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Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl carving in Bethlehem likely dates back to the 15th century when the practice of carving both olive wood and mother of pearl were introduced to the region. Traditionally oysters used for the carving were gathered from the Red Sea, but currently they are sourced from areas such as Mexico, Australia and Saudi Arabia. Bethlehem's status as an important Christian city has produced demand for mother of pearl souvenirs from the large number of pilgrims that visit the city. Click to see photos of mother of pearl carving in Bethlehem.