June Birthstone Spotlight: Pearl

The month of June is proud owner to a precious birthstone, the pearl. Unlike countless other gemstones that form within the Earth, pearls are unique in that they are born of the sea, created from oysters and mussels. Their lustrous surfaces reflective of light in a way that evokes a sense of calm and beauty. They are the only gemstones formed by living creatures, which adds to their fascination. Each pearl is a testament to nature's ability to create perfection. Pearls are seen as symbols of wisdom gained through experience, representing the idea that beauty can emerge from hardship. This symbolism makes pearls a perfect gift for any celebratory milestone.

The pearl cultivation process consists of a nucleus being implanted into an oyster. The nucleus is a bead that is implanted into the gonad of the pearl. From this the living oyster attempts to protect itself in a way against this foreign object, by secreting layers upon layers of nacre around the bead, thus forming a pearl. The process of forming the pearl normally takes from a minimum of 6 months up to four years to fully develop larger and higher end pearls. Each oyster can produce up to 50 freshwater pearls at a time. In comparison to South Sea pearls, which only produce a single pearl, having to reach 3-4 years of age before the cultivation process can even begin.

Image Credit: Nic Duncan, 2020, “Freshly harvested Akoya pearl, grown in the pristine waters of the Abrolhos Islands, WA”.

When the oyster has completed the process of forming a pearl, it is ready to be harvested. Pearl farmers must source the oysters, then carefully remove the pearls that have been formed inside the creature, and in some cases prepare the oyster to create more pearls. This is a slow and steady process, using specialised instruments to avoid harming the gems. Finally, the pearls are graded using a specialised pearl grading system, allowing them to be sorted and categorised by certain aspects. There are 7 key factors when it comes to pearl grading. They consist of nacre quality, surface quality, size, shape, origin, colour and arguably the most important factor, lustre. Each of these key aspects is taken into consideration when pricing pearls.

Pearls come in various forms, each boasting their own unique colour, shape and allure.

Akoya Pearls: Known for their high lustre and perfect round shape, Akoya pearls are primarily cultivated in Japan and are a classic choice for pearl jewellery.

Freshwater Pearls: These pearls are generally more affordable and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are primarily farmed in China and offer a great deal of versatility.

Tahitian Pearls: Famous for their dark, exotic colours, Tahitian pearls are cultivated in the black-lipped oyster and are primarily found in French Polynesia.

South Sea Pearls: These are the largest and rarest of pearls, known for their satin lustre and impressive size. They are cultivated in the warm waters of Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Baroque Pearls: Every baroque pearl is a one-of-a-kind, with their unique shape and sizes formatting their organic look. They are formed when an oyster unevenly secretes the nacre around the nucleus of a pearl.

Keshi Pearls: Referred to as ‘nature's accidents’, Keshi pearls are formed as a by-product of general pearl cultivation. Therefore, they do not contain a nucleus like other pearls and are instead formatted solely by nacre.

Pearls are one of the softest gemstones, they are sensitive to chemicals found in household cleaners, perfumes, and hair products. Therefore, it is always best to put on your pearls after applying makeup or hairspray. For more on how to properly care for your pearls, read our guide for caring for pearls journal

At Hogans, our extraordinary collection of pearl jewellery is carefully curated to cater to a diverse range of design preferences and pearl varieties. From exquisite rings to timeless drop earrings, we pride ourselves on having a timeless piece to suit all tastes.

1. 18K WRG South Sea Pearl Ring: Crafted in 18k white and rose gold, this asymmetric ring features a 10mm centre South Sea Pearl, encased by a white gold setting, with an additional contoured row of argyle pink diamond.

2. 18K WG South Sea Pearl Necklace: Fitted with an 18k white gold 10mm polished ball clasp, this South Sea Pearl necklace features a combination of 10-12.5mm gold and white South Sea Pearls and is 42.5cm in length.

3. 9K RG Freshwater Pearl Earrings: Suspended from 9k rose gold shepherd hooks, these freshwater pearl earrings are timeless, and are a must have for any pearl collection or to complete the perfect bridal ensemble.

4. 9K YG Baroque Pearl Bracelet: Fitted with a 9k yellow gold O-ring clasp, this freshwater baroque pearl bracelet is a unique statement piece with its irregularly shaped pearls. Each pearl is strung and double-knotted using fine silk thread for durability and strength.

5. 18K WG Tahitian Pearl Drop Huggie Earrings: Crafted in 18k white gold, these huggie style earrings feature a minimalistic row of white diamonds up the front of the earrings, leading to a 10mm drop down Tahitian pearl.

6. 18K YG Australian Golden South Sea Pearl: Crafted in 18k yellow gold, this pendant features a beautiful round 13mm Golden South Sea pearl and bail set with petite round brilliant cut white diamonds.

7. 14K YG Keshi Freshwater Pearl Necklace: Crafted in 14k yellow gold, this adjustable necklace features seven Keshi freshwater pearls set between a fine cable chain.

8. 9K RG Oval Mabe Pearl Ring: Crafted in 9k rose gold, this dress ring features a mabe pearl set in a tension look setting to give a floating illusion.

From earrings to dress rings, explore the delicate beauty of the June birthstone and our collection of meticulously crafted pearl pieces by visiting our online showroom

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