The pearl birthstone is a favourite of millions and is the only precious stone to be created by a living organism. Talk about a unique birthstone!
There are two types of pearls: Natural (non-nacreous) and Cultured (nacreous). Natural pearls happen accidentally, naturally and can occur in just about any salt or fresh-water mollusc. Coming in three basic forms, they can be shaped as whole-round pearls, blister pearls and blisters.
Nacreous pearls are formed by irritants, such as a single grain of sand that’s added by people. To create a the best and most valuable cultured pearl, the irritant should only be stimulated inside of the mollusc and nothing more, allowing nature to then take its course.
Cultured pearls come many different colours with two specific factors that determine its overall colour: Body Colour and Overtone. The Body Colour is the base of the pearl’s colouring, such as white, cream, black or gold whereas, the Overtone is considered to be the secondary colour or tint. This is the most visual colour, i.e. pink, rose, peacock or blue.
Unlike most other gemstones, pearls are extremely fragile and soft which makes a lot of room for marring and other small imperfections. Usually, the bigger a pearl is, the more imperfections it will contain which is why large, minimally marked natural pearls found in the wild are extremely rare and very seldom found for an affordable price.
In order to create a fine cultured pearl, professionals let pearled oysters sit for a minimum of two to three years. This develops what is called nacre and gives the pearl its layer of protection as well as that beautiful sheen with ridges and swoops.
Also known as the Stone of Sincerity, pearls signify faith, charity and innocence to enhance one’s personal integrity, bring the truth to light and inhibit boisterous behaviour. Other mystical qualities derive from ancient Chinese myths that say pearls fell from the sky where dragons fought, ancient legends that state pearls are the tears of gods and ancient Greek legends that believed pearls were drops of love to be worn and prevent newlywed women from crying.
Besides its legendary qualities, pearls are believed to also hold healing powers. People who believe strongly in a pearl’s healing power, ingest them to cure bloating and biliousness along with stronger powers of increasing chance of childbirth and easing pain from giving birth.
In today’s day and time, pearls are used to symbolise June birthdays and 30th wedding anniversaries. One quality pearls did carry over from ancient legends is the purity and innocence that shows through when worn. There is something so wholesome about pearls, alone, that make it a favourite for office wear, formal occasions and most popularly, bridal jewellery.
Women are coming up with newer, more modern ways of wearing pearls by adding other precious stones, such as diamonds or coloured gemstones to make the pearl pop. Another popular way women are wearing pearl necklaces is by either layering them or wearing long strands of pearls
However you choose to gift a woman with pearls, whether it’s a fancy ring, gorgeous earrings or a magnificent necklace, you can’t ever go wrong because she’ll love them the minute she lays her eyes on her brand new pearls!
And women, don’t forget that pearls can be given to men as birthday and anniversary gifts too! While you won’t see a man with a string of pearls around his neck, men do enjoy tie clips, cufflinks and money clips accented or set by pearl. As long as it keeps a masculine look, don’t be afraid to give a valuable gift of pearl to the guy in your life!