Monday, June 4, 2012

June's Birthstone: Not Your Mother's Pearls

For all you June babies and pearl lovers I have a new take on an old classic...

Along with Alexandrite and Moonstone, Pearl is the June birthstone.  It is also the recognized wedding gift for the 3rd and 30th wedding anniversary.  

I once heard that pearls, one of the most beautiful and precious creations in nature, are born out of pain and frustration.  To me pearls are a reminder that the harder experiences in life are what most often produces things of true value, things that are worth treasuring, that if we embrace hardship and grow from it the result can be beautiful.  I have never looked at pearls or life the same way since.
Conni Mainne Diamond 
and Freshwater Pearl Earrings, 18k

According to ancient Chinese legend, the moon holds the power to create pearls, instilling them with its celestial glow and mystery.  Pearls have long been treasured for their lustrous, creamy texture and subtle iridescent reflections. Historically, they have were believed to possess mystical and healing powers.  Roman women slept with them under their pillows to sweeten their dreams.  Ancient Asian cultures used them for medicinal purposes.  The early Hindu's revered them as a symbol of purity in marriage. 

Tana Acton Coin Pearl Bracelet, SS
Pearls are most commonly thought of as round and white but they come in many shapes (baroque, oval, teardrop, etc.) and colors (pink, gold, peach, yellow, lavender, gray, black, etc.).  Pearls are available in both saltwater and freshwater varieties.  Five factors determine the value of a pearl: luster, orient, surface-cleanliness, shape and size (as well as availability with saltwater production being far less than freshwater).  Pearls are often bleached to achieve uniform color. 

 Round White Akoya Pearls

You probably have a strand that was given to you for your 16th birthday or your confirmation at church.  Maybe a coveted strand is tucked away in your jewelry box that has been passed down through your family for years.  It's something that most of us have, but few of us really seem to wear them regularly. 
Susan Drake Gold South Sea Pearl 
and Sapphire Pendant

We LOVE pearls at Spectrum, in all colors and price ranges.  Our inventory ranges from round white freshwater, to funky baroque, to luscious Tahitians and golden south seas.  Pearls can always be found  at Spectrum sprinkled throughout our cases and beaded gemstone Starsong collection. 

For some, pearls have developed a stigma, appropriate only for work and special occasions.  This couldn't be farther from the truth!  At Spectrum pearls are in abundance, but you won't find your "mother's pearls" here.

One of Susan Drake's latest designs incorporating a Tahitian Pearl is a perfect example (pictured below). 

Tahitian Pearl, Black Coral, Peridot, 
Fire Opal and Diamond, 18k

For those of you who know and love us, you know that we strive to create versatile and unique jewelry. One necklace can be perfect for throwing on with shorts to head to lunch and a cocktail dress later that evening.  
Susan Drake Gold South Sea Pearl 
with 18k Beads

Pearls become especially versatile because we live at the beach.  As a product of the ocean we love so much, pearls can easily have a nautical and laid back feel.  There smooth cool surface and lightweight feel make them comfortable to wear year round, even in our warm and humid climate. 

At Spectrum in addition to our Starsong collection, we restring pearl jewelry and can put a contemporary new twist on old pieces.
Susan Drake Tahitian Pearl 
and Diamond Earrings, 18k


Do you have questions about the care of your pearl jewelry? Call the gallery at 910-256-2323 or email us at

Spectrum Art & Jewelry

Custom Designs by Spectrum

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