June’s Birthstone – Pearl
June’s birthstone is the Pearl. Learn more about the history, significance and meaning of the Pearl birthstone, and discover some of the best birthday gifts for a June birthday.
What are Pearls?
- Pearls are gems formed inside of a mollusc, such as oysters. A piece of grit or irritant will enter a mollusc’s shell, and a substance called ‘nacre’ begins to form around it. This substance covers the piece of grit entirely, protecting the mollusc’s soft insides from the object. The layers harden and grow over time, and a pearl is formed. Due to this process, natural Pearls take an extremely long time to form.
- Pearls can form naturally – in the process described above – or they can be cultivated. A cultivated Pearl just means that a piece of grit was deliberately inserted into the mollusc to begin the Pearl-forming process. Some think of it as being ‘man-made’.
What is the meaning of the Pearl birthstone?
- The Pearl is the birthstone for June, as well as being the stone associated with the zodiac sign Gemini.
- Pearls are often connected with sweetness, innocence and purity.
- Pearls are tied to female power, which is one of the reasons they are favoured by famous female politicians, and women in other powerful roles.
- The Pearl is also said to bring love, luck and wisdom to the wearer.
Due to their powerful associations, beautiful pieces of Pearl jewellery make meaningful gifts for the June birthday in your life.
What are the characteristics of Pearls?
- Pearls are very distinctive in their appearance. They are usually small, hard balls, with a luminous creamy-white appearance. However, when formed naturally, these characteristics can differ. Sometimes pearls are not perfectly round, nor are they always the cream colour you may expect – sometimes they can be pink, brown or even black, depending on the mollusc they formed inside of, and the part of the world they were found in.
- Pearls – while appearing to be a hard, spherical ball – are actually one of the softest gems on the Mohs scale, with a rating of only 2.5-4.5. This means they require a little extra care and cleaning, and should be worn alone, to avoid scratching against other materials.
Where are Pearls found?
- Pearls are traditionally found in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Japan is, historically, where Pearl farming began, but since then, China has now become the world’s largest producer of freshwater Pearls.
- Having said this, Pearls can form inside molluscs that live in any saltwater seas and oceans, and even freshwater lakes, and as such are found all over the world.
What is the history of Pearls?
- Pearls have always been a marker of wealth and royalty.
- In Ancient Rome, Pearls were used to signify status and power. In fact, Julius Caesar passed a law stating that only the ruling class could wear them.
- Pearls have been important part of the ‘uniform’ for royalty for many years – in fact, there is evidence of Pearls being worn in Egyptian times, with many being discovered inside sarcophaguses. The gem was so prized that wealthy owners were buried with their precious Pearls.
Fun facts about Pearls
- Unlike other gems and precious metals, the weight of a Pearl is measured by the ‘momme’, a unit of measurement specifically for Pearls, used by the Japanese for centuries.
- There are many ways to measure whether a Pearl is ‘good’ quality – such as the size, weight and lack of flaws – but the most important aspect of a Pearl to determine its quality is its luster.
- Pearls have been used in traditional Chinese medicine and skincare for centuries. In some cases, the gem is ground up very finely and is mixed with other herbs for a variety of reasons, such as enhancing fertility. Pearls have also been used in medicines and as a treatment for many different ailments, ranging from fevers to issues with the eyes.
- Pearls are also popular in skincare products and are traditionally used to treat acne and Rosacea.
- In some parts of India, an un-pierced pearl is traditionally presented as a wedding gift – and then drilled with a hole during the marriage ceremony.
- In Old China, pearls were said to protect their wearer’s from fire and dragons.
- In medieval Europe, their pure white shimmer was tied to religious beliefs, symbolising the chastity of the bride on her wedding day.
What are the best Pearl birthstone gifts?
Looking for the perfect Pearl gift for someone born in June? Opt for a simple Pearl and diamond pendant necklace, perfect for daily wear. Alternatively, give them the gift of a The Diamond Store gift card, and let them choose something they’ll treasure forever.