Mabe Pearl to Mythology. Part M of the Vintage Jewellery A-Z


Mabe Pearl

A pearl formed as a blister in the shell giving a semi circular appearance. These are more suitable for earrings and brooches than for necklace.








A hardstone which is made up of deep green and light green in bands. It is popular as beads and set into brooches

Mallorcan Pearl

An imitation pearl, higher quality than most other copies


Crystal of Iron Pyrites which is a dark grey almost black colour. It is usually rose cut and set with lots of the stones to cover an area of silver. This gives lots of sparkle

Makers Mark

Look for makers marks or logos on the backs of jewellery or on the clasp of a necklace. These are always interesting as they help us to date a piece of jewellery and to establish where it was made.

Marquise Shape

This is an elongated oval with pointed ends. Gemstones can be cut into this shape and also you get vintage rings which are Marquise shaped which could have one or lots of stones in them


The rock in which gemstones are found. We often see the matrix in turquoise and opal which is left in place to strengthen or increase the size of  the stone.


Mexican Jewellery

Articles of jewellery made in Mexico. This is usually high quality and made of silver set with stones such as turquoise or amethyst. You will often find it stamped as Taxco on the reverse. Look out for named designer pieces.


The word means a thousand flowers this is made of coloured glass canes and usually seen on paperweights however small millifiori pieces can be found set into earrings or brooches.


A way of setting gemstones into a ring where lots of tiny metal bead are used around the edge of the stone and the ring to keep them together.


A tiny portrait often set into a brooch or a locket or worn as a pendant. Early miniatures were painted on ivory with the colour showing through as the skin. Also tiny pieces made to place inside lockets or charms.


Any jewellery such as a ring or Victorian brooch with the word Mizpah written across it . The word literally means ” watch Tower ” in Hebrew. It is written in the bible as ” may the lord watch between me and thee when we are absent one from the other ” and so Mizpah jewellery was a popular gift between parted lovers.

Mohs Scale

This is used to measure the hardness of gemstones. The scale is 1 to 10 with the hardest being 10 and this is used for diamonds. At the other end of the scale is talc at 1. The harder the gemstone the better it will wear in jewellery.


A translucent gemstone which has a sheen like a moon glow. It is normally cut as a cabochon as that shows of the glow to its best.



Micro -Mosaic

Tiny pieces of coloured glass which are used to form a pattern. They are set closely together and the work can be very detailed. The smaller the pieces then the more detailed the pattern. The best micro mosaics are from the Victorian era and the work was usually carried out in Italy.

Mother of Pearl

The lining of the shell of an oyster. It has a lovely pale rainbow sheen and is used as panels set into brooches, earrings, bracelets etc.

Mourning Jewellery

Jewellery popular during the Victorian era which was worn in memory of a deceased person. Often the jewellery is black and made of materials such as jet and black enamel. Pieces which are inscribed with the name of the person and their birth and death dates are particularly collectable. Mourning brooches and lockets can have hair from the deceased loved ones inside.

Muff Chain

A long chain which was popular during the Victorian era and it had a clip on each end which was used to attach a Muff too.


Classical mythological figures were popular as cameo subjects during the Georgian and Victorian eras. These are from the ancient Greek and Roman tales such as Leda and the Swan