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How to Shape Mabe Pearls

I have a lovely Mabe pearl to set but would like to trim some of the outer rim on one side of it. …does anyone know if I can I use my foredom to grind some of the rim off? It has a thick rim. Have seen where drilling holes under water helped but … not sure I want to subject my foredom to water like that? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Surprised you got no love on this. Anyway. mabe is pretty soft as things go so you can easily shape it with any of your rotary tools. My choice would be stone points. You can do it in water but if not just use a good mask to keep from breathing the dust.


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Nacre is very soft. You can shape it with regular files then, if needed, smooth the edge with any abrasive paper. Just be careful, as the pearl top is cemented to the mother of pearl backing.

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Thank you Bob! I went ahead with mask and gently sanded using my foredom. Appreciated your feed back! It turned out beautifully!

Thanks Elliot! Didn’t realize the pearl was cemented to the mother of pearl! Good information to be aware of. Love Mabe’s and hope to have more opportunities to work with them. Appreciate your response. Have learned a little more and thats always a good thing!

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Just to be clear… The pearl part of a mabe or blister pearl, is not cemented to the mother of pearl shell. They are integrally a part of each other; the oyster made it that way.

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Ah, thank you. That makes sense!