Perfect Pearls – The Birthstone of June

Pearl is June’s birthstone, an organic gemstone which has been adored since ancient times. The gemstone is formed within living organisms such as mussels and oysters, and they are the only gemstone to be found within the sea.

The pearl is thought to be a calming gemstone, symbolising purity and protection while also having connections with the moon. Today, pearls remain a popular fashion accessory and here at Kernowcraft, we provide a huge selection of pearl gemstones and beads in a whole array of colours and shapes.

Read below to find out more about this beautiful gemstone and of course, a few pearl jewellery tutorials for your next project!

View our whole range of pearls here.

FACTS

Colour: Natural and cultured pearls come in a whole range of beautiful colours. The most popular colour choice is white and cream, which is mainly associated with a bride on her wedding day but also classic jewellery designs too. Other colours include black, silver, green, pink, green and many more - these colours are determined by the certain organism which produces the pearl. 

Appearance: Pearls can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes which make them a really interesting gemstone. The shape is formed by many factors of the organism such as the size of its nucleus and position of the pearl. Some shells can have flattened sides due to being pushed up against the shell whereas others may have ridges from the pressure around it. Round pearls are actually very rare, which explains why the more round a pearl is, the higher in value it will be. 

Rarity: Natural pearls are very rare however cultured farm grown pearl are easily sourced.

MOH Scale Hardness: Pearl's Mohs hardness is 2.5 which means it is a soft gemstone, therefore you need to ensure that you take great care of your pearls to avoid scratches and damage. 

Sourced: South Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

What's the difference between cultured freshwater pearls and cultured saltwater pearls?

Cultured freshwater pearls are created using freshwater mussels, they come in an array of colours but you may find that many are dyed for more unusual and stunning designs. You will find that cultured freshwater pearls are cheaper than cultured seawater pearls as the mussel will create more pearls per shell. 

Cultured saltwater pearls, however are created using saltwater oysters. A shell bead will be placed inside the oyster which will then form a pearl by layering the bead with nacre. These are more expensive as the pearls will be rounder in shape. 

Did you know our saltwater pearls are created in Japan?

Formation and History

Pearls are one of the oldest gemstones ever discovered and were probably found by people searching for food along the seashore. The oldest pearl is thought to be found back in 420 BC, worn by a Persian princess which is now featured in La Louvre in Paris, France. 

Pearls are formed when an irritant is trapped in a bivalve (such as an oyster). Once the living organism senses the irregular particle, it will coat it in layers of aragonite and conchiolin - the very same substance its shell is made of. The pearls high lustre is created from the crystalline structure of nacre which then reflects the light - creating that gorgeous finish we all know and love.

The gemstone has a history of myth and legend, especially as it is sourced from the sea. The pearl was often linked to royalty and the ruling class, meaning they were an item of luxury. In fact, Julius Ceaser created a law to ensure that pearls could only be worn by the ruling classes - knights would also be seen wearing pearls, believing it would protect them in battle.

And weddings you ask? Well, Ancient Greeks supposedly believed that pearls would stop women crying on their wedding day! By tradition, Christians and Hindus used the pearl to represent purity, with the bride wearing pearls on her wedding day which still stands as a tradition today.

The many shapes of pearls...

For jewellery making, you can use a whole range of different styles and shapes of pearls. At Kernowcraft, we have worked hard to create a selection of pearls that are high in qualtiy but also great in value.

  • Roundish Pearls
  • Potato Pearls
  • Rice Shaped Pearls 
  • Baroque and Semi-Baroque Pearls
  • Keshi Pearls
  • Coin Shaped Pearls
  • Button Shaped Peals
  • Large Holed Pearls

For a more in-depth guide head to our detailed page on pearls.

Mythology, Healing and Spiritual Qualities

The pearl symbolises purity, faith and loyalty. It is also believed that the pearl represents femininity and creates balance in oneself.

Chinese myth would often associate pearls with dragons, claiming that pearls fell from the sky when fighting among the clouds. The Chinese have also relied on pearls and their healing properties, using them to treat the skin to problems such as indigestion.

Pearls come in an array of colours, and with each colour brings a new message - for example, cream represents success whereas black brings you good luck!

Kernowcraft's Top Picks...

View the whole selection of pearls here.

Pearl inspiration and jewellery tutorials

From your wedding day to delicate drop down earrings, here at Kernowcraft we have a number of pearl jewellery tutorials to try. 

To see all of our Make The Look projects head here.

These cherry blossom earrings are a really lovely design, especially with the cultured freshwater peacock pearls - a colour we can't get enough of! 

Read the tutorial here.

Adding a charm to a necklace always gives it such character. We love this design as it would make a perfect gift or piece of wedding jewellery. As you can see, the drop shape pearls make this stand out from the rest! 

Read the tutorial here.

After a really simple yet classy design? These pearl stud earrings tick all the boxes. Perfect for daytime, evening or for your big day... 

Read the tutorial.