June's birthstones - a choice of three
The month of June boasts three birthstones; Pearl, Alexandrite and Moonstone.
I shall be concentrating this post on Pearl though, as I use pearls in many of my designs.
Pearls have been cherished by humans throughout history.
In Persian mythology they were referred to as "tears of the gods"
Ancient Chinese believed they were created by the moon.
Pearls are the only birthstone which formed organically within a living creature; both salt and freshwater molluscs - ie. oysters and mussels.
A natural pearl is created when an irritant such as a grain of sand or more often a parasite enters through the shell opening. This causes the oyster or mussel to release nacre to cover it and smooth its edges to soothe the irritation, it then continues to cover it for the rest of its life.
Although they can still occur naturally, this is very rare and the demand or pearls is great so most of todays pearls are cultivated or cultured.
Pearls remain one of the most popular gems in the world. They can be used to compliment gemstones and work beautifully on their own too. Strings of pearls have been worn for many hundreds of years. Pearls are still the most popular gem for brides in many cultures.