Use shell pearls when you want perfect pearl shapes, well-controlled colors, genuine-pearl heft, and/or larger pearl sizes at economical prices! Also known as shellies, shell pearl beads are easier to care for than natural pearls, since they are less affected by sweat, perfume and detergents. Shell pearls also have a more durable shine and color, and come in larger sizes than are usually affordable with cultured pearls. A cross between real pearls and faux pearls, shell pearls consist of a core made from pulverized real shells (usually mother of pearl) that are bound into a precision shape then finished with a pearlized coating. The beads closely imitate the look and feel of oriental pearls at a fraction of the cost! Like freshwater pearls, the finish on shellies will sometimes exhibit small pock marks and nicks.