June's Birthstone: Pearl
Whether natural or cultured or natural, Pearls have been sought after for many, many years. Both cultured and natural Pearls are created inside the body of certain mollusks. A small irritant inside the mollusks will cause the creation of Pearls. In the case of cultured Pearls, a skilled technician goes through an extensive process for every individual Pearl. The very first processes for cultured pearls began hundreds of years ago in China.
The oldest written mention of natural Pearls was in 2206 BC by a Chinese historian. Royals as well as wealthy families over the ages have strongly desired the natural Pearl, and passed pieces down through generations. Because of its shape, the Pearl has been associated with the Moon across cultures. In ancient China, they were thought to protect against fire and fire-breathing dragons.
Although the white and cream colors of Pearls are most widely recognized, Pearls can present in every hue from grey to yellow, orange, pink and lavender, as well as green and blue.