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Mother of Pearl Silver Jewelry History

Introduction

Reflecting the rainbows of the ocean beds, iridescent Mother of Pearl is the Opal of the sea. Like Amber, Mother of Pearl is organic, but unlike any other gemstone it forms locked away within its creator: the mollusk. cbd oil

15th Century Europeans, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, gave Mother of Pearl its name. However the beauty of Mother of Pearl, birthstone of June, has been used in the decoration of precious jewels and ornaments as far back as 3000 years before the birth of Christ.

Definition

Mother of Pearl: Crystals of calcium carbonate and conchiolin, secreted by the living organism within a mollusk, which build up and solidify coating the inner surface of the shell. Also known as Nacre (na.ker): from the Arabic word ‘Naqqarah’ meaning shell.

Mother Of Pearl In Mesopotamia

In the 1920s, a series of tombs were excavated to the east of the site of Babylon in the Middle East.

The tombs were of Sumerian royalty from ancient Mesopotamia and yielded a treasure trove of amulets, rings and necklaces made of gold, silver, ivory, amethyst, carnelian, lapis and other semi-precious gemstones. However, it was the unearthing of several beautiful wooden ornaments and musical instruments inlaid with Mother of Pearl, that illustrated just how sophisticated this ancient culture actually was.

The Silver lyre of Ur, found in one of the graves in the Royal Cemetery, dates back to between 2600 and 2400 B.C. The Silver lyre, ancestor to the modern harp, was found in the Great Death Pit accompanied by 70 men and women who had been buried with their Queen. Miraculously well persevered, the lyre was entirely covered in sheet silver and inlaid with Mother of Pearl. The silver cow’s head decorating the front has inlaid eyes of shell and lapis lazuli, and the edges, borders and plaques of the sound box are inlaid with Mother of Pearl. Such instruments were important parts of rituals in the royal courts and temples. There are more representations of lyre players inlaid in Mother of Pearl on the infamous Standard of Ur, a wooden box believed to recount the story of Ur.

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