The Mabe or Blister Pearl

The mabe or blister pearl is an ancient method of pearl harvesting. The stunning effect created, looks like half a huge pearl. However it is a blister created by the oyster with the help of man (cultured pearling).


To form a Mabe or blister pearl, a small base usually a dome or in some instances, tiny figures like the above Buddhas, are placed delicately on the shell of the oyster or mussel, rather than within the fleshy part, of the shell creature, as in cultivating or even finding natural full pearls. The irritation acts exactly the same as that of the creation of solid pearl. The intruder soon gathers nacreous layers, (pearl surface). The result is the nacre produced looks like a blister. The blisters are painstakingly removed and delicately mounted on half domes with backs hidden and then sheathed with a Mother of Pearl base for it to sit before adding to jewellery. This cultured pearl dome or the Buddhas are complete. Voila! the Mabe is BORN.

There are nautilus mabes, seen in the ring and green oval pendant below and mabes left in their own bezel. There are colourful mabes, pink, golds, greens and blues, sometimes a grey one if you can find it and of course white mabes and even blacks, that I have set over many years.

Ah the beauty of the Mabe Pearl hey!