How to Measure the Quality of Mother of Pearl Tile

With so many options out there we understand that choosing tile can be difficult. So, how do you choose the right mother of pearl tile for you? We’ve put together some helpful hints to help you determine the quality of mother of pearl tile before you purchase.

Beautiful white mother of pearl backsplash

LUSTER: Our Mother of Pearl Tiles are all Made from Grade A Pearls

A pearl's luster can be measured on a grading system and is defined by its measure of brilliance and reflectivity. High-quality pearls are bright and shiny. Lower-quality pearls appear to be more dull and chalky. Every pearl that is used for our tiles undergoes a hand selected process in which the Grade A Pearls are separated from the rest of the pearls before they are ready to be made into a tile.

The Grading System:

Grade A represents the highest-quality of pearl. The pearl has a very high luster and sheen with only minor imperfections. These imperfections exist on less than 10% of pearl’s surface.

Grade B represents high or medium luster. The surface may have some visible imperfections, but not over more than 30% of the surface.

Grade C represents medium luster with surface defects not covering more than 60% of the surface area.

Grade D pearls may have many small defects spread over 60% of its surface.

CONSISTENCY: A Smooth Consistent Surface Means Higher Pearl Quality. 

The surface of the pearl is one of its most important characteristics. The surface should be consistently smooth and clean, without bumps, spots, discolorations, or other blemishes.

COLOR: Natural vs. Dyed Mother of Pearl

Natural pearl colors range across the spectrum from white to black. All of our mother of pearl tiles are natural and have not been dyed. It is very important to note that many pearls are often artificially colored. These treated colors are typically easy to spot by trained observers who often look for concentrations of color, which indicates the existence of dye, but for those of us who are not trained to see this it can be difficult to spot so it is very important to make sure that your tiles are not dyed. This is one of the most important things to know before buying mother of pearl tiles because dyed mother of pearl tiles will fade over time from the sunlight, water, and everyday use.