Have you ever wondered what is your birthstone and what that means?
Although the concern about one’s birthstone had been associated with religion in some parts of the world and with astrology in some others, the modern day birthstones have less to do with historical origins. Many jewelry and gemology associations mainly in the USA and UK have contributed to the formation of the modern list of birthstones.
If you were born in June, your birthstone is pearl. While we typically think of pearls as white gems, they come in a wide range of colors, from cream to silver, black, brown, gold, pink and purple.
Valued for their elegance and beauty for more than 4,000 years, pearls have a special place in gemology because of their organic origin. Unlike other prized gems such as diamonds, rubies and sapphires which form as minerals deep underground, pearls are produced by a living creature – sea oysters or freshwater mussels – and are therefore gems but not stones.
Large, natural pearls are extremely rare. Most pearls used in jewelry are cultured pearls, which occur when pearl farmers give nature a helping hand by introducing a small particle into the oyster or mussel shell, which encourages the animal to produce layers of mother-of-pearl around the introduced object.
The value of the pearl is determined by its luster, color, size, surface appearance and symmetry.
Pearls have traditionally been associated with the moon because of both their appearance and their origin, as well as qualities such as honesty, purity and wisdom. Their rarity has made them popular with royalty throughout history, not only for jewelry but to decorate clothing and to be crushed for use in cosmetics and medicines.
White pearls are a timelessly popular gift for brides as they are associated with Venus, the planet of love. Like pearls, the goddess of love – named Venus by the ancient Romans and Aphrodite by the ancient Greeks – is believed to have been born from the sea, famously depicted in many works of art emerging from the water fully grown and standing on a giant shell.
In modern culture, pearls have been a favorite of some of the most stylish women in the world, including Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Shop for pearl jewelry here.