The Meaning of Pearl June Birthstone

What is the meaning of pearl June birthstone? This natural gem has a demure glow that has been described as pure. Fashion experts call it a jewellery essential. But what’s more, pearls boasts a juicy history full of legend, romance and powerful women…

The ultimate gem of feminine power

There is no doubt that pearls are the go-to gem for powerful women. With exquisite white lustre, they create a look that’s simple, elegant and appropriate for any occasion.

We’ve seen many iconic ladies like Kate Middleton, Rihanna, Scarlett Johansson, Kamala Harris, Jackie Kennedy, Michelle Obama and of course, The Queen, wear pearls on formal occasions.

But did you know that pearls are the oldest gemstone in the world – and many powerful women before our time have also adored them…

How Cleopatra’s used a pearl to assert her power

Two thousand years ago, pearls were considered the ultimate symbol of wealth. You might remember from history class that Queen Cleopatra was the last, and the richest, of all the pharaohs to rule Egypt.

Only months before her downfall, Cleopatra started a heated love affair with the handsome Marc Anthony, sent by Caesar to submit Egypt’s Queen to Rome’s rule.

“The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra” (1885), by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, licensed under Public Domain

But Cleopatra was not an easy woman to conquer. Despite sharing a bed with Marc Anthony, she sneered at his efforts to seduce her with Roman wealth.

Therefore, she decided to prove that Egypt didn’t need the riches of Rom, and she made a bet with Marc Anthony.

Cleopatra claimed that she could serve Anthony a dinner so expensive that Rome could never match the cost. Marc Anthony instantly agreed because he believed Rome to be far more powerful than Egypt and Cleopatra.

But when dinner arrived, he was in for a shock…

The Meaning of Pearl June Birthstone
“Various pearls” image by Masayuki Kato, licensed under GNU Free DL via

Pale-faced, he watched as Cleopatra dissolved a magnificent, enormous pearl in her wine and drank it. Pearls were, at this time, the most expensive gemstone anyone could own.

In the face of such wealth, Marc Anthony had no choice but to admit he’d lost the bet!

This famous story of Cleopatra and the pearl is still told today, thousands of years later. It symbolises the powerful relationship that women share with pearls. It’s no wonder that pearls are called ‘the queen of gems’.

The Meaning of Pearl June Birthstone

How Marilyn Monroe made everybody crave a Mikimoto necklace

Let’s skip to almost two millennia later. By the 19th Century, the pearl had become so sought after that the natural pearl beds of South American seas and the Pacific were almost depleted. The greed of Spanish, French and British colonial rulers was to blame.

By Queen Victoria’s era, pearls had become so rare that they were no longer affordable to ordinary people; only the rich were able to own them.

“Photo of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio from the cover of the January 1954 issue of Now magazine”, licensed under Public Domain

However, all this changed in 1907, when a Japanese man called Kokichi Mikimoto invented and patented the cultivated pearl – and Marilyn Monroe ended up wearing one of his creations.

Mikimoto’s method of creating cultivated pearls consisted of inserting a tiny pebble into an oyster. This then went on to produce a beautiful pearl.

At first, Mikimoto’s cultivated pearls were shunned by the wealthy. They considered them cheap, poor imitations of the real thing.

That is until Joe DiMaggio bought Marilyn Monroe a real Mikimoto necklace as a honeymoon gift when the newlywed couple Japan in 1954. Instantly, cultivated pearls shot into the limelight.

As soon as Marilyn was photographed with Mikimoto’s necklace around her beautiful neck, it turned into the ultimate emblem of glamour, fashion and sex appeal – and then everybody wanted to own one.

Meaning of pearl June birthstone

To astrologists, the pearl represents the birthstone for June. They also say that the gem is aligned with the zodiac sign of Gemini. Since ancient times, people have believed that pearls bring love, luck, wisdom and peace.

Their white colour is associated with light and purity. Therefore, the pearl birthstone stands for innocence and sincerity. If you wear it as your birthstone, it is said to bless new life beginnings – like marriage, house moves and babies – with love and luck.

That is also why the pearl is such a popular wedding accessory.

Unlike other precious stones that are mined, pearl is a gemstone made organically by living shellfish


Curious pearl traditions around the world

Many wonderful cultural traditions have formed around the pearl:

  • Ancient Romans believed that pearls could prevent young wives from crying.
  • 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.
Best Pearl Jewellery Gifts

How Netflix made pearls trendy

If you’re in the 18-35 age group, then up until recently, wearing pearls might not have seemed as fashionable to you as it was to your grandmother when she was young.

However, the blockbusting Netflix series, The Crown, has changed all this. Claire Foy and Olivia Colman, the actors who play The Queen at different ages, are often seen on screen wearing pearls. It has caused a huge boom in the pearl’s popularity.


Why pearls make a perfect gift

If you have a loved one’s special occasion coming up in June, be it a birthday or an anniversary, then pearls make a beautiful and meaningful jewellery gift.

Pearls are timeless and classic, so your gift recipient will get a lifetime of joy and wear from them. What’s more, whenever they’ll wear them, they’ll always remember that special day you celebrated together.


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