What is the June birthstone?The birthstone for June is the pearl. The pearl is a 30th Anniversary gemstone. It symbolizes purity and is known as the “stone of sincerity.”
It is believed that the origination of assigning a birthstone for each month dates back to a breastplate that Aaron, the older brother of Moses, wore, which represented the Twelve Tribes of Israel. In biblical times, people wore the gemstone assigned to month that the stone represented as a talisman.
In 1912, the American National Association of Jewelers created an official list of gemstones that represented each month with the birthstone for June being the pearl.
What is the history of the pearl?In ancient Egypt, people were buried in pearls to show their wealth. Cleopatra crushed up a pearl and drank it in a glass of wine to prove to Mark Antony that she could “in fact devour the fortune of a whole nation in just one meal.” In ancient Greek culture, the pearl was viewed as a gorgeous natural phenomenon that made love and marriage far more abundant. In ancient Rome, the pearl was a status symbol of wealth and power. Many European countries banned regular people from wearing pearls, as it was seen as a sign of power for those who were in control.
What are the different types of pearls?Pearls come many different varieties depending on shape, color, and where the pearl comes from. The most popular pearls are cultured pearls, freshwater pearls, saltwater pearls, baroque pearls, Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, South Sea pearls, keshi pearls, and black pearls. You can learn more about these different types of pearls at the page, What Are Pearls?
What is a pearl’s color?The most popular color for a pearl is a white to off-white color that almost sparkles it is so shiny. Pearls can be found in many other shades, as well, including pink, green, and black.
Where are pearls found?Pearls can be found in both freshwater and saltwater. Freshwater pearls derive from freshwater mussels living in lakes, ponds, rivers and other bodies of fresh water. They come from the family Unionidae. Freshwater pearls are made in both warm and cold climates ranging from Central America to more cold locations such as Scotland (they are protected by law there). Today, the majority of freshwater cultured pearls originate from China.
Saltwater pearls grow in pearl oysters deriving from the family Pteriidae. This family lives in oceans. In order to protect the saltwater pearl oysters they are typically cultivated in protected volcanic atolls or lagoons.
What is the largest pearl found?The Pearl of Lao Tzu (also referred to as Pearl of Lao Tze and previously as Pearl of Allah) is the largest recognized pearl in the world. The pearl was discovered in the Palawan Sea, which surrounds the island of Palawan in the Philippines. It was located by a Filipino diver. This pearl is known as a “clam pearl” or “Tridacna pearl” deriving from a giant clam. This extremely large pearl is not considered a gemstone pearl. It measures 24 centimeters in diameter (9.45 inches) and weighs 6.4 kilograms (14.1 lb).
What are the properties of a pearl?The pearl comes from the live shelled mollusk in freshwater or saltwater. A pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in tiny crystalline form, which has been placed in concentric layers. The perfect pearl is flawlessly round and smooth, although countless other shapes are also created.
What are the healing powers of the pearl?The pearl is thought to promote personal integrity and also is said to help with focusing a person’s attention. The pearl also is said to bring charity, innocence, and faith. It is also said to inhibit overexcited behavior. The pearl is also commonly worn by brides at their wedding.
The pearl is also said to treat soft organs and digestive illnesses. It is said to relieve bloating and increase productiveness and even comfort childbirth.
How do you clean pearl jewelry?The best way to get beautiful results when cleaning your pearl jewelry is to bring it to a jeweler. However, you can also clean your pearl jewelry at home by using a jewelry cleaner that states that it is safe to use with pearls and by wiping it with a soft cloth.
How do you care for pearl jewelry?Pearls are a beautiful but delicate jewelry that needs special care. Do not use any harsh or rough chemicals on your pearl. Lay it down flat out of contact to all other pieces of jewelry.
Because of their delicate nature, pearls should always be cared for with caution. Always put pearls on after soap, make-up, lotions, and hair products have been applied. A good reminder is that when getting ready, the very last thing one should do is put on one’s pearls. It is also wise to avoid any chemicals, even jewelry cleaners. Nothing more than mild soap, water, and a soft cloth should be used for cleaning pearls, and they should be re-strung periodically to ensure the cord holding them is sturdy. Lastly, store pearls away from other jewelry, as pearls can too easily become scratched or worn down by metals and other gemstones.
What is a pearl’s value?The value of a pearl is determined by several factors: type, size, shape, luster, color, and surface. A pearl’s origin or type will help determine its rarity. In general, natural pearls are worth much more than cultured pearls, and cultured seawater pearls are worth more than cultured freshwater pearls. Size will also add to a pearl’s value. The size of a natural pearl is determined by weight and measured in grains and carats, while a cultured pearl’s size is measured in millimeters. It can be determined if a pearl is natural or cultured by use of gemological X-ray equipment to view the center of the pearl, or by placing the pearl under a microscope. Shape only adds value if the pearl is perfectly symmetrical and round, especially when regarding a strand of pearls.
There are three grades of luster given to a pearl based on the thickness of the nacre: dull, fine, and exceptional. Color will decrease value if the pearl is dyed. A natural pink, white, or black pearl will hold the most value. Surface is graded anywhere from exceptional with no flaws, to marked with obvious flaws. Any dents or scratches will decrease the value of the pearl. Depending on the quality and piece of jewelry, cultured freshwater pearls can be priced up to $1,500, akoya pearls are priced up to $3,000, Tahitian pearls are priced up to $10,000, and South Sea pearls are priced up to $30,000.
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