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Birthstone Guide for June – Pearl

The birthstone for June is the pearl – one of nature’s wonders. Whilst some pearls are incredibly expensive and valuable, it’s now easy to find real pearl jewellery at a fraction of the price thanks to carefully developed pearl farming techniques.

Here, we provide a little more detail about the creation of pearls and why you don’t need to empty your bank account to afford beautiful real pearl accessories like earrings, pendants and bracelets.

How are pearls made?

A naturally formed pearl is created underwater, inside the shell of an oyster. To us pearls are beautiful stones used in jewellery and accessories, but to the oyster the pearl is a defence mechanism.

Oysters create pearls to trap bits of sand or grit that find their way into the oyster’s shell, and typically act as an irritant. Pearls are formed layer by layer, and the process can take a decade.

Natural pearls are hard to find, but it’s possible to ‘culture’ or ‘farm’ pearls, typically in fresh water, by inserting a grain of sand or larger object into the shell of a mollusc. Most cultured pearls are grown around a bead, creating a relatively smooth, spherical pearl that can be made in as little as six months. The size of the bead used also influences the final size of the pearl, which means that this can be controlled as long as the molluscs used are of a suitable size.

How do freshwater cultured pearls look?

If you’re buying jewellery online, using the Delicate Dreams website, then your purchase is likely to feature a freshwater cultured pearl. They come in a wide variety of colours, typically with a marbled effect, and include imperfections or ‘pitting’ formed as part of the natural process.

Entirely smooth and rounded pearls are valuable and expensive, whilst cultured pearls with slight imperfections are available for a much lower price as costume jewellery or a more reasonably-priced accessory.

The pearl farmer can control the size and shape of the pearl, creating round pearls like the ones used for this single pearl pendant, or oval-shaped like the pearls used for our white mother of pearl bracelet. Flat, coin-shaped pearls can also be easily produced.

What colours can pearls be?

If left to grow naturally, pearls are usually white or a light pink or purple. Typically, these pale colours will all form together as part of a marbled effect, though it is possible to get perfectly white, pink and lavender pearls that have been produced without human input.

Pearls can also be dyed to produce a stronger colour or to change their colour completely. Almost any colour can be used, from a sophisticated black to bright green or blue.

What does the June birthstone mean?

Pearls are said to symbolise purity, modesty and loyalty. They’ve been used in jewellery for hundreds of years, and have been worn by everyone from Anne Boleyn to Kate Middleton. Pearls are a classic accessory, which means that high-quality pearl jewellery is often passed down from generation to generation as something of a family heirloom.

Why not take a look at some of the pearl jewellery that we sell, with fast delivery as the perfect gift for June birthdays?

We’ve also added a board to Pinterest that features celebrities wearing pearls. Do you have anyone for us to add?