The nacreous (mother-of-pearl) sections of molluscan shells are natural laminates of aragonitic calcium carbonate platelets and an organic matrix. The multi-edged platelets are sub-micrometer thick and surrounded on all sides by 10–20 nm-thick organic matrix that contains several proteins and polysaccharides. Our goal is to identify the components and structure of the organic matrix and determine their function in shell formation and organization. We have extracted organic material from red abalone-Haliotis rufescens, and chambered nautilus-Nautilus pompilius. From the soluble portion, we have partially purified two proteins and determined their amino acid compositions.