Mabe pearls are quite unique since they are hemispherical pearls that are grown against the inside of an oyster’s shell, rather than its tissue. As a result, this process causes mabe pearls to have a flat side, as oppose to a spherical or rather rounded shape. Mabe pearls are most commonly produced in saltwater oysters in the regions of Japan, Australia, Indonesia, and French Polynesia.
Culturing mabe pearls is a different process than culturing round pearls. The process begins with inserting the nucleus flush against the side of the mollusk, causing the oysters to produce its nacre deposits over the nucleus, and against the inside of its shell, forming a semi- spherical pearl. Depending on the desired size, 2- 6 years are needed for each pearls oyster. The highest quality and most beautiful mabe pearls come from the Amami Ohima Islands off the southern coast of Japan.
Mabe pearls come in a wide range of colors, which span from light pinks, to more bluish shades. The unique nacre of the mabe oyster exhibits hues that are quite brilliant and rainbow- like.
Even though mabe pearls are unique, they will not be as expensive or valuable as round pearls due to their flat side. However, due to their flattened side, mabe pearls became the ideal choice for earing and rings, because it allowed for secure setting and a concealed the flat back. Presently, producing mabe pearls is stable resulting in breathtaking and unique pearls.