Paw pearls are natural pearls from the scallop "Nodipecten
They are calcareous concretions that are created by a bivalve
organism whose shell resembles a lion's paw, hence their native
name Mano de Leon or "hand of the lion".
Lion's Paw pearls are found off the coast of Baja California
and until the year 2000 no one in the gem industry had ever
seen a natural pearl from this scallop.
These natural pearls that are found within the organism are
There are buttons, rounds, drops, and ovals and they are in
sizes from seed to 40 carats.
Some of the shapes are baroque and quite interesting.
These pearls are byproducts of harvesting scallops in the
wild and they are very rare.
Paw pearls range in colors from white to deep royal purple
with varying shades of oranges, pinks and plums. They are
non-nacreous pearls with a mosaic pattern with a flash effect
similar to the flame-like pattern on a conch (strombus
gigas) and melo melo (melo amphora) pearl. However,
unlike the conch and melo melo, which are univalves, the scallop
is a bivalve filter feeder much like an oyster. The mosaic
pattern that covers the entire surface of the pearls has a
sheen-like or metallic three-dimensional effect when viewed