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June Birthstone Pearl

Strand of PearlsJune's birthstone is the pearl, a brilliant gem that's organic in origin. Pearls, unlike most other gems, are created inside certain species of mollusks, such as oysters and clams. There are two kinds of pearls, natural and cultured. A natural pearl is formed when a small irritant, like a piece of sand, gets trapped inside the mollusk's soft tissue. This causes the animal to secret nacre, a substance known as "mother of pearl", which builds up, layer by layer, to produce a smooth, hardened pearl. Cultured pearls, which makes up the majority of pearls used in jewelry today, are made when an irritant is purposely introduced to the mollusk to facilitate pearl production.

Unlike diamonds and many gem stones, pearls don't need to be cut. They come out of their home ready to wear. Many ancient peoples such as the Persians, Hindus and Romans were drawn to this gem and used them to display their wealth and status. Roman women even wore pearls in their sleep to remind them how rich they were. In India, legend has it that pearls were dewdrops from heaven that fell into the ocean and caught by shellfish during the first rays of the rising sun. Soldiers and warriors wore the gemstones on their swords to symbolize the tears and sorrow that the weapon brings.

Pearl BraceletPearls naturally come in many, different colors such as black, blue, gold, lavender, pink and peach as well as the traditional and popular white and off-white varieties. Pearls can also be painted. They hold color, including rich metallics, very well. Pearls can be found all over the world including Mexico, Indonesia, Bavaria, the United States, Japan and Sri Lanka.

The pearl is a gem of modesty and purity. It is worn by many prides to denote these qualities. It has always been believed to be an agent of goodness and is supposed to bring the wearer comfort in difficult times. They are also thought to improve memory and solidify friendships. The gem was even used as a medicine. The Persians believed it could cure insanity, among other diseases. In Ancient China, it was given as an aid to increasing longevity. In modern times, some individuals utilize pearls in drinking water to stabilize hormones or wear them directly on the skin to alleviate headaches.

Pearls are a very sensitive gem. They can become dull if you don't wear them often or if you expose them to chemicals, including perfume and makeup. They should also be re-strung often - at least every other year - which makes them a high-maintenance jewel.

Birthstones: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December

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