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The Perfect Pearl: June’s Birthstone and a the ‘Queen of Gems’ 

The Pearl: A Symbol of Grit and Grace

The ocean, such a romantic trope throughout history, literature, music, and art. And the lustrous pearl is its perfect ambassador, a treasure born of grit and resolve, percolated to perfection by Nature’s brilliant bivalves, and reflecting the stunning iridescence of sunlight on the sea. Whether natural or cultured, round, oval, or flat, this siren of the sea is calling your name.  

Pearl Video

The History of Pearls

Pearls have been symbols of wealth and status since the days of the Egyptians, who requested to be buried with them in their tombs. Countless references to pearls can be found throughout history, from ancient Rome and Greece, through the Dark Ages and the Renaissance. In fact, they were so highly valued that, at one point, there were laws forbidding anyone but royalty to wear them. In India and Borneo, a deceased person’s mouth was filled with pearls before burial. 

Pearls are unique for many reasons, one of which is that they are the only precious gems grown by an animal (the oyster). Beloved by cultural icons like Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, and Jackie Onassis, a piece of pearl jewelry never fails to bring a touch of class to any outfit or occasion. They are believed to symbolize new life and personal growth.  

Traditional Chinese and Arabic medicine used the ‘virgin’ pearl (one that hasn’t been drilled) as a cure for eye diseases.  

Fun fact: Jacques Cartier, the famous French jeweler, is rumored to have bought his landmark store on New York’s Fifth Avenue by trading two pearl necklaces for the property.   

Woman wearing jewels

House of Mikimoto

Kokichi Mikimoto was the first to create a cultured pearl, over a century ago. Today, the house of Mikimoto is renowned for the finest quality cultured pearls and exquisite workmanship in their fine jewelry.  

Classic Akoya Cultured Pearl and Diamond Drop Earrings

Pearl earrings

Akoya Cultured Pearl Necklace

Pearl necklace

More From Our Collection

Mizuki Tahitian Pearl Cuff

Pearl cuff

Gold and South Sea Pearl Ring

Pearl ring

Barbela Design Gold and Pearl Hoops

Pearl Hoops

Know Your Pearls

Do you know how to assess a pearl? There are many different types of pearls, and you’ll want to know exactly what the differences are between them in order to make informed choices for your fine jewelry. Thanks to pearl cultivation, pearls are now more affordable than ever, so whether you want the freshwater specimen or the home-grown kind, you have a wide variety of options available to suit your needs.  

We’ve put together a primer on pearls as well as a pearl buying guide to help you in your search for the right pearl jewelry for you. 

Closeup of pearls
Photo courtesy of Scott Papper, GIA GG, AJP, CM (NAJA), Global Gemology & Appraisals

Caring For Your Pearls

Pearls require a very specific type of care. While they may be highly shock resistant, they are very susceptible to scratching. As organic material, they do not handle acids and other chemicals well, so do not use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean them, and always remove your pearls before showering, swimming, or sweating. If they come into contact with liquids such as detergents or vinegar, be sure to wipe them immediately with a soft cloth. Believe it or not, pearls can even dehydrate in storage – all the more reason to wear them frequently!   

For more cleaning tips, read more here.  

We’ve put together an extensively curated collection of beautiful fine pearl jewelry. Click here to find the perfect piece for you! If you would like some additional help in picking your pearls, reach out to our concierge directly, visit one of our stores, or chat with our experts online

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