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Birthstone of June: the Pearl

June 1, 2017/ BY Frank van Poorten

Were you born in June? Then your birthstone is the pearl. However, the pearl is a very special birthstone in this list. While other stones are formed and found in the earth’s crust, the pearl is made in the sea. Pears are even thy only gems made by living creatures! Inside an oyster, a grain of sand grows into a beautiful shiny round pearl.

The pearl stands for

  • Innocence
  • Elegance
  • Positive feelings
  • A calming effect to prevent bad tempers
  • Creativity for artists
  • Strong feelings of love and friendship
  • The courage to resist all kinds of temptations
  • Integrity, modest and wisdom

Artistic drawing of underwater sea shells and a pearl

Myths about the pearl

Pears grow into an oyster from a lost grain of sand into a beautiful shiny little ball. We now know how pearls are made, but in ancient times people had no idea. As a result, there were all kinds of myths and mysteries that evolved around the pearl. These myths are some pretty neat stories. According to the Greek, pearls were the tears of happiness from the god of love Aphrodite. According to the story, Aphrodite cried these tears when she finally rose from the water. The pearl would, therefore, bring happiness and strengthen relationships. Another ancient story is the one of Cleopatra who enchanted Marcus Antonius with a hand full of pearls. The Romans believed pearls provided wisdom and strength and were the bringers of luck and success. According to Muslim legends, pearls were the first creations of God and according to the Persians, they are the tears of the Gods. The Chinese myth tells that pearls are formed by the moon’s light.

In Europe, people used pearls as a medicine until the 17th century to cure madness and weakness. In China, they used pearls as a medicine since 2000 BC. Today, they still use the cheapest and lowest quality pearls as a medicine.

What else do we celebrate with the pearl?

Besides the pearl being the birthstone of June, it is also the stone for the zodiac sign Gemini. In addition, it belongs to the one year and three year anniversary and is the gem connected to Mondays.

Properties of the pearl

Therapeutically, pearls help very well against heart, bowel and stomach problems. Pearls strengthen the love and friendship between people. This stone represents faithfulness, purity and everything good of mankind. Perhaps this is due to the beautiful shimmering, the perfect round shape or the softness of the pearl. Pearls make you feel like everything is going to be all right.  

Woman holding two pearl earrings in her hands

Taking care of your pearl jewelry

Pearls are a relatively soft material. They will not break easily, but they can get scarred. Be therefore extra cautious with your pearls. Do not store them together with other gems or jewelry, but always apart. To clean them, it’s also best to use just a little neutral soap and water. Avoid chemicals and heavy cleaning products. Also, watch out for your pearls when you’re sweating heavily or use hair straightening and cosmetics. These can affect the shine and color of the beads. Finally, do not forget about the cord. Have your pearl necklace checked by a trusted jeweler every year. There’s nothing worse than a carpet filled with pearls and an empty cord in your hand.

Origin and different kind of pearls

Pearls are formed by small contaminants in the oyster. Therefore, they used to be pretty rare. People who were looking for oysters sometimes had to dive more than a thousand times to find a perfect pearl. This is definitely a disadvantage when you compare it to other gemstones that can “simply” find in the earth.

Cultivated pearls

Nowadays, it’s a bit easier to obtain pearls than it used to be. The pearl grower places a small pebble or grain of sand in the oyster. After inserting this as a core, he leaves the oyster be for about one year to nut on the implanted core. The oyster creates a thin layer of pearl from about 0.8 mm. This is the most common size of a cultivated pearl. Imitation pearls are made of fish scales and glue. Sometimes they even make pearls also entirely of plastic.  

pearl in a shell at sea shore

Types of pearls

There are two kinds of real pearls: freshwater pearls and saltwater ones. You can find freshwater pearls in rivers and lakes. Saltwater pearls are of course from the ocean. There are seven different types of pearls:

  • The South Sea Pearls. Pearls with a silver-blue to a golden color that can be up to 22 mm.
  • The Tahiti Pearls. Pearls with a black-green, deep black or silver-gray color.
  • The Akoya Pearls. These are the “standard” pearls with a cream-white, soft yellow, pink, silver or gray color.
  • The Kasumiga Pearls. Commonly cream-white (salmon) pink, golden or silver colored pearls.
  • The Chinese Freshwater Pearls. Cultivated pearls are available in practically every color imaginable.

Pearls and diamonds in jewelry

The combination of diamonds and pearls is a classic and very popular one. This is not surprising as they are a beautiful duo. Although we specialize in diamonds, here at Royal Coster Diamonds we do have our share of pearl jewelry. For more information and pictures of our combined diamond-pearl jewelry, please contact a diamond consultant. A part of our (only) diamond jewelry you can see on our website.

Pearl and diamond jewelry

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