June is here and June babies have more than one reason to be proud of their birthday month: They have three gemstones to choose from: Alexandrite, Moonstone and Pearl.

Alexandrite is as versatile as the Gemini herself. This gemstone can be hard to find but it’s definitely worth the search—the color of an Alexandrite can change based on the lighting.

Moonstone joins the pearl and the Alexandrite as one of June’s birthstones. This stone gives appears to radiate glow, much like the moon, and according to Far East beliefs, is said to induce sweet dreams.

But perhaps the most popular June birthstone is the Pearl, and for good reason.

Let us take you through the fascinating facts about the captivating yet somewhat mysterious June birthstone – the pearl. From how it’s created to how it’s obtained, check out the awe-inspiring details of this rare jewel.

Simple, elegant, beautiful.
Simple, elegant, beautiful.

 

A Beautiful Struggle
The creation of the pearl is strong proof that beauty can come from the most unexpected places. The life-cycle of the pearl begins when an oyster experiences a foreign substance, often sand or other debris, inside of its shell. As soon as the oyster recognizes this outside visitor, it starts to secrete a mineral called nacre around the substance. As layer after layer of nacre coats the piece of debris, what started as a defense mechanism forms into a luminous pearl.

 

Years in the making.
Years in the making.

 

Nature vs. Nurture
The process described above forms natural pearls and are quite rare and difficult to obtain. Therefore, pearl farmers create cultured pearls by introducing a “core” substance made of mussel shell into the oyster in order to stimulate the formation of the pearl. Once harvested, these pearls are cleaned and bleached before made into jewelry.

Anthony and Cleopatra  by Lerouisse, G. (18th century); Peterhof Palace, Petrodvorets, St. Petersburg, Russia; out of copyright
Anthony and Cleopatra by Lerouisse, G. (18th century); Peterhof Palace, Petrodvorets, St. Petersburg, Russia; out of copyright

 

 

 

A Luminous History
The history of the pearl dates back to 520 B.C. when it was found among the belongings of a Persian princess. Named the official birthstone of June in 1912, pearls are known to symbolize fertility, loyalty and friendship. Egyptian legend says that Cleopatra would dissolve pearls into a glass of wine before drinking it.

Back in black.
Back in black.

 

 

 

The Black Pearl Trend
In recent years, the popularity of Tahitian black pearls has surged. Tahitian pearls are formed inside of black-lipped oysters who are primarily found near the islands of French Polynesia. The mysterious allure of these velvet black jewels contributes to why they’ve recently become high in demand.

Liz loved pearls.
Liz loved pearls.

 

 

Pearls and High Society
Many famous beauties of the past and present like Jacqueline Kennedy, Princess Diana and Elizabeth Taylor were known to adorn themselves with a string of pearls to captivate their audience. In 1969, Richard Burton bought Elizabeth Taylor the famed, “La Peregrina Pearl” that cost $37,000. She famously wore the pearl for her role as a Tudor Queen in Anne of The Thousand Days.

From how it’s created to its radiant aesthetic, the pearl symbolizes beauty and classic elegance. If you’re seeking pearl jewelry to call your own, discover the pearl collection at Ritani.com.