June Birthstone – The Luminous Pearl
To learn about the June birthstone, we’re going to have to go under the sea. While every other birthstone gemstone is mined on land, only the pearl birthstone is cultivated in the sea. So let’s get right to the bottom of this most elegant and luminous June birthstone – the breathtaking pearl.
What is June’s Birthstone?
The June birthstone is the luminous pearl. Lustrous and lovely, pearl birthstones are the traditional birthstone for those born in June. The pearl birthstone is the only birthstone to originate from the water. Available in bright white or shimmering colours, this classic gemstone represents peace, beauty, and friendship.
Both classically traditional and brilliantly modern, the pearl gemstone symbolizes beauty and purity. There are four different types of pearls including freshwater pearls, Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, and South Sea pearls. The June birthstone pearl is also a treasured gift for the third and thirteenth wedding anniversaries.
In addition to being a wedding jewelry staple, fashion influencers and Hollywood red carpet walkers favor pearls. The pearl gemstone is a classic jewelry piece made even more famous by style icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel and Jackie Kennedy.
Nature’s True Miracles: Pearl Birthstones
The June birthstone is a natural beauty and is the only birthstone made by a living creature. So, just how is the June birthstone formed?
Oysters and mussels naturally form pearls when a grain of sand slips between one of the two shells. In order to protect itself from irritation, the mollusk covers the grain of sand with layer upon layer s of an organic-inorganic compound called nacre. These iridescent layers build up over time to form the pearl gemstone.
However, don't expect a pearl to be hiding in an oyster the next time you order a dozen for dinner. Natural pearls are extremely rare, expensive and usually very small. This is why most pearls used in jewellery today are cultured pearls.
Cultured pearls are genuine pearls, and are created like they are in nature, but are given a helping hand. To create or cultivate pearls, pearl farmers will introduce a small mother-of-pearl bead into the oyster. From there, nature takes its course. The appearance of cultured pearls and natural pearls are virtually the same. The final harvested pearls can be found in a variety of shapes including round pearls, oval pearls, pear-shaped pearls and misshapen pearls called baroque pearls.
Pearl Birthstones Have a Rich and Impressive History
In addition to all its fascinating qualities, the June birthstone has a rich and storied history. Various cultures have referenced pearls throughout the millennia. And some folklore originally suggested that people searching for food along the seashore discovered the first natural pearls.
Many of these natural pearls were found in the Persian Gulf region. Before the creation of cultured pearl birthstones in the early 1900s, pearls were so rare that only royalty and the very wealthy could afford them.
A lover of various gems and jewels, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra is associated with pearls for an interesting reason. According to legend, Cleopatra crushed a pearl into a glass of wine and drank from the cup.
Why would she do such a thing to one of the most renowned treasures of the ancient world? Evidently, she aimed to prove to Marc Anthony that she could give the most expensive dinner in history. Mission accomplished!
The Greeks and Romans considered pearls to be the ultimate symbol of wealth, social standing and beauty. Another legend recounts that one Roman general covered the expenses of his military campaign with a single natural pearl.
Here’s a great story that also happens to be true! In 1917, Pierre Cartier, the man behind the famous luxury brand, traded a double strand of natural pearls for a mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
This just goes to show how truly valuable natural pearl birthstones were at the time, and still are today.
The Types of Pearl Birthstones: Fresh and Saltwater
There are four types of cultured pearls: freshwater pearls, Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls and South Sea pearls.
Freshwater pearls are the most common and the most affordable. They are mainly sourced in China, and are found in not only white, but dyed many other fashionable colours. These June birthstones appear similar to Akoya cultured pearls in shape and size.
The remaining three types - Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea - are all saltwater pearls.
When you think of the perfect strand of perfect pearls, you are probably picturing Akoya pearls. Typically sourced in Japan and China, they are usually white or cream in color and are perfectly round in shape.
Tahitian pearls are coloured pearls and are the only pearl to have gained their colour naturally. They range in hue from black to grey, blue, green, purple and more.
South Sea pearls come from areas such as Australia and Indonesia, and their colour ranges from white and cream to a rich golden hue. They are the largest of all the pearls and are some of the rarest and valued.
How can you tell if your pearls are real? You can tell the difference between natural and cultured pearls by their texture. Imitation pearls are smooth when rubbed against your teeth. Natural or cultured pearls have a slightly rough texture.
The Benefits of Wearing the June Birthstone
It has been thought that pearl birthstones bring general prosperity and good fortune. It is also believed that the pearl birthstone is connected to vision, feelings, temperaments and wealth.
Depending on the position of the moon, it is said that the pearl can affect physical issues including fevers, eye problems, throat issues, and intestinal issues. The wearer of the pearl may feel positive energies. For females, some believe that wearing pearl birthstones may help counter menstrual issues and boost fertility.
Furthermore, others believe that wearing a therapeutic pearl can enhance the nature of your well-being and bring good things to your life.
Care of Your June Birthstone
Pearls require special care to keep them looking as beautiful as possible. This is partially due to the extremely delicate nature of the June birthstone.
This means that you can damage your pearls without even meaning to. The natural acids in your body oils along with cosmetics, sunblock, hairsprays and perfumes can damage pearls and dramatically dull their lustre. Lustreis what makes your pearls shimmery and beautiful. It is the result of light rays reflecting off the pearl's surface and then bouncing off the mirrored outside.
For best results for keeping your pearl beautiful:
- Put on your pearl jewellery at least 30 minutes after applying cosmetics, hairspray or perfumes.
- Never wear your pearls in the shower or while working out.
- Keep your pearls looking beautiful longer by wiping them with a soft, damp cloth often.
- You should also keep your pearls separated from other jewellery so the pearls don't get scratched or damaged.
- Consider storing your pearls in a small cloth bag to keep them protected from harder gemstones and other jewellery.
Shop for Pearl Jewellery at Peoples
Pearls have been popular for decades, weathering the test of time. Just like its impressive history, meanings and superstitions surrounding the pearl birthstone date back eons. In ancient China, people believed that pearls gave one protection from fire and dragons.
Other folklore suggested that those who slept with a pearl under their pillow would be blessed with children. Pearl folklore and superstitions may vary, but overall, pearls are said to facilitate good health and wealth.
Whether you're looking to channel your inner Coco Chanel, seeking styles to complement your bridal look, or simply for everyday wear, pearls bring a touch of simplicity and elegance. You can always count on Peoples Jewellers to have a great selection of pearl gemstone jewellery and pearl birthstone jewellery.
Visit your local Peoples Jewellers retail store to shop pearl jewellery or browse our website to find a beautiful array of pearl gemstone jewellery online. You can count on Peoples for both traditional and contemporary styles of pearl jewellery that celebrates life, love and of course, a June birthday.