Black pearl??

Mar 10, 2001
I recently saw a knife in the A.G. Russell catalog that featured "black pearl handles". I've always loved mother of pearl handles, but I've never heard of black "mother of pearl". Black pearls yes, but not black mother of pearl. Does this stuff really exist? What are its characteristics as far as suitability for handle material?

BTW no welcomes necessary, just changed names that all.

My knives do not make me a primitive caveman. However, carrying rocks like the ones you have inside your that would make me primitive.
AN- some good pictures and info can be seen at Click on mother of pearl.
Here is an example.


Prairie Storm
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Black pearl over the last five years has become very expensive. It cut from shells.
The folks who (grow it in fields are using it for other industries now days . They dont allow it to get big like it used to be.
Having knives with black pearl on then is a good collector investment. BUT be prepared to pay top dollar for them.

Web Site At
Black Lip Mother of Pearl is beautiful, rare and expensive. It is a perfect handle material for top level custom knives.

Black lip is my favorite on higher end knives.
Here is a pick of one that has some nice color to it.
<CENTER>"Brilliant Beauty" by Dellana
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" The real art of living is to keep alive the longing in human beings to become greater versions of themselves." Laurens Van der Post in memory of James Mattis
I was at the ECCKS and saw quite a few sets of Black Lip at the Culpeppers table. Trouble was they were quite small. I asked about this and was shown a typical shell and you couldn't get much out of it. I hate to think it's becoming like Stag.

I have a beautiful Tanto made by WD Pease with a large set of Black Lip, double bolsters. I sent it to an engraver, who likes it so much he won't engrave it. He wants to buy it!!!

My wife did get a well made Stingray wallet
and purse at the table. Not inexpensive but she couldn't believe the quality.

Gus that is a tremendous knife from Dellana. It has some of the best color I have seen from black lip pearl.

Black Pearls? Funny of you to ask...

I have just made it home (about 30 minutes ago) from spending a couple of weeks in Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Riatea. French Polyneasia is the black pearl capital of the world. The stuff is literally sold on every street corner of each island. Unfortunately, it's not cheap, and probably requires delicate work to get it on a knife.

An average shell measures about 5-6 inches in diameter and about 1/8-3/16 inches thick after its polished. A single shell should be enough for a folders.


No wonder your's sold so quickly. Everytime I see that thing, it blows me away. Man, you sure have an eye for MOP scales!