxima, Pteria penguin and Pteria sterna.
Mabe Pearls, also known as Blister Pearls when they are growing, have been grown by Pearl farmers on purpose since the 1970's, by attaching with glue a flat or hemispherical nucleus or disc to the inside of the shell. Besides using oysters, abalones are also
used to produce Mabe Pearls.
Mabe Pearls can take various forms, as rounds, drops, ovals or hearts. Specialty shapes can also be created. These discs are covered withnacre
by the mollusk, over time, with layers building up and producing the characteristic pearly iridesence and sheen. This can take between eight months and six years, at which time a millimeter or more of nacre will have built up over the glued-on disc. Mabe Pearls
can be as small as five millimeters and as large as 20 millimeters, depending on the size of their mollusk host and the introduced hemispherical disc.
Pearls are most often used in applications like earrings and rings, where their flat shape is beneficial. They have good luster and orient, and a variety of colorations and shapes, but they are less expensive than round pearls that can be strung. They can
range from pinks to blues, and rainbow colors with swirls.