All About Pearl: June's Birthstone

Published: April 1, 2011
Modified: September 8, 2020

by Rebecca Nichols

What is Pearl?

Pearl, the birthstone for June, is a luminous organic gemstone formed inside of an oyster or other shelled mollusk.

All About June's Birthstones, Pearl, Alexandrite and Moonstone (source: JTV YouTube)

Pearl FAQ

Here are answers to more frequently asked questions about June's birthstone:

What color is June's birthstone?

While pearl is so well known for its creamy white color that the phrase “pearly whites” is used to describe teeth, pearl also exists in many other iridescent hues including pink, gold, green, blue, gray and black.

What is the spiritual meaning of pearl?

Pearl, a gem symbolizing purity according to Hindu and Christian tradition, is a popular gemstone for wedding gifts. Pearl’s rarity and beauty has made it the object of desire and legends throughout history, including the ancient Chinese, believe that pearl gives the wisdom and enlightenment of dragons to the wearer.

Where is pearl found?

Pearl can be found inside of mollusks in both saltwater and freshwater, but are very rare in nature. Most commercial pearls today are cultivated on sustainable pearl farms located around the world.

How is pearl formed?

A pearl is created when an oyster or mollusk protects itself against an irritant by coating it with layers of nacre (a composite of aragonite and conchiolin). Despite the common misconception, this irritant is rarely a grain of sand. Natural pearl is caused by a microscopic sea parasite invading the molusk and a cultured pearl is formed around a nucleus or piece of mantle tissue that has been carefully inserted by a highly skilled technician.

Are pearls valuable?

Pearl comes in many different types with many different prices to match. The price of a natural or cultured pearl depends on several factors including shape, size, color, surface, nacre quality and luster. South Sea pearls are considered the most valuable, followed by Tahitian and Akoya pearls.

What are the different species of pearl?

There are many types of pearls, but the best known are the following:

Did you know...

The word pearl comes from the Latin word "perna" meaning "leg" because the shellfish it was found in was shaped like a mutton leg.

Pearl Gemstone Properties

For more facts and information about the characteristics of the June birthstone, check out the Pearl Gemopedia page.

White and Black Pearl
White and Black Pearl

Physical Properties of Pearl

Pearl is a translucent to opaque gemstone that is only 2.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, but is long lasting with the proper care. Pearl is a natural byproduct formed when a mollusk coats an irritant inside its shell with layer upon layer of a liquid called “nacre” which is what gives pearl its luminous shine. 

Healing Properties and Benefits of Pearl

Pearl is a serene gem that is commonly believed to be calming and centering. Due to its round shape and pale color, pearl is often associated with the moon and feminine energy.  Throughout history, pearls have been used to treat the skin, digestive tract, muscles, and more. Pearl powder contains many minerals and has been used in cosmetics and beauty projects.

Historic Pearl: Rarest of its Kind (source: JTV YouTube)

Colors of Pearl

A pearl's color is influenced by the species of mollusk it grew in and the thickness of its nacre. While the most iconic and widespread color of June's birthstone is white, pearl naturally comes in a multitude of irridescent colors including gold, pink, black, green, blue, brown and gray.

White Pearls

Are you a lover of the classics? Then you should take a look at the iconic white pearl, a favorite of famous actresses and first ladies alike, including Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy and Michelle Obama. White pearls symbolize purity and beauty, making it a perfect choice for bridal jewelry or any other occasion. Ayoka pearls are considered the classic choice, but South Sea and freshwater pearls also naturally come in white.

White Ayoka Pearls

Black Pearls

Maybe you prefer something more mysterious and unique? Black Tahitian pearls offer an exciting alternative to the traditional white associated with the June birthstone with beautiful overtones of green, blue, gray, gold and rose.

Black Tahitian Pearls

Gold Pearls

As one of the largest and rarest colors of pearl, golden South Sea pearls are a symbol of luxery and wealth. 

Gold South Sea Pearls

Pink Pearls

Pink pearls are an American favorite for adding feminine charm to any outfit. Freshwater pearls naturally come a wide variety of pastel pinks, making beautiful pink pearls affordable for any budget.

Pink Freshwater Pearls

Brown Pearls

Brown pearls are as romantic as a luxurious box of chocolates and are often called chocolate pearls. Brown is a very rare pearl color in nature, so most chocolate pearls are treated or dyed to provide this beautiful gem to people around the world.

Brown South Sea Pearls

Did you know...

Pearl comes in eight main varieties of  shape including round , semi-round , oval , drop, pear/teardrop, button, baroque and circle/ringed.

Pearl Birthstone Jewelry and Gifts

If you love pearl and want more variety, or would like to get acquainted with this gemstone for the first time, then take advantage of the fantastic values and excellent selection from JTV's Birthstones by Month Jewelry Guide.

Pearl Earrings
Pearl Earrings

Pearl June Birthstone Jewelry Buyers' Guide

You lucky June babies get the timeless pearl as your birthstone. This gem of the sea radiates the class and beauty needed to take any outfit to the next level whether you were born in June or not.

Pearl Jewelry - JTV Wear It With Style (Source: JTV Live Now Youtube)

More Pearl Gift Ideas

In addition to being June’s birthstone, pearls are becoming increasingly popular for wearing to weddings and special events anytime of the year. Whatever your fashion preferences are, you cannot go wrong with the timeless pearl.

Did you know...

Pearl is also the gemstone that represents the 30th wedding anniversary. 

June Birthstone Alternatives

June has two alternative birthstones - moonstone and alexandrite. Though often known for its milky white color, moonstone reflects a rainbow of colors across its surface. Like pearl, this special gem is associated with feminine energies and new beginnings. On the other hand, alexandrite is famous for its rare color-changing property. Known as "an emerald by day and a ruby by night”, this special gem changes colors between sunlight and artificial lighting. This rare stone is said to bring good fortune to its owner.

Alexandrite
Alexandrite

Pearl Links and Resources