1. The topography of the organic components (conchiolin) has been investigated on positive, postshadow-cast, formvar, and carbon replicas of mother-of-pearl from shells of a Cephalopod, of two Gastropods, and of six Pelecypods. All these shells are characterized by a true nacreous inner shell layer.
2. The material included normal shell surfaces, fragments of cleavage obtained by fracture, and surfaces polished tangentially and transversally to the inner surface of the shells. Replicas of these surfaces were prepared before and after etching of graded heaviness, induced by a chelating agent (sequestrene NA 2, titriplex III). Micrographs of the successive steps of the process of corrosion have been recorded.
3. Corrosion unmasked, on the nacreous surfaces, organic membranes or sheets, running as continuous formations in between adjacent mineral lamellae, and separating the individual crystals of aragonite which are aligned in rows and constitute each lamella.
4. The interlamellar sheets of material exhibit a reticulated structure, which is especially visible in preparations orientated tangentially to the lamellae and to the tabular surface of the aragonite crystals. The pattern of this lace-like structure, different in the various species studied, appeared in the same species as closely similar to that reported previously in leaflets of thoroughly decalcified mother-of-pearl, dissociated by ultrasonic waves. The present results support former conclusions with regard to the existence of taxonomic differences between Cephalopods, Gastropods, and Pelecypods in the morphological organization of the organic phase within mother-of-pearl.