Difference between abalone and mother of pearl
Abalone and mother of pearl:
The terms abalone and mother of pearl are used interchangeably perhaps because of the fact that they are used in a similar kind of context and yet, these terms are originally intended for two very different things.
What is abalone?
Abalone can be defined as a gastropod which is considered as a delicacy in many parts of the world. It is a shellfish which is a univalve which signifies that it has only one shell instead of two uniform shells which close together. The dibble part of the abalone consists of its muscular foot whereas the other part is its the shell.
An abalone shell is reddish brown in color with a whorl pattern which is slightly risen in the middle and it is under this shell that the abalone resides, clinging to rocks with its foot hunting for algae of which comprises its daily diet. They are usually prised off rocks to be used for consummation.
What is mother of pearl?
Mother of pearl, which is also referred to as nacre, is the iridescent inside layer that can be found inside the shell of many mollusks. It forms the shell lining of these mollusks. Both abalones and pearl oysters produce mother of pearl which is in turn, used for the making of jewellery, musical instruments and are sometimes embedded in to furniture.
Mother of pearl is created with a combination of plates of aragonite and another silky substance secreted by the mollusk which in turn produces a strong, flexible material. this special layer is produced by the mollusk for its protection from outer irritations such as sand and bits of shell which can wound the mollusk as well as bacterial infections. If a grain of sand or some other source of irritation gets in, the mollusk produces enough mother of pearl which then creates a large bump at the place of irritation which is then prized by humans as pearls. Caring for pearls is of extreme importance as the outer layer of the pearl is a covering of mother of pearl and it can wear down if not properly cared for, to reveal the source of irritation within.
What is the difference between abalone and mother of pearl?
While the inner iridescent, luminous layer of the shells of mollusks is referred to as other of pearl, it can be attained from the abalone, which is a mollusk itself. The mother of pearl is the substance which the abalone secrets in order to protect itself from irritations and infections and it is also these sources of irritation and the process of secreting substances to protect itself that creates lumps of mother of pearl which are known as pearls.
The abalone’s muscular foot is edible whereas the shell which contains the mother of pearl lining is hard and inedible. The mother of pearl is used for making jewellery and other items whereas the abalone is mainly used for consummation while the shell is not often used for anything.
The abalone is a brownish red whereas mother of pearl is a milky, luminous white. Also, abalones are not the only sources of mother of pearl as pearl oysters and other mollusks are also known to produce mother of pearl inside their shells.