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June’s Birthstone: The Ethereal Pearl

Pearl is June’s birthstone, lending its ethereal beauty to the traditional month for weddings. Since ancient times, when the month was dedicated to the Roman Goddess of marriage, it has been considered good luck to take marriage vows beneath June’s sunny skies. Even today, one cannot imagine June without conjuring images of brides in lace and, of course, pearls.

pearl birthstonesPearls glow with an iridescent luster and represent both purity of heart and mystery of spirit. Purity for its spiritual iridescence, mystery because the ancients didn’t know where pearls came from. The Greeks hypothesized that pearls were the hardened teardrops of Aphrodite, born of the sea. The Chinese suspected that pearls were petrified dragon brains. Arabs believed that pearls were solidified moonlight.

The actual explanation for the formation of pearls is just as fanciful. Unlike gemstones which are embedded in the earth through geological processes, June’s birthstone is the product of biology. To be precise, pearls are created by mollusks when an irritant is trapped inside its shell.

Much like humans develop hard layers of skin called calluses to protect us from irritation, pearl oysters coat the invading particle with a layer of nacre—a hard smooth substance. Over time, layer upon layer of nacre covers the irritant—the more layers, the more lustrous the pearl.

Round pearls are the most famous, but June’s birthstone comes in a variety of shapes. Beyond a simple strand of pearls, pearl beaded jewelry is very popular with brides. So-called ‘coin’ pearl beaded jewelry is made with flattened disk shape pearls. There are also irregularly shaped pearl beads known as ‘nugget pearls’ and even long ‘stick’ shaped pearls that make more natural beaded jewelry.

Though elegant bridal white is the color most frequently associated with June’s birthstone, pearls also come in pink, yellow, grey and black. Natural black pearls are the most valuable because of their rarity. Pearls are also valued by their shape—perfectly round ones being the most expensive.

Though beautiful, genuine pearl birthstone jewelry requires more care than other gemstones. Pearls can lose their iridescent luster if left in a dry environment, so it is recommended that you wear your pearl birthstone jewelry often to keep it moist with your own skin oil. On the other hand, you should avoid showering or otherwise soaking pearl jewelry in water.

Softer than other gemstones, pearls can be chipped and scratched or otherwise ruined if not treated delicately. In fact, one of the most famous stories about pearls centers on its destruction.

They say Cleopatra of Egypt once wagered Marc Antony that she could hold the most expensive banquet in history. To make good on her bet, she took one of her pearl earrings—one of the largest pearls in the known world—and dropped it into a cup of vinegar. When the pearl dissolved, she drank it as wine. He was apparently so impressed that he forsook his wife and took Cleopatra as a lover.

This story about Cleopatra was perhaps propaganda invented by her enemies to destroy her reputation. After all, with June’s birthstone representing purity and marriage, what could it say about Cleopatra that she was willing to destroy such a valuable pearl for Antony? True or not, the story painted Cleopatra as an ancient home wrecker which goes to show you the important symbolism and mysterious power of June’s birthstone—the ethereal pearl.

Links:

Wikipedia on Pearls

International Colored Gemstone Organization

 

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Celebrities and their June Gemstones Birthstones

Do you know what Marilyn Monroe, Rafael Nadal, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Anne Frank, George Bush, Donald Trump, Paula Abdul, Michael Phelps and Prince William have in common? We know that they are all famous on their own right. They some of the most popular actresses, actors, athletes, authors, musicians, entrepreneurs and politicians in the world. Well, the answer is actually not complicated. All of them are born in the month June.

It is then appropriate that we put the spotlight now to birthstones associated with the said month. True to the personalities of people born on this month, June has three birthstones. As far as I know, it is the only month with such number of birthstones. Pearl, Alexandrite and Moonstone are the three gems associated with June.

june birthstonePearls are the most popular among the three. The word itself has become synonymous to beauty, royalty and elegance. Now you can understand why Marilyn Monroe seems to be fascinated with pearls. Who wouldn’t be charmed with pearl beaded jewelry? Wearing them brings you class and a feeling of royalty. No less than the well-loved Princess Diana is often seen wearing pearl accessories.

But not just any type of pearl necklaces can pull this off. There are tons of commercially produced pearl accessories nowadays that can make your outfit look monotonous. What you need are handcrafted pearl jewelry that will help you stand out from the rest. Pearls are supposed to be rare and unique.  Handcrafted beaded pearl jewelry makes a better statement and they bring out your personality even more.

Now let’s talk about moonstones. If you have been following the TV show Vampire Diaries, then you probably have an idea of what it looks like.  Ancient civilizations believed that wearing jewelry with this stone can bring forth victory and good health. We don’t know for sure if that is true. What we do know is that handcrafted jewelry containing moonstones have become prominent because of their allure. Holding it up against the light will reveal silver streaks of color much like a moonlight. Twilight movie actress Kirsten Stewart and award-winning actress Meryl Streep have been seen wearing moonstones publicly.

The third gemstone for June is alexandrite. It is rare and has chameleon-like qualities. Alexandrite is basically yellow in color but it excitingly turns to red once exposed to light. This gemstone gives you two gems in one as it appears like an emerald in daylight while it looks like ruby at night. Aside from its natural beauty, women are attracted to it since it symbolizes happiness and good fortune.

Even better than having these pieces of jewelry is the idea that you own exquisite pieces that are one of a kind. Such is the case for handcrafted jewelry. Each piece is painstakingly designed and beaded. There is also a huge consideration in quality as opposed to those manufactured commercially. Seeing that they are one of a kind, chances are you won’t find somebody else wearing the same beaded jewelry. Isn’t that sweet?

Wouldn’t you rather own something unique and exquisite? Let us know and we know just the place find some

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About June Birthstone - Pearls - Classic and Stylish

Pearls are June Birthstones: along with Pearl, Moonstone (Traditional: Alexandrite).

There is so much history about pearls that five (5) months claim them as their birthstone: February, April, June (traditional), July and November.

Pearls are an astral stone for the signs Gemini and Cancer are linked to the moon. Pearls have been called the “teardrops of the moon”. Some believe that pearls were formed by the passage of angels through the clouds of heaven.

Spiritual Benefits of wearing pearls:

  • Stimulates spiritual transformationjune pearls
  • Promotes prosperity and success
  • Encloses you with an aura of calm and beauty
  • Helps with stomach, digestion and emotional stress
  • Amplifies focus, meditation skills and wisdom
  • Helps balance the solar plexus chakra

Over time, the pearl has become the symbol of purity and innocence and it is often sewn into bridal gowns, or worn as jewelry by the bride.

Pearls are classic, elegant and may be expensive. They are very popular at the Gem Shows.

Queen Alexandra's Pearls*

Most fine jewellery in the 1900s was white and made from either diamonds or pearls. Queen Alexandra initially wore dog collar chokers, called a 'collier de chien' to cover a small scar on her neck.  

For state occasions and formal events she plastered herself in arrangements of pearl necklaces.  The rarity value of real pearls then was such that an American skyscraper exchanged hands for the price of a pearl necklace. This is not as ridiculous as it seems, since fine south sea pearls still command a high price.

Pearls were very fashionable, but still very, very costly.  After the 1890s, Kokichi Mikimoto of Japan, produced highly acceptable cultured pearls by placing a small bead into an oyster shell. The bead coated itself with nacre (mother of pearl) and so good looking pearl jewels became more affordable.

Various combinations of pearl necklaces come in and out of fashion with regularity so pearls too are a must.  Both fake and real freshwater or cultured pearls are very affordable today. The price of pearls has dropped by about a fifth in the past 10 years and the Chinese are making waves in the pearl world with their cheaper prices. The Japanese have suffered disease in their pearl beds as well as facing competition and are finding it hard to compete with China's prices.

Value of Pearls

In the early 1900's, the financier Morton F. Plant exchanged the building for a Cartier two-strand Oriental pearl necklace much coveted by a woman he admired.

A pearl is judged by its luster, size and markings. Although baroque, or unevenly formed, pearls have often been popular, it is the perfectly round ones that are now most desired. The best have a creamy, slightly pinkish glow. Black pearls (actually, a sort of silver-gray shade) are also coveted. Pearls are measured in millimeters, with 7 to 7.5 considered respectably modest while something larger than 10 millimeters becomes pretty important. For the last 70 years, they have been ''farmed,'' which means the deformities have been given a helping hand. These pearls are called cultured, and today natural pearls are extremely rare.

Most of the cultured pearls, Mr. Mondschein says, come from Japan, while the largest ones come from the South Seas, Burma, Tahiti and Australia. Pearls should always be kept in a soft pouch; they can be professionally cleaned with soap and water. ''But spray perfume is the killer,'' says Mr. Mondschein. ''I've seen people ruin pearls that way. And once the bloom is off the pearl, it can never come back.''

Article by Linda Blatchford

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