Difference Between Abalone and Mother of Pearl

Key Difference – Abalone vs Mother of Pearl
 

Many people do not know the difference between abalone and mother of pearl. Abalone is a type of Gastropod shellfish that has an ear-shaped shell. Mother of pearl is the iridescent internal layer found in certain mollusk shells. This iridescent layer is also found in the shell of abalone. Therefore, the key difference between abalone and mother of pearl is that abalone is an organism whereas mother of pearl is the internal layer found in the shell of this organism.

What is Abalone?

Abalone is a type of Gastropod shellfish. It has an ear-shaped shell with a row of holes along the outer edge. Due to this unique shape, it is also called ear-shell. The iridescent interior of abalone, which is composed of mother of pearl, has a range of changeable colors make them very attractive to humans. Abalone shell is often used to make jewelry and other decorative ornaments. The meat of abalone is thought to be delicious in some parts of the world such as Latin America, South East Asia, and East Asia. Abalones are marine shells, and have been identified as one of the many classes of organisms that are under the threat of extinction. Therefore, it cannot be found in abundance.

Difference Between Abalone and Mother of Pearl

Interior of an Abalone shell

What is Mother of Pearl?

Mother of pearl is the pearly internal layer found in some mollusk shells. This is called nacre. It also makes the outer layer of pearls. It is iridescent, strong, and resilient. Mother of pearl is obtained from the outer layer of pearls, the inner layer of pearl oyster, freshwater pearl mussels, and abalone.

Mother of pearl is used for fashion, architecture, and other decorative purposes. Mother of pearl buttons are used for clothing for both decorative and functional purposes. It is also used to decorate watches, jewellery, guns and knives. In architecture, mother of pearl is tinted artificially to any colour and cut into different shapes. Mother of pearl can also be used for music key and other decorative elements in musical instruments.

Key Difference - Abalone vs Mother of Pearl

What is the difference between Abalone and Mother of Pearl?

Definition:

Abalone is a type of Gastropod shellfish.

Mother of Pearl is the pearly internal layer found in some mollusk shells

Marine vs Freshwater:

Abalone is a marine shellfish.

Mother of Pearl can be obtained from marine and freshwater shells.

Source:

Abalone’s interior is made of mother of pearl.

Mother of Pearl is obtained from pearl oysters, freshwater pearl mussels, and abalone.

Edibility:

Abalone (flesh) is considered a delicacy in some parts of the world.

Mother of pearl is not edible.

Image Courtesy:

“Mother-of-pearl internal-beads hg” By Hannes Grobe/AWI – Own work (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

“Abalone Inside” (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia