These mother of pearl beads and pendants are made from the most common variety of MOP on the market, which is bleached to maximize the nacre's delicate shades of white and ivory. These semiprecious beads provide a high luster. To care for your mother-of-pearl beads, do not clean with alcohol as it can eat through the nacre, causing irreparable damage to the color and luster. Mother of pearl has been treasured in jewelry for centuries. In Asia, ground mother of pearl has also been used as a medicine for thousands of years. Europeans began extensively harvesting MOP in the 1850's to make buttons, knife handles and jewelry.