Pearls | June's Birthstone

CLASSY AND ELEGANT

Pearls have long been treasured for their simple elegance and valued for their demure classic beauty. In ancient times, owning a pearl was a true sign of wealth. It's believed that when Marc Anthony was sent to display Rome's power and wealth to Cleopatra, she dissolved a pearl in a cup of wine and drank it down as a symbol of the Egyptian empire's wealth.

Pearls were once considered your grandmother's gem, but have gained popularity recently and seen worn by the younger generation more and more.

FACT: Mikimoto created the first cultured pearl by injecting a piece of sand into the oyster's mouth, forcing it to create a pearl. Marylin Monroe was presented a beautiful Mikimoto necklace for her honeymoon gift from Jo DiMaggio, and although they divorced shortly after, she kept treasured her necklace long afterwards. 

The Mikimoto necklace was one of the few pieces of fine jewellery Marilyn Monroe actually owned

HOW PEARLS ARE FORMED

Pearls are the result of an irritant getting trapped inside the fleshy part of a mollusk or oyster. The mollusk excretes nacre, which coats the irritant and slowly forms the pearl. 

What is the difference between natural, cultured and freshwater pearls?

I could go into it in depth, but this short article gives a really great run-down on what each term means and some ways to tell the difference:
What is the Difference Between Natural, Cultured, Freshwater and Shell Pearls?
I use freshwater pearls in my work and try to find a balance between price and quality, often spending a bit more to get as round as possible pearls that I can.

WHAT DOES 'PEARL' MEAN

The word pearl is believed to come from the latin perle. It literally means 

nacreous mass formed in the shell of a bivalve mollusk as a result of irritation caused by some foreign body

PEARL PRODUCTION and suppliers

--> The color of the oyster's mother of pearl is an indication of the color of the nacre the oyster produces to make the pearl.
--> Akoya pearls are the most well known cultured saltwater pearl and are produced in Japan or China.
--> Tahiti, the South Sea area, Japan and China are the largest producers of cultured saltwater pearls.
--> The largest supplier of freshwater pearls is China.

what pearls symbolize

Pearls represent:

  • prosperity and success
  • imparts calm and beauty
  • focus
  • wisdom
  • promotes tenderness

Pearl is also the traditional June birthstone, along with moonstone and alexandrite, and is the Gemini birthstone . 

The 30th wedding anniversary is the Pearl Anniversary and it's traditional to gift a pearl to celebrate 30 years of life together.

PEARL LEGENDS AND MYTHOLOGY

Ancient Japanese believed that pearls are formed from the tears of mythological creatures such as mermaids, nymphs and angels (though I need to research that because angels, nymphs and mermaids don't often come up in Japanese folklore!)

Ancient Chinese thought black pearls grew inside a dragon's head and once fully formed, the pearls were carried between its teeth.

Hindu folklore claims that dewdrops fell from the moon into the sea, and Krishna picked one for his daughter on her wedding day.

Many cultures refer to pearls as teardrops of the moon.

It's believed that Eve cried pearls when she was exiled from Eden.

And in some cultures pearls are thought to be unlucky as they are taken from a living creature, so must be gifted out of love.

 

 

It's always good to have at least one pearl piece in your jewelry collection to wear to any formal or somber events, or for special celebrations when a touch of class is required.

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the world is your oyster
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