June Birthstone: The Pearl.
June 1, 2011 by Jacki Christopher
Every gemstone has a story—each is a stunning example of God’s creative hand in the physical world. But few gems have a tale that is as unique and fascinating as the pearl. This month as we go inside the life of a pearl—June’s signature birthstone.
Job 28:18: No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls.
Unlike most colored gemstones, pearls are not formed or found within rocks or mines. Pearls are created within the body of mollusks—shelled ocean-dwelling creatures like clams, conchs, and certain species of oysters. When the fleshy body of these creatures is stimulated or irritated by a foreign object such as a piece of sand or injured piece of flesh, the mollusk will begin to coat the intruder with nacre, which is the same iridescent material that lines the inside of the mollusk’s shell. Over a period of months or years, this coating and re-coating process results in a pearl.
Matthew 7:6: Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
Natural or “wild” pearls are 100% nacre—they contain no intruder to stimulate pearl production and they are highly rare. Today, pearl farmers insert a piece of interior mollusk shell (mantle) or a bead into the folds of the mollusk. This is known as “culturing.”
Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls
While perliculture (the development and harvesting of pearls) was once an exclusively Japanese endeavor, today the majority of the world’s akoya pearls come from China. Pearls are farmed in both saltwater and freshwater sources. While akoya pearls can be harvested after about one year, freshwater pearls can take as many as seven years to reach completion.
When evaluating pearls, jewelry experts look at factors such as luster, shape, size, color and quality (smoothness) of the pearl’s surface. Luster refers to a pearl’s characteristic iridescence. Like a diamond’s “brilliance,” this is what give’s the pearl its unique, shining quality. A small pearl of high luster could easily out-value a much larger pearl of low luster. As in diamonds and other colored gemstones, size is not the number one determinant in a gem’s value.
Our Favorite Selections From The Apples Of Gold Pearl Collection:
8-9mm White Freshwater Pearl Necklace. Made of the finest freshwater pearls from china, this 17” strand of round pearls is certain to delight. Pearl luster is graded “excellent.” Affordably priced, this necklace is a perfect “first set” of pearls for a young woman celebrating a June birthday.
Tahitian Pearl & Diamond Summer Ring. Pearls from French Polynesia are revered for their dramatic size and bold colors. This 10mm Tahitian black pearl is surrounded by a string of small diamonds and set in 18K white gold. Elegant, classy, unique.
9mm Golden South Sea Pearl Stud Earrings. Gold pearls are highly rare and represent only a fraction of the annual pearl harvest. These 9mm golden beauties are graded “superior” for luster and are set on 14K yellow gold posts.
To browse more Apple of Gold pearl jewelry, click HERE.
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