Pearls are a mystical gem, soft spheres lambent with a sheen similar to silky fabric exploring the morning light. Luminous like the moon, this jewel was appointed June's birthstone, appropriate for ushering in the summer solstice as we dream of beachy waves lapping the shore.
These orbs glow with soft pastel colors dancing beneath the surface, interacting lazily with one another like paint stirred in a cup. Pearls have a hazy luminescence due to the way they form. Inception starts as an irritant penetrating the soft inner tissues of a mollusk. Out of self-preservation, the mollusk layers nacre over the intruder layer by layer. This process takes time, typically years, but well worth the wait to form a fully finished pearly prize that does not need any additional grooming like cutting or polishing. These nacreous layers diffuse light creating the familiar pearlescent warmth that is beloved as a quintessential jewelry staple.
Nature nurtures pearls into fruition, but the labor of love does not stop there. After farming, cultivated or natural pearls still need to be sorted by size, shape, and color to determine what they will become. Matching a pearl strand is an attentive job that requires patience and expertise.
Before the art of cultivation, pearl jewelry was a rare treat since it was an exhaustive and expensive process to match enough natural pearls to form a necklace strand. The final product would be an investment such as the double pearl strand of one hundred and twenty-eight perfectly matched pearls owned by Maisie Plant. In 1905 this piece was worth approximately a million dollars and was used to purchase the Cartier Mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York. Evidence of the infamous necklace can still be seen as it is worn by Mrs. Plant in her portrait residing in the mansion.
Soon after this historic exchange, Mikimoto Kōkichi patented pearl cultivation. He was displeased with the flaws found in naturally produced pearls and set out to create a process perfecting their creation.
Cultivated pearls endure the same time-consuming process as natural pearls, but with human intervention. The irritant introduced is pre-planned and guides color, shape, and size to accommodate the middle market jewelry, thus allowing for a plethora of design options and more availability amongst the masses. Fingers flutter, begging to try on rotund button pearl specimens, shimmering with diamonds.
Pearls are a delicate organic gem that are soft and porous. This means that they can absorb oils or be scratched by other jewelry. When getting ready, always save the best for last and adorn yourself with pearls post make-up and lotion. To care for your pearls properly, be sure to wipe them clean before storing in a soft cloth avoiding direct heat and sunlight.
At Wilson's Estate Jewelry, we are pleased to offer lovely pearl jewelry to celebrate those with a June birthday.
Our favorite piece for June is our regal Victorian brooch featuring a rare pink conch pearl.
Shop our entire selection here and find the pearl made for you.