The Perfect Mother's Day Gift: Cartouche Pendant

The Perfect Mother's Day Gift: Cartouche Pendant

Mother’s Day is still a few months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about how to show your appreciation for the moms and mother figures that bring their love and sparkle to your life. In the jewelry world, one of the stones that suggests a deep connection to motherhood is, unsurprisingly, mother of pearl.

When a pearl is formed, it is made from the same substance as mother of pearl -- but one is round, and the other is a flat sheet. Mother of pearl, hence the name, is actually the substance that creates the pearl when a grain of sand or other small irritant enters the shell of a mollusk. Over time, that substance, called nacre, will coat the grain of sand and grow until it becomes the pearl.


Both pearls and mother of pearl offer the same effervescent sheen, and it is up to the jeweler to decide which is best suited to each design’s needs. There are many varieties of pearl and mother of pearl that offer variations in color, iridescence, and shape.


Perhaps the most unique is the Tahitian black pearl and its strikingly deep iridescence. Cultivated in the islands of French Polynesia, the black pearl is one of the rarest and most valuable pearls in the world, and their farming is an environmentally sustainable practice that has a positive impact on the seawater around them. Tahitian black mother of pearl is an equally rare and beautiful gemstone that can be used as an inlay in bracelets, pendants, and other flat pieces of jewelry.


JPX Jewelry’s Alexis Cartouche Pendant is a beautifully hammered 18K gold pendant inlaid with one of eight different stone options, including the Tahitian black mother of pearl. The Cartouche Pendant offers a way to honor something important to its wearer -- perhaps a significant color or a stone that represents a special person or place.

The history of this design originates in ancient Egypt: pharaohs’ names would be written in hieroglyphics and enclosed in a regal oval, which was thought to protect the pharaoh both in this life and the afterlife against evil spirits. This oval, called shenu in Egyptian, was dubbed cartouche by French soldiers, who noted the similarity in shape to a paper powder cartridge on a firearm. Today, the cartouche is still seen as a symbol of good luck and protection against evil.


The Alexis Cartouche Pendant inlaid with Tahitian black mother of pearl is a simple, yet stunning, modern pearl necklace that honors mothers and their steady love and protection, just as the mother of pearl slowly nurtures the beautiful pearls that it shares with the world.

The Cartouche Pendant is also available with British Columbia Green Jade, Black Jade, Lapis Lazuli, Tiger’s Eye, Sugilite, Malachite, and Amazonite.

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