Pearls are the traditional Birthstone of June. They are believed to be one of the oldest known gem stones and we don’t really know when people started harvesting them. Pearls were the first truly prized gems because of their beauty and rarity, they need no enhancements such as cutting or polishing to help admire their captivating beauty.
Ancient Hindu writings refer to pearls as bringing longevity and prosperity. An ancient story tells of a Krishna who brought pearls to give to his daughter as a gift on the day she was to marry. This Hindu story is one of the earliest known accounts of pearls and weddings. The ancient Greeks also believed pearls should be a part of the wedding. They thought pearls would bring love and all guests of the wedding were adorned in pearls. Pearls were sacred wedding gems given as gifts.
Pearls come in two main categories: freshwater cultured pearls and saltwater cultured pearls. Freshwater cultured pearls are grown in lakes and rivers, whereas saltwater cultured pearls are grown in bodies of saltwater such as bays.
Quality pearls are very durable, but proper care is necessary to keep them beautiful and lustrous. Gently wipe the pearls with a warm, damp cloth to remove body oils or dirt (which may harm the colors) before putting them away. Wash pearls periodically with mild soap (NOT detergent) and a soft cloth. When finished washing the pearls, rinse them in clean water and wrap them in a thin, damp cotton towel to dry. If the pearls are especially dirty, wipe the pearl with acetone polish remover. Acetone will not hurt pearls. DO NOT use jewelry cleaners with ammonia or vinegar in them
Today Pearls are commercially cultured to bring them into a price range that is affordable for everyone in jewelry.