Birthstone for June
This month the birthstone for anyone celebrating a birthday in June or has the star sign of Gemini or Cancer (21 to 30 June) is pearls. They symbolise purity, calmness, faith and truth. They are believed to bring luck, health and prosperity.
Created by a living organism
Telling someone who is about to purchase a pearl that it is formed by a living organism, may not inspire them. But the facts behind how they are created is fascinating. Pearls are formed when an irritant enters through the lip of a mollusc shell. To protect itself the mollusc expels a layer of nacre to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of nacre is deposited until a pearl is formed. This process can take from a year and anywhere up to 3 years.
The colours of pearl
The most common colour of a pearl is white. However, they are can be found in all types of colours ranging from natural white, golden, chocolate, pink and lavender. The rarest is the Black Pearl, and no we don’t mean the pirate ship from The Pirates of the Caribbean. Black pearls are formed in a specific type, the Tahitian black-lipped oyster.
Size really does matter
The bigger the pearl the more expensive it will be. This is because the size is related to how long it takes to form. Not all pearls are perfectly round, so those that are will also govern a higher price. The texture of the pearl also comes into consideration, those containing high lustre and have a smoother surface will be worth more.
Wild & Cultured Pearls
All pearls regardless of whether formed in saltwater or freshwater pearls are grown inside a mollusc. Saltwater pearls are found in oysters that live in seas and oceans. Freshwater pearls are found in mussels and grown in ponds, rivers and lakes. Both are known as wild pearls as they are formed by nature, whereas cultured pearls are man-made.
Mother of Pearl
Cultured pearls are developed in the same way except that the irritant, the mother of the pearl, is placed inside the shell by man, rather than nature. The overall process is the same however the nacre can take at least 3 years to be deposited and to form the right size pearl. Cultured pearls that are smaller in size have typically been removed too early.
Precious as a pearl
Pearls are synonymous with the word precious. Just think of how they are formed in nature, the very instinct to want to protect against no matter what and regardless of how long it takes. As people we too want to protect those closest to us, to keep them safe from harm. We may not deposit nacre but instead we cover them with love. People like pearls are precious.
The mystery behind the girl
One of the most famous paintings in the world to feature a pearl is The Girl with a Pearl Earring, painted by Johannes Vermeer. The painting is clothed in mystery. The female subject is seen wearing a blue headscarf and a single pearl earring. The picture inspired Tracy Chevalier to write her famous novel of the same title which later became a film starring Scarlett Johanson. Very little is known about the girl in the painting which only enhances its mystery.
Just spend a few minutes staring at the picture and you’ll find out why, you will soon start to wonder ‘who was she?’
The term Pearls of Wisdom
The saying ‘pearls of wisdom’, is based around how the pearl is formed. When life throws you an irritant, coat it in a protective layer until it becomes a pearl. To be filled with wisdom is the ‘quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgement’. People with wisdom are considered to be wise.
Quotes of Wisdom
Throughout history famous people have provided words of wisdom. These quotes are used today to provide knowledge, inspiration and hope in the modern world. Here are 5 of our favourites:
- William Shakespeare – “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
- Francis Bacon – “Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.”
- Langston Hughes – “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly.”
- Jimi Hendrix – “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.”
- Winston Churchill – “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Celebrating Pearls in June
Pearls never go out of style. They are pure and elegant, providing the wearer with so much more than just a piece of Jewellery. This June fill your mind with wisdom and celebrate this timeless gemstone by wearing pearls.