June Birthstone #1: Pearl

Can you believe it is already June 1st?!

Happy birthday month, June babies! I too am celebrating a birthday this month. As June babies, we are lucky enough to have three recognized birthstones: pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone. Born on June 3rd, I totally live up to my astrological sign, the Gemini. I crave variety, change, and novelty- and that's exactly what I got with the June birthstones.

Since the American Gem Society has designated three unique and beautiful stones for this month, I am going to break up my birthstone blog into three separate posts. Today, we'll cover the pearl!

Pearl:

Pearl is a unique birthstone because it is the only one that originates from a living animal! I love pearls because their formation lends itself to so many anecdotes about life. All pearls originate as an "irritant" within a mollusk- such as an uncomfortable grain of sand. The mollusk begins to secrete layers of nacre around the irritant in an attempt to sooth and self-nurture the discomfort. These layers of nacre eventually build up over the "irritant" and result in a lustrous pearl! I love that pearls form this way- I think its a great metaphor for life. Kind of a twist on the old "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade" saying. Suffering and hardship can be inevitable sometimes- but often it is the rubble that something beautiful is built on.

Pearls have been considered prized gemstones for many centuries. Chemically, pearls are a calcium carbonate that form with a crystalline structure. Pearls that form in the wild are incredibly rare. The vast majority of the pearls on the market today are cultured pearls. Cultured pearls form when humans intervene by implanting the "irritant" within the mussel or oyster for the nacre to form around. Culturing pearls made them much more affordable and available to everyone. It also gave humans the ability to create pearls that were much more uniform in appearance.

Ancient texts from nearly every religion and every part of the world make references to pearls. The pearl has long been regarded as a symbol of preciousness, purity, and of transformation.

Wearing pearls requires some extra care. Their surface is soft and the luster can be damaged if not cared for properly. Pearl jewelry should always be the last thing you put on when getting ready and the first thing you take off upon getting home. Never apply make-up, lotions, hairspray, or perfume while wearing your pearls as it can deteriorate the surface of your pearls.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday and a fabulous first day of June! Check in tomorrow to learn all about Alexandrite!


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