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Pearls of Wisdom: June Birthdays, Read This!

Pearls of Wisdom: June Birthdays, Read This!

Pearl is the gemstone for June birthdays, so we've compiled some fun facts and lore about the unique gem from the watery depths. But, three things you should know before we start: 

1. Pearl IS considered a gemstone. 

2. Pearls are usually measured more accurately by millimeter width instead of carat weight. 

3. Diamonds may be forever, but pearls have been called the most precious gem from the beginning of time. 

Joseph Jewelry Estate Pearl and Diamond Ring

Estate White Pearl and Diamond Ring Circa 1930s


Pearls are the only gemstone that come from a water animal. They are formed from the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk, such as a clam. Pearls can be many different colors: white, pink, cream, green, brown, silver, blue, yellow, black, or purple. On the Mohs Hardness Scale, pearls usually only rate from 2.5-3.0, meaning that they are not very hard and should not be worn every day.

Although the most valuable pearls are perfectly round, pearls can form in other shapes as well. Pearls are very different from gemstones in that they should not be cut, and their luster is dependent on the light activity of the transluscent layers; thinner layers give more luster, and overlapping layers give iridescence. 


By Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi -, Public Domain, 


The oldest recorded mention of pearls is by a Chinese historian in 2206 B.C. In every world culture for the past few thousand years, pearls have been a family treasure, passed down through generations in families of the world's elite.

Chinese and Japanese civilizations thought the pearl was formed within mythical creatures. Ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the tears of the gods, so brides wearing pearls on their wedding day would in turn be protected from harm. In Hindu folklore, Krishna (or Vishnu) found the first pearl in the ocean, and he gave it to his daughter on her wedding day.  

As the oldest known gemstone, there are several mentions of pearl in ancient religious materials, such as the Bible, and many myths surrounding the gem. In old times and various regions around the world, only people above a certain class level were allowed to wear pearls. Some of the highest fashion icons of this century and the last loved their pearls: Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, and Madonna, to name a few. One thing is certain: pearls are the most classic gemstone and will never go out of style. 


By Jastrow (2005), Public Domain, 


Pearls have long been believed to bring balance. They balance the karma of the owner, protect the family of the wearer, strengthen relationships, and bring good fortune. The pearl symbolizes purity, generosity, and loyalty.

Pearls are THE symbol of purity because they are the product of the rejection of impurities from the mollusk shell from which the pearl was born. This is why pearls have been worn by brides for thousands of years; they symbolize the bride's pure spirit. 


Joseph Jewelry Custom Pearl Pendant

Custom Quahog Pearl Pendant 

Types of Pearls

(In order of value/rarity)

Natural Saltwater: These pearls form in oysters, usually in protected lagoons or volcanic areas. 

Natural Freshwater: Pearls form in mussels, living in lakes, rivers, ponds, and any other freshwater area. 

Cultured/farmed: These can be saltwater or freshwater, but these are purposely grown by humans. 

Imitation: These pearls are not real. They are usually made of a shell, or glass coated with a solution. 


Famous Pearls, Phrases & Pearl Lovers

"Pearls are always appropriate." -Jackie Kennedy

"The rarest things in the world, next to a spirit of discernment, are diamonds and pearls." -Jean de la Bruyere

"I feel undressed if I don't have my pearls on. My pearls are my security blanket." -Lady Sarah Churchill

"You can't ever go wrong with pearls. Perhaps pearls are a girl's best friend after all." -Ki Hackney

"The pearl is the queen of gems, and the gem of queens."                 -Unknown

Custom Tahitian Pearl White Gold Ring 

What to Look For When Purchasing

Look for the luster and color of the pearl. Pearls come in many different tones, so start with the color and the highest luster possible. Pearls have certificates, just like gemstones, so make sure your pearl has a certificate from a credible laboratory at the time of purchase. 


Caring for Pearls

Pearls are very delicate. They can be dissolved in vinegar and scratched easily. Follow these tips to keep your pearls in the best shape: 

  • They need to breathe, so do not store in an airtight box. 
  • Put your pearls on very last- hairspray and perfume may damage the pearls.
  • Every once in awhile, gently rub your pearls with warm water and let them air dry laying down on a towel. 
  • Don't hang strands of pearls- the silk threads holding them together will stretch out. 

Check out more of our pearl pieces or start your own project


All product shots are property of Joseph Jewelry. 


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