The birthstone for June is Pearl. The English word 'Pearl' comes from the French word 'Perle'.
Pearls are made of calcium carbonate, just like the shell or mollusk that produces the pearl. With a nacreous and iridescent appearance it is easy to see why these gems have been used in jewellery and as adornments for centuries.
Pearls occur naturally in the wild, however, these are incredibly rare and therefore valuable. The vast majority of pearls used in jewellery are Cultured Pearls, which are farmed. Pearl oysters are used to produce salt water cultured pearls and river mussels are used to produce fresh water cultured pearls.
Cultured pearls are used in jewellery and are often used in gold as they can fetch a high premium, generally, the larger the pearl the higher the price.
There are also imitation pearls used in jewellery, which are produced to imitate the appearance of cultured pearls but are in fact not produced by mollusks. Imitation pearls are usually made with mother of pearl, coral or conch shell and then coated with a solution to give the appearance of cultured pearls. Imitation pearls give the appearance of cultured pearls but at a much lower price point so are used more often in costume jewellery etc.
Whilst we have a small selection of pearl jewellery on our website, we have a much larger collection of pearl jewellery in our shop.