The June birthstone is different from most other birthstones as it is not a mineral that is mined in the ground but an organic object that grows within a living object.
Pearls develop within certain living shelled molluscs. They are formed by the mollusc as a defence against an irritant, a foreign body, which has penetrated its hard outer shell and entered the soft inner mantle tissue whilst the mollusc had its shell valve open for feeding or respiration. To overcome this irritant the mollusc seals it off by forming a Pearl Sac which surrounds it. Over time the mollusc deposits a substance called Nacre, which is mainly composed of Calcium Carbonate, inside this Sac and this builds up layer upon layer until, if conditions are right, a Pearl is formed.
There are two main types of Pearls: Freshwater and Saltwater pearls. Both of these can be either wild pearls or cultured pearls. Wild pearls are naturally occurring and have had no human intervention. An irritant has been artificially inserted by pearl farmers into the mantle of a mollusc to form a Cultured pearl. The earliest known record of pearl culturing is by Buddhist monks in China in the thirteenth century.
Freshwater pearls form in the Unionidae family of molluscs which occur in rivers, lakes, ponds and other freshwaters. Saltwater pearls grow within the Pteriidae family of pearl oysters in the ocean. These oysters are mainly found in volcanic atolls or lagoons.
Pearls are found (or cultured) in many parts of the world including: the South Pacific, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific coast of Mexico, Australia, Japan, China, Europe (including Scotland) and the USA.
Wild Pearls (which are also referred to as Natural Pearls) are extremely rare and by their nature are the most valuable. To find a wild pearl thousands of pearl mussels or pearl oysters have to be opened. For centuries this was the only way that a pearl could be found.
X-rays and microscopes can be used to examine the centre of the pearl and distinguish between Wild (Natural) Pearls and Cultured Pearls. The growth rings of calcium carbonate of the Pearl can be seen by the X-ray machines.
Top quality pearls have a metallic mirror like luster. This luster depends on the thickness and number of layers that have made the pearl as these translucent layers effect the reflection, reflection and diffraction of light. In general, the more layers and the thinner the layers, the better the pearl is.
Pearls are traditionally (and naturally) seen as a milky white colour but they can be dyed black, blue, brown, green, pink, purple or yellow. It is usually freshwater cultured pearls that have been dyed.
all precious gemstones the value of a pearl is determined by its shape, size,
orientation, colour, luster and quality of surface. Like for like wild pearls
are much more expensive than cultured pearls whilst Imitation pearls, which
are widely available, have little value. Large perfectly round high quality
wild pearls are the most valuable and sought after.
|History of the June Birthstone|
Pearls are steeped in history, myth and legend throughout the ages. More
|Jewellery and Gifts|
Pearls makes a lovely gift for a birthday, an anniversary, a special occasion or any time when you want to show you care. More
|The month of June|
|In Ancient Rome June was the fourth month of the year. June is now the sixth month of the year. More|
|June Birth Flower|
|The June Birth flower is the Rose. More|
|Pearls - 10 Facts|
|The pearl of Lao Tzu is the largest known pearl. It was found in 1934 in the Philippines. More|
|Birthstones, gems and precious stones|
|Generations of peoples from across the globe have revered precious stones not only for their obvious beauty but as symbols of power, good luck and mystery. Precious stones have high value and are compact and can be easily concealed and transported. More|
Our other websites include
Marchbirthstone.co.uk where you can find out many interesting facts about the birthstone for March, the Aquamarine.
Maybirthstone.co.uk where you can find out many interesting facts about the birthstone for May, the Emerald.
Julybirthstone.co.uk where you can find out many interesting facts about the birthstone for July, the Ruby.
The modern and traditional birthstone for June is the Pearl.The Pearl - the June Birthstone
As with all birthstones Pearls have been linked with a number of properties over the centuries. Pearls represent friendship, loyalty and faithfulness. Pearls were said to have healing properties for health problems associated with the spleen, stomach, intestine and heart. Pearls were also said to have properties which encourage modesty, purity and chastity.
A poem for the June Birthstone, the Pearl
comes with summer to this earth
And owes to June her hour of birth
A Pearl should wear against her skin
Who’ innocence many a heart shall win”