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Spotlight on: June’s Birthstone Pearl

There are three birthstones for June; moonstone, alexandrite, and the most traditional pearl. Pearls are mysterious gems that don’t even come from the places most precious gemstones are found! A pearl is an irritation that has been transformed into a beautiful globe by patient layers of nacre inside an oyster.

Once, pearls were treasures discovered by deep sea divers who risked their lives in hopes of finding one. One of the most famous pearls in history was named “La Peregrina”, The Wanderer. The story is that a slave in Panama found it and gave it to purchase his freedom in the 1500s. By 1570 it was in the possession of King Philip II of Spain, then went to England and Mary I, then to France with Prince Louis Napoleon. He sold it to the Marquis of Abercorn and the jewel stayed in England until Richard Burton bought it in 1969 for Elizabeth Taylor. Today, this pear-shaped white pearl hangs from a platinum, diamond-studded mount. It is one and a half inches long, but it is not the largest known pearl.

The largest pearl found so far weighs a little over 14 pounds and it’s called “the Pearl of Lao Tzu” or sometimes “the Pearl of Allah” because it looks sort of like a turban. It came from a giant clam off the coast of Palawan in 1934. It’s impressive, but it isn’t what you’d want to wear as jewelry.

Today pearls are mostly cultured, that small irritant is placed in a young oyster and the oyster is carefully nurtured for 7 to 9 years in an oyster farm.

It’s not the romantic deep sea adventure story, but it brings pearls into the picture as a charming present for the “June baby” you love. Pearls are classic gems that can be crafted into many styles of beautiful jewelry perfect for that birthday gift.

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