Pearls Rings

Summer is all about the beach, and anyone celebrating in the month summer begins can enjoy the ultimate beach gemstone – pearl is the official birthstone of June. But what do you know about pearls and just how special they are?

About Pearls

Pearls are the only gem created by a living animal. Different types of mollusks, including certain clams, oysters and mussels, can create pearls. When an irritant, such as a grain of sand, is introduced to the mollusk’s tissue, the animal reacts by depositing layer after layer of nacre, a calcium carbonate compound, over the irritant to coat it and protect their tissues. Over time, those layers build up to what we recognize as a pearl.

Pearls are highly variable and can be different shapes, colors and sizes. The most valuable and sought-after pearls are the purest white, round, large gems, but all types of pearls can make stunning jewelry. Shapes that aren’t quite round can often be cleverly set to conceal their irregularities, while pear or teardrop-shaped pearls are valuable for dangling designs. Pearl colors can vary from white and ivory to tan, beige, brown, black, gray and silver, or may have even more colorful tints such as yellow, pink, blue, mauve and lavender.

Rose Gold Diamond Rings

Pearls can form anywhere mollusks are abundant, and different types of pearls are named for their geographic origins. South Sea pearls are found in the waters off Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines, while Akoya pearls are native to Japan and China. Tahitian pearls are from Tahiti, while Hanadama pearls are another Japanese pearl. Geographic location is important, because pearl characteristics vary depending on the water quality and composition where the pearl is formed, as well as the type of mollusk that creates the pearl.

Pearl Symbolism

Pearls have been valued as elegant gems for millennia, and there are many symbolic associations with pearls. Different legends ascribe wistful and romantic origins to pearls, such as pearls being mermaids’ tears or dewdrops from the moon that have fallen into the sea. In Greek mythology, pearls are believed to be tears of joy shed by Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and many religions ascribe sacred properties to pearls. In India, pearls were often added to swords and other weaponry to remind soldiers of the sorrows of war.

These gems are often associated with innocence, purity and chastity, as well as modesty and love. They enhance a sense of calm and integrity, and help foster happiness, authenticity and success. In addition to their symbolic properties, pearls are often believed to have medicinal qualities. Until the 1600s, pearls were widely used for different medications, particularly for stomach ailments, intestinal illnesses and ulcers, as well as to cure insanity.

Pearl Rings and Jewelry

Pearls have been used as adornments for thousands of years, particularly for royal jewels or religious emblems. Because pearls are naturally lustrous and lack harsh glares or stark hues, they can flatter all skin tones and complexions, and today pearls are popular in all types of jewelry.

Spinel Cut Engagement Rings

Pearl rings may be elegant solitaires or may be paired with diamonds or colored gemstones for extra sparkle and flair, and halo settings are particularly popular. Pearl necklaces come in various lengths and may be single strands or layered strands for a bolder statement. Single pearls, especially larger gems or more unusual shapes, make ideal pendants, and both round and teardrop pearls make lovely earrings. Brooches, bracelets and other types of jewelry are also popular with pearls, and these stones can be found in all distinct jewelry eras, from Victorian, Art Deco and Edwardian designs to more modern and vintage-inspired pieces.

Other June Birthstones

While pearls are universally popular and versatile in many different jewelry designs, they may not be perfect for everyone. Fortunately, there are other options for symbolic June associations, and both alexandrite and moonstone are alternative birthstones for this summer month. Zodiac signs associated with June also have their own symbolic gems, including agate for the twins of Gemini and emerald for the crab of Cancer.

No matter what you may be celebrating in June or what type of jewelry you are interested in, pearls can be the ideal choice. See our complete collection of pearl jewelry to find the perfect piece for all your momentous June occasions!

June Birthstones