Pearls have been prized for their beauty and elegance for centuries, and they continue to be a popular choice for jewelry today. As June's birthstone, pearls hold a special significance for those born in this month. Keep on reading to learn more about the history and symbolism of pearls, as well as the different types and styles of pearl jewelry available.
The History and Symbolism of Pearls.
Pearls have a rich history and have been popular in jewelry for at least 6,000 years. They are treasured for their beauty and symbolism.
In ancient times, pearls were believed to have magical powers and were often associated with the moon and water. In the East, the pearl is thought to be born from heavenly powers and the earth's waters, and fertilized by a lighting bolt.
Some cultures refer to them as the "Tears of the Gods", and they are Astrologically tied to the planet Venus. As a symbol of riches, they were used in ancient rituals and spells to attract wealth.
We see references to pearls in language, for example, in the phrases: "Casting Pearls to Swine" to denote wasteful acts, or "Pearls of Wisdom" when referring to valuable advice.
Pearls were also considered a symbol of purity and innocence and were often worn by brides. They have for centuries been associated with love, fertility, and marriage. This is why you still see pearls worn by modern-day brides, it is a carryover from ancient times. Pearls being named as one of the birthstones of June (the others are Moonstone & Alexandrite) makes sense, since June has become the busiest month for weddings.
Today, pearls continue to be a popular choice for jewelry and are often given as gifts to mark special occasions such as graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries.
Fun fact: There is a growing trend for men to once again wear pearl jewelry. Here at Summer Indigo, we have seen a clear uptick in pearl purchases by men who are buying them for themselves. Occassionally, more men than women are buying our pearl necklaces and bracelets! And why not? Pearls were once worn by kings as a symbol of wealth and status. So you go guys, they do look great on you!
Types of Pearls and Their Characteristics.
Pearls are considered gems but not stones. There are several types of pearls, each with their own unique characteristics.
Akoya pearls are known for their high luster and round shape, making them a popular choice for classic pearl jewelry.
Freshwater pearls come in wonderful varieties of shapes and colors and are often used in more modern and trendy designs. These are the type of pearls we work with here at Summer Indigo. We mix them into our gemstone necklaces, add them to leather cords, and use them as accents for our Mykonos Collection, among other things. You can find them in our tiny braclets as a single accent or as stunning centerpieces in one of our most popular designs, The Pearl Cluster Necklace.
South Sea pearls are the largest and most valuable type of pearl, with a natural golden color and a high level of rarity. Tahitian pearls are also highly prized for their unique dark colors, ranging from black to green to blue.
Understanding the different types of pearls can help you choose the perfect piece of jewelry for your style and budget. Pearls are traditionally graded for their color, luster, and thickness of its nacre (the outer shell laboriously built by the mollusk). They are cultivated from one year, up to six years, in saltwater or freshwater farms.
Unique and Creative Ways to Incorporate Pearls into Your Wardrobe.
Pearls are a versatile and timeless accessory that can be incorporated into your wardrobe in a many of unique and creative ways. Try adding a pearl rope to a maxi dress or black tee, or pair a chic pearl choker with a little black dress. For an extra touch of pearly fun, layer multiple pearl bracelets or accent your outfit with a pair of dangly pearl earrings.
For a more edgy look, try pairing a leather jacket with a pearl choker or mix pearl strands with your favorite gemstone jewelry. Finally, for a more beachy and relaxed look, wear pearls that are strung on leather. These will add a modern boho touch to your look.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating pearls into your wardrobe, so don't be afraid to get creative and experiment with different styles and combinations.
How to Care for Your Pearl Jewelry.
Pearl jewelry is a chic and timeless addition to any collection, however it does require proper care to maintain its beauty and luster. To keep your pearls looking their best avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals, perfumes, and cosmetics put them on after applying. Avoid chlorinated and salty water. Always store them separately from other jewelry to prevent scratches and damage. Clean your pearls when needed, with a soft cloth and mild soap. Ultrasonic cleaners are not reccommended. With proper care, your pearl jewelry will last a long time. So why not add a piece or two to your stash from one of our ciollections? Shop our Pearl Jewelry Collections now!