June is traditionally a month for weddings when many fashionable brides glide down the aisle wearing a string of pearls as a symbol of beauty and purity.
Those born in the sixth month of the year have a choice of birthstones and the pearl is the most exotic (the other choices are Alexandrite and Moonstone). Pearls range in color from creamy white to purplish black and have graced the necks of some of the most stylish women in history – Princess Diana, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. From multi-strand necklaces to teardrop earrings, it is a timeless addition to any jewelry collection.
A Passion for Pearls
For a gem most known for its creamy white hue, pearls have a colorful history. These luminous orbs are rare and highly prized among royalty:
- The ancient Greeks call pearls the tears of Aphrodite, the goddess of love who rose from the ocean on a clamshell.
- They are found among the possessions of a Persian princess back in 520 B.C.
- The Egyptian queen Cleopatra dissolves a pearl in her wineglass and drinks it to prove her love to Marc Antony.
Even modern-day legends surround this gem. The renowned jeweler Jacques Cartier is rumored to have traded a double-stranded natural pearl necklace for the New York mansion where he opens his flagship store in 1916. Sounds a little far-fetched until you realize the necklace is valued at $1.2 million. Kings, queens, maharajahs and movie stars all harbor a passion for pearls.
One Irritating Gem
In 1893, Japanese entrepreneur Kokichi Mikimoto perfects a method of culturing pearls, dramatically changing the story of the pearl. While natural pearls are still the rarest and most expensive, today 95% of the world’s supply is cultured. The cultivation method takes a piece of mantle tissue and implants it into an oyster or mollusk, which stimulates nacre production (an organic material). This substance forms the hardened layers of the pearl. It takes five years to create a single medium-sized bead with many produced in China, Japan and the South Sea. They come in all shapes, sizes and prices. Learn more about the different varieties of pearls in our recent article, The Wild Nature of the Pearl.
A natural pearl like La Peregrina -also known as The Incomparable– is very rare. It is one of the largest perfectly symmetrical pear-shaped pearls in the world, weighing close to 55.95 carats. Previous owners read like a who’s who of history; Mary, Queen of Scots, Napoleon and Elizabeth Taylor.
Once cultured, though, pearls require no cutting or shaping, only polishing. They are sometimes dyed to create a desired hue. No matter how they are made, every pearl has imperfections, which means no two are alike. They are matched to achieve a uniform size and color.
Pearls Add a Classic Touch
Whether you wear them because it is your birthstone, as part of your wedding day ensemble or simply because you adore them, pearls are a classic touch that compliments any fashion style. It also shows you are as rare and as beautiful as a pearl.
Indy Facets – Everyone’s Private Jeweler
Indy Facets seamlessly blends the expertise and full service of a traditional jewelry store with the value and convenience of a personal jeweler experience. We give you the face-to-face interaction with an expert that you deserve, in a private setting where you can relax and feel comfortable. Owner/Designer Shaun Goodyear and his team have earned an excellent reputation as everyone’s private jeweler for engagement rings, custom design, investment grade diamonds, luxury Swiss timepieces, estate jewelry, jewelry repair and the highest level of customer service, available to you from an onsite, state-of-the-art Custom Design Studio and Gemological Laboratory by private appointment only. You are guaranteed a unique, fun and exciting experience without the hype, pressure, judgment or uncertainty associated with other jewelry shopping options. We schedule appointments at your convenience, and are usually available evenings and weekends, too. Call 317-810-1665 for your private appointment or schedule online, IndyFacets.com/schedule/.