June Birthstone Feature: Pearl
The Pearl, June’s Lustrous Birthstone
What is it about the lure of pearls? Is it the nacre that practically glows against the skin? Is it that each natural pearl is a tiny miracle, the only gemstone made by a living creature? Whatever your reason for loving pearls, you’re not alone. Pearls have been cultivated and appreciated by humans since 2206 BC! Any way you look at them, pearls are classic, versatile gemstones that beg you to incorporate them into your jewelry-making routine.
A cultured pearl is created when an irritant such as a piece of shell is placed in a mollusk. The mollusk secretes nacre to cover the irritant and then a pearl is formed. A natural pearl is one in which the irritant finds its own way into the mollusk; the nacre secretion process is exactly the same!
Don’t assume the real deal is out of your financial reach! Halcraft supplies a variety of genuine cultured pearls in many shapes, colors, and sizes to the Bead Gallery that are affordable and beautiful.
- Color: Natural pearls can range from bright white to cream to peach to pitch black; pearls can also be dyed and are often coated to be any color of the rainbow!
- Care: Pearls are very soft and can be easily scratched. Avoid excessive sunlight and heat, and never apply chemicals like hair spray or perfume while wearing pearls, which can damage the pearl’s nacre. Never place your pearls in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner; instead, use a soft, clean cloth to wipe down your pearls after wearing.
- Meanings/Properties: Pearls are said to balance the body as well as harmonize the wearer with the natural world. Because of their almost luminescent quality, they’re often associated with the moon.
- Uses: Pearls are believed to promote purity and good health.
- Not sure if your pearl is real? Rub it against the fronts of your teeth in a side to side motion. A real pearl has a slightly rough texture that you’ll be able to sense as you do this. Click here for more ways to test to make sure your pearls are real.
- A Chinese historian recorded the oldest written mention of natural pearls in 2206 BC.
- Black pearls—which are mostly cultured because they are so rare in nature—aren’t actually black but rather green, purple, blue or silver.
Here’s this month’s pearl birthstone project. You can find all of the materials necessary to make your own at your local Michaels Store!
Click these links to learn more about pearls and how to use them in your jewelry designs: