Thursday, June 2, 2011

june birthstone: pearls!

I have been a huge fan of pearls since a very young age. as a toddler, I would wear a strand of plastic pearls everywhere I went. today, I constantly wear pieces from my freshwater pearl and gemstone collection .

freshwater pearls, a type of cultured pearl, are produced by mussels. pearls form when an irritant (such as a shell) lodges itself in the flesh of a mollusk and then the mollusk produces a nacre to surround the irritant. with time, this nacre forms a pearl. this process takes between 24 and 72 months. the majority of freshwater pearls are grown in china, but japan and the usa are also producers.

the three other types of cultured pearls are akoya (white with a rose overtone), south sea (gold-lipped or silver-lipped), and tahitian (black).

pearls are believed to offer the power of luck, money, protection, and love. the ancient greeks believed pearls were hardened tears of joy of the goddess of love. the ancient chinese believed pearls came from the brains of dragons. no matter what power you believe pearls possess, you cannot deny the sophisticated statement a strand of pearls makes when adorning a woman's neck!

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