Pearl: Birthstone of the Month

June Birthstone: Pearl

From pearls of wisdom to pearl jewellery, these naturally created stones have been associated with the finer things in life for thousands of years – they just need to come out of their shells!

So here is a list of 10 (kind of) interesting facts, myths and legends to impress your friends and family with about the birthstone for the month of June:

  1. Pearls are the only jewels created by a living animal. A natural pearl is found in less than 1 in every 10,000 wild oysters. Worth ordering them off the menu next time?
  2. All pearl oysters are born male and transform into females at around three years of age.
  3. The word pearl derives from a Latin word for the thigh-bone, which had been given to a thigh-shaped mollusc. Random!
  4. After many unsuccessful attempts, on July 11, 1893 Kokichi Mikimoto created the first cultured pearl. He created it on the Japanese island of Ojima, which became a centre for pearl production and had its name changed to Mikimoto Pearl Island. Cultured pearls are formed by tricking the mollusc into producing nacre by inserting a tissue graft from a donor oyster. Ingenious!
  5. Freshwater pearls account for approximately 95% of total global pearl production but are much less valuable than saltwater pearls. China produces the overwhelming majority of freshwater pearls in pearl farms that may range from a farmer's fishpond to massive lakes filled with over a million mussels. A single freshwater mussel will typically produce between 30 and 50 pearls at a time.
  6. Pearl oysters are also used for their shell (known as mother-of-pearl) and their meat. Yummy!
  7. The earliest record we have of pearls as precious objects are artefacts from Mesopotamia dated to around 2300 B.C.
  8. Recently, a two-thousand-year-old pearl was found in an Australian Aboriginal archaeological dig in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.Fair dinkum!
  9. La Peregrina (Spanish for ‘the incomparable’) is one of the most famous pearls in the world. The 500-year-old pearl is pear shaped and the size of a large pigeon’s egg. Its previous owners included the King of Spain, Napoleon Bonaparte and Elizabeth Taylor.
  10. Pearl as a given name grew in popularity in the nineteenth century. The name is seen to symbolise purity, rarity, delicacy, innocence and wealth – but did you know that many other popular girl’s names have derived from the word pearl? Margaret, Marjorie, Maggie, Peggy and even Gretchen, Greta or Rita, all originated from the word “Margarita,” meaning "pearl".

Pinterest Inspiration

When worn with clean colours and styled simply with bold metals and natural skin tones, pearls can burst out from their wealthy-heiress-in-the-country-manor stereotype and comfortably grace any modern outfit and be the new must-have accessories for your jewellery box.

Pinterest Inspiration

Pearl Heroes

“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography” - Federico Fellini

Shop our entire collection of pearl jewellery here

Share your love of pearls with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and tag #hsamuel

And our Pearl Birthstone Pinterest board will make you think about diving to the sea bed to find these wondrous gems!