June Birthstone Story
To learn more about the pearl birthstone, we are going under the sea. While all of the other birth month gemstones come from somewhere on land, a living organism produces the June birthstone. Let's dive to the bottom of the sea to explore the exquisite wonder of pearls.
What is June's Birthstone?
The June birthstone is the 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 luminous white or shimmering colors, this classic gemstone represents peace, beauty, and friendship. Both traditional and modern, the pearl gemstone symbolizes a symbol of beauty and purity. The four types of pearls are freshwater pearls, Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, and South Sea pearls. The June birthstone pearl is also a beloved gift for the third and thirteenth wedding anniversaries.
In addition to being a luxurious 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, Marilyn Monroe, and Jackie Kennedy.
Pearl Birthstones: One of Nature's True Miracles
The June birthstone is a natural beauty and is the only birthstone made by a living creature. So, 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 oyster covers the grain of sand with layers of an organic-inorganic compound called nacre. These iridescent layers build up over time to form the pearl gemstone.
But, don't expect a pearl to be hiding in an oyster the next time you order a half dozen for dinner. Natural pearls are extremely rare, expensive and usually very small. This is where cultured pearls come into play.
Cultured pearls are created in a similar way, except a mother-of-pearl bead is inserted into the oyster to facilitate the same process. The appearance of cultured pearls and natural pearls are essentially the same. They can be found in a variety of shapes including round pearls, oval pearls, pear-shaped pearls and misshapen pearls called baroque pearls.
Pearl Birthstones: An Impressive and Expensive History
The June birthstone has a rich history to match all of its fascinating qualities. In fact, various cultures have referenced pearls throughout the millennia. 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, 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.
The Romans and the Greeks also considered pearls to be the ultimate symbol of wealth, social standing and beauty. For instance, another legend recounts that one Roman general covered the expenses of a military campaign with a single natural pearl.
Plus, 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.
Pearl Birthstone Types: Fresh vs. Saltwater
There are four common types of cultured pearls: freshwater pearls, Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls and South Sea pearls.
Freshwater pearls are typically the least expensive. They are mainly sourced in China, and many are white. 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.
Akoya pearls are what you think of when you picture a perfect strand of shimmering white pearls. Typically sourced in Japan and China, they are usually white or cream in color and are perfectly round in shape.
Tahitian pearls are colored pearls and are the only pearl to have gained their color naturally. They're mostly dark and range in hue from black to gray, blue, green, purple and more June birthstone colors.
South Sea pearls come from areas such as Australia and Indonesia, and their color ranges from white and cream to a golden hue. They are the largest of all the pearls and are some of the rarest and valued.
You can tell the difference between natural and cultured pearls using their texture. Imitation pearls are smooth when rubbed against your teeth. Natural or cultured pearls have a slightly rough texture.
Pearls Gaining Popularity
Pearls continue to gain popularity as more millennials take an interest in wearing pearls.
Just as the diamond has become an everyday wear for many people, the June birthstone is getting the attention year-round of the younger generations.
The jewelry industry is responding to the rising interest in pearls by coming up with unique pearl birthstone jewelry designs. Pearls are not just sold on a simple strand or as stud earrings. Jewelers are now mixing pearls with different gemstones, metals, and textures making them "everyday wearable."
Benefits of Wearing the June Birthstone
Some believe there are medical advantages to wearing pearls. The root of this belief is that the pearl birthstone interfaces with the Moon. Since the June birthstone comes from the sea and the moon influences the tides, many believe there is a connection.
In this way, those who wear pearl birthstones are able to receive general prosperity and good fortune. Furthermore, this vision holds that the pearl birthstone is connected to vision, feelings, temperaments, and richness.
Depending on the position of the moon, it is said that the pearl can affect 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.
June Birthstone Care
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, and hairspray can damage pearls and dramatically dull the luster. Luster is what makes your pearl so shimmery and beautiful. It is the result of light rays reflecting off of the pearl's surface and then bouncing off the mirrored outside.
For best results in keeping your pearl beautiful:
- Put on your pearl jewelry at least 30 minutes after applying personal care products.
- Don't wear your pearls in the shower or while working out.
- Keep your pearls looking beautiful for longer by wiping them with a soft, damp cloth often.
- You should also keep your pearls separated from other jewelry so the pearls don't get scratched or damaged.
- Consider storing your pearls in a small cloth bag to keep them protected from hard jewelry.
Shop Pearl Birthstones
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 or complement your bridal look, pearls add an air of elegance. Shop Pearl birthstone earrings, June birthstone necklaces, Pearl rings and even Pearl bracelets at Zales.