June Birth Stone: Pearls
If Iris are the orchids of American gardens, pearls are the gems in any woman's jewelry box. In many cultures, pearls are a classic, and traditional, personalized gift. Certainly in my life, pearls have been a tradition. My first strand was given to me when I turned 16. A custom ring from one pearl to mark my divorce. A favorite pair of earrings from a friend to celebrate a birthday.
In many ancient societies, pearls symbolized the moon and were imbued with magical properties. Ancient Chinese civilizations believed that wearing pearls protected a person from fire and dragons. Other cultures have associated them with chastity and modesty. In Victorian England, small seed pearls were often used in mourning jewelry to symbolize tears.
Pearls start out as a grain of sand irritating a molusk, which then covers the grain with a secretion that hardens to a pearl. Pearls are a reminder that even life's aggravations can be beautiful.