March 18, 2021

June's Birthstone: The Incomparable Pearl

June's Birthstone the Pearl

 

“From the sea I bring you treasure my love

the bounty from Neptune's domain.

With his blessing I bring a purse full of pearls. 

I have travelled far and wide with salt winds in my eyes

to bring you a purse full of pearls.”

Christos Andreas Kourtis

 

Each of the twelve months has a unique birthstone associated with it. The Pearl belongs to June.

ANCIENT ORIGINS OF BIRTHSTONES

The history behind birthstones stretches back to Biblical times. Scholars believe that the first twelve birthstones were associated with the ceremonial breastplate crafted for Moses’ brother Aaron, a high priest. The breastplate was set with twelve gemstones, each symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel.

Gemstone Breastplate of Aaron

 Statue of Hebrew High Priest Aaron, brother of Moses, wearing his gemstone breastplate. Photo courtesy of the Gem Society.

 

The practice originally was to wear all twelve gemstones throughout the year. Originally, the stones were not considered special to those born in a certain month.

Later, the gemstones became associated with the twelve months of the year and the astrological signs of the zodiac. 

With their association with the zodiac, each gemstone gradually gained different meanings and personality traits said to be intrinsic to the wearer.

 

BIRTHSTONES IN MODERN TIMES

There have been countless changes from the original twelve gemstones to the list we know today.

The modern birthstone list that we go by now was officially published in 1912 by the National Jewelers Association.

There have been a few changes and additions since then, but the Pearl has always been listed as the birthstone for June. 

Interestingly, Pearl is the only "Organic Gemstone" on the list.

 

WHAT ARE THE BIRTHSTONES

Each gemstone corresponds to a particular month of the year and its astrological sign. The chart below lists each of the traditional birthstones and their special meanings:

Birthstone Chart

 

 

 

THE MEANINGS OF THE PEARL BIRTHSTONE

The Meanings of the Pearl Birthstone

 

Pearls have long represented:

  • Purity
  • Innocence
  • Romance
  • Tradition
  • Spirituality
  • Ancient Wisdom

Long Life, Health, Blessings and Prosperity are all good things that wearers of the June birthstone can hope to attract.

  • Wearing pearls is said to calm anxiety and ease troubled thoughts.
  • Pearls aid you in connecting with your inner creativity. 
  • Traditionally, wearing pearls will contribute to a long, stable marriage blessed with many children.
  • These lustrous gems are also said to ease childbirth as well, so husbands be sure to get pearl jewelry as a "Push Present!"

 

HISTORY & LEGENDS OF PEARLS

An organic gemstone, pearls may just be the oldest precious gemstone known to man.

The oldest pearl found was recently discovered off the coast of Abu Dhabi and dates to Neolithic times, around 8,000 years old! The pearl was found by archaeologists excavating an ancient burial tomb of a female, possibly ancient royalty.

Many Egyptian tombs have also been found to contain pearls to aid the deceased souls in the afterlife. 

The Oldest Pearl in the World

The oldest pearl in the world, found during a tomb excavation of a Persian princess. Currently on exhibit at the Louvre Museum, Paris. Photo courtesy Discovery News. 

 

The ancients from all over the world revered the pearl for its beauty, simplicity and unique lustrous glow.

Pliny the Elder told of a (now very famous) story concerning Cleopatra and Marc Antony, the star-crossed lovers. The couple were debating about who could spend the most lavishly, and who could "devour the fortune of a whole nation in just one meal." 

They made a wager which Cleopatra promptly won the next evening by removing a large tear-drop shaped pearl earring from her ear and dissolving the pearl in a goblet of vinegar (tabes is the word that Pliny used) and drinking it down.

Cleopatra

Cleopatra

 

Whether this fantastic story is actually true (that would be some killer vinegar, maybe literally!) remains to be seen. But the legend has persisted throughout the years, and only continues to add to the pearl's mystique. 

The Ancient Greeks and Hindus both gifted pearls to young brides on the eve of their weddings. 

The Greeks believed that the pearl would protect the young bride from evil, and would bolster the success of the marriage. Young brides would wear a string of pearls, or have pearls woven into their Stefana (the traditional wedding crown) along with olive leaves, ribbons and flowers. 

Greek Stefana wedding crown with pearls

 The traditional Stefana, or wedding crown, dates back to ancient Greece and is still in use today. Stefana's can be adorned with pearls, ribbons and olive leaves. Photo courtesy of art to fit

 

The Hindu tradition of wearing pearls at a wedding is said to have begun when the god Vishnu gifted his daughter Pandaia with pearls that he plucked from the sea on her wedding day. 

Pearls and brides have been a traditional pairing ever since! 

 

FAMOUS PEARLS 

Famous Pearls and Pearl Jewelry

Audrey Hepburn wearing her famous Multi-Strand Pearl Necklace in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Photo courtesy of Le Tote

 

Out of the millions of pearls that have passed through countless hands, there are a few that nearly everyone knows about.

The most famous pearls in history are:

  • La Peregrina, also known as The Wanderer
  • The Pearl of Allah, the world's largest pearl
  • The Baroda Pearls
  • The Cartier Pearls
  • The Dodge Pearls
  • The Hope Pearl
  • La Regente, also known as La Pearle Napoleon 
  • The Lover's Knot Pearl Tiara, part of the Crown Jewels
  • Marilyn Monroe's Mikimoto Pearl Necklace

 

CELEBRITIES WITH THE PEARL BIRTHSTONE

There are many famous celebrities that can claim the pearl as their lucky birthstone. 

  • Judy Garland
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Johnny Depp
  • Natalie Portman
  • Kanye West
  • Liam Neeson
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Zoe Saldana
  • Elon Musk
  • Chris Pratt
  • Henry VIII, King of England
  • Prince William, Prince of England
  • Marilyn Monroe 

and many more. 

If you share the Pearl as your birthstone, it looks like you're rubbing elbows with some pretty amazing people! 

 

HOW TO WEAR YOUR PEARL BIRTHSTONE

How to Wear Pearl Jewelry

 

Pearls are perhaps one of the most versatile gemstones you can wear. Simultaneously elegant and casual, pearls can be worn to any occasion and with any outfit ...

From your favorite Little Black Dress to jeans and a sweater, pearls always look amazing. 

Choose from a classic White Pearl Necklace to simple Pearl Earrings, modern Pearl pendants, long Pearl Ropes and more.

There are endless ways to add a touch of glamour and elegance no matter what you're wearing that day. 

Some of our most popular and timeless offerings include

Hanadama Akoya Pearl Necklace, 8.5-9.0mm

 Japanese Hanadama Akoya Pearl Necklace, 8.5-9.0mm

 

 

Tahitian Pearl Dangle Earrings

Tahitian Pearl Dangle Earrings

 

Hanadama Akoya Pearl Stud Earrings

White Hanadama Akoya Pearl Stud Earrings, 7.0-7.5mm

 

Japanese Akoya Pearl Necklace, 7.0-7.5mm

Japanese Akoya Pearl Necklace, 7.0-7.5mm

 

White South Sea Pearl and Diamond Lily Pendant

White South Sea Pearl and Diamond Lily Pendant

 

Tahitian Drop-Shape Ballerina Collection Pearl Pendant

 

Tahitian Drop-Shaped Pearl Ballerina Pendant

 

White Freshwater Double Strand Pearl Necklace, 7.5-8.0mm

White Freshwater Double Strand Pearl Necklace, 7.5-8.0mm

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT PICKING THE PERFECT PEARLS

PurePearls.com offers tons of resources dedicated to giving you the inside information you need to make an informed decision before you purchase your pearls. 

Our most popular How To articles include:

How To Pick the Perfect Pearl Necklace Length

Freshwater vs Akoya Pearls: Which Pearl Type is Best

The Expert's Guide to Pearl Sizes

Or you can visit our Pearl Education Center for access to all of our comprehensive education articles to become a pearl expert! 

 


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