Mabe, also called composite blister pearls, is cultured by inserting a half dome nucleus on the inside of the oyster shell, opposed to a cultured pearl which is growing in the soft parts of the oyster. Subsequently, the oyster secretes layers of mother-of-pearl on the inserted dome. Mabe pearls may be round, oval, drop or heart shaped. Irregular shapes do also occur. Small Buddha figures covered with mother-of-pearl have been found in China. These dating back to 3000 BC give the evidence of the Chinese already having the knowledge of this fine art at that early time.