June Birthstone is Pearl
The 30’th wedding anniversary is associated with Pearl.
The natural Pearl forms in mollusks (clams, oysters, mussels and such), which can be found in fresh and salt water. Pearls are formed when some sort of small foreign body, such as a grain of sand, or a small parasite, gets inside the mollusk and layers of pearly material form around it as a natural defense against these irritants. These layers are called nacre (pronounced nay-kur).
The layers build up like the layers of an onion, in concentric circles. Light reflecting from these overlapping layers creates a characteristic iridescent luster, also known as the orient of pearl. It’s the quality of the nacre that dictates the quality of the luster, or shine of the pearl.
The shape could be round, oval, pear-shaped, or even misshapen. Misshapen pearls are called baroque pearls.
In cultured pearls, a mother-of-pearl bead or a piece of tissue is inserted (by man) into the mollusk to start the process.
Pearls can be found in saltwater and in freshwater. There are also different types of mollusks that produce very different looking pearls.
Saltwater pearls include the akoya cultured pearls grown in Japanese and Chinese waters. They range in size from 2mm to 10mm and are usually white or cream in color and round in shape.
South Sea pearl is produced in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines and are the largest of all the pearls. They range in size from 9mm to 20mm and can be naturally white, cream, or golden in color.
Tahitian pearls are interestingly not exclusively from Tahiti – they’re grown in several of the islands of French Polynesia, including Tahiti. Their typical sizes range from 8mm to 16mm. These naturally colored pearls are collectively called black pearls, but their colors include gray, blue, green, and purple. These pearls are grown in freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds, predominately in China. Although many are white and resemble the akoya cultured pearls in shape and size, they can also be produced in various shapes and in an array of pastel colors.
The Romans valued pearls so highly, they created a law forbidding anyone except people of high rank, from wearing them. European explorers in the New World found many tribes of Indians in North and South America wearing pearl adornments. In 1579, King Philip II of Spain received a pearl from his representatives in Panama that weighed 1250 grains. Julius Caesar was also a great admirer of pearls.
It's been said that if you dream of pearls it means that you will be seeing faithful friends. In ancient stories, pearl is associated with faithfulness, friends, loyalty, modesty and purity.
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