May 29, 2018 3 min read
Next to diamonds, pearls are one of the most popular gemstones. Like diamonds, pearls are a classic symbol worn on the wedding day. They also make great gifts for certain birthdays, anniversaries, and more. But before you buy, there are a few things you should know.
June actually has three different birthstones: pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite. To learn more about all of these as birthstones, check out these links:
But pearls are easily the most popular birthstone for the month of June. They are beautiful and classic, but they are also incredibly affordable because of the cultured process in which they are created (more on this below).
If you have a June birthday coming up, consider gifting pearls.
Pearls are also an ancient symbol of purity, which makes a pearl necklace or pearl earrings a great gift for the wedding day. Not only does jewelry make for a great surprise for the bride the morning of her wedding, it’s something she can wear with her dress that’s simple and classic.
If your wedding day is approaching and you’ve been thinking about giving her a gift on the day of, you can’t go wrong with pearls.
Depending on what list you’re looking at (traditional or modern anniversary gifts), pearls are a fantastic anniversary gift for four different anniversaries. Pearls are recommended for the 1st, 3rd, 12th, 30th wedding anniversaries.
Again the wonderful thing about pearls is their versatility and affordability. You could give a complete sterling silver and pearl jewelry set (necklace, bracelet, and earrings) for around $100-$200. Or you could do something more unique like a Tahitian black pearl necklace, which will cost more but will also set her apart.
Whatever you choose, like the wedding day gift, you can’t go wrong with pearls as an anniversary gift.
With some gemstones, it’s easy to think of them in terms of “real or fake,” or “natural or synthetic.” But when it comes to shopping for pearls, you’re going to hear the word “cultured” thrown around.
So before you buy, you need to know two things:
First, 100% natural pearls (they were formed spontaneously in nature) that are round and used in jewelry are incredibly rare and very expensive. To put that in perspective, the American Gem Society says that “A matched strand of natural pearls may sell for hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars.”
So when you go shopping for pearls, don’t be shocked if you ask for “natural” pearls and the jewelry store doesn’t have them. “Natural pearls” are pearls that were formed, more or less by chance, inside an oyster in nature.
Second, cultured does not mean fake. Almost all pearl jewelry you’ll find (especially jewelry where multiple pearls must be matched to look the same or similar) is made up of cultured pearls.
Cultured simply means that the process of pearls being created inside of oysters is started and controlled by humans through a method that’s something like “farming.”
Natural pearls are formed when a piece of debris is trapped inside of an oyster. The oyster secretes something called nacre to coat the foreign object. That’s how pearls are formed. When it occurs in nature, pearls can come out any variety of shapes because of the inconsistency in the shape debris in the oyster. This is why natural pearls that naturally come out round are incredibly rare.
Cultured pearls are created when humans insert a small spherical object (often a shaped piece of shell) into the oyster. When the oyster coats the object with nacre, a round pearl comes out.
So cultured pearls are still made inside of oysters, they’re still made of nacre, the process is simply controlled by humans from start to finish. Once people figured out how to do this, round pearls were no longer as rare so prices came down significantly. While cultured pearls may not be “cheap,” they are one of the more generally affordable gemstones, particularly when mounted in sterling silver.
Whether you’ve got a wedding, birthday, or anniversary coming up, pearls make a spectacular gift. Here at Garcia & Co. Jewelers in Farmington, we carry a regular inventory of pearl jewelry all year long.
This year (June 2018), we will also be hosting an incredibly month-long pearl sale with an expanded inventory and special pricing on all pearl jewelry.
So if you’re shopping for pearls or pearl jewelry, come see us! We’d love to help you find the exact piece of pearl jewelry that’s right for you and your budget.
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