Pearl: The Birthstone for June
15 June 2016
As the birthstone for June, the pearl is the symbol of purity. Pearls are created in a natural manner, but not in the earth unlike other gemstones. Instead, this gem comes from saltwater oysters or freshwater clams. Experts harvest these gems from the various lakes and oceans throughout the world, which are at times, part of farms set up for this purpose. When the light hits on this gem, it glimmers and shows off its unique colouring. In addition, this gem is smooth to the touch, but can have bumps and imperfections on its surface.
HOW PEARLS FORM
Natural pearls form when a piece of sand or other irritant enters into the shell of a saltwater oyster or freshwater clam. These mollusks then coat this irritant with nacre until they form the hard mass that we call ‘pearls’. Cultured pearls form in the same manner except that humans insert the irritant to help the process begin in the mollusks.
While white and cream first come to mind as the common colours of these gems, these gems also come in pink, gold, copper, mauve, burgundy, blue, green, purple, grey and black tones with variations in between. Jewellery containing this gem often has a mix of colours mounted or strung together to provide a stunning piece to adorn your outfit with daily or for a special event.
THE GRADING SYSTEM OF PEARLS
To ensure that you understand the quality of a pearl that you are about to purchase, experts in the jewellery industry in Australia turn to the Tahitian method of grading pearls. This method ranks the gems from Top Gem to D depending on their qualities. Read about each ranking below:
Top Gem – The definition of this rating is a flawless gem with no imperfections or inclusions prior to insertion into necklaces, rings, broaches or other decorative wearable pieces. In addition, the gem of this level needs an excellent lustre.
A – This quality ensures the gem is flawless on 90 percent or more of its surface with only minor concentrated flaws and still contains a high lustre.
A/B – For pearls to earn this rating, they must be at 80-percent flawless on their surface with a high lustre.
B – When these gems are in this level, their surfaces are flawless on at least 70-percent of the area. Lustre still needs to be high.
C – This group in these gems exhibits only a 40-percent flawless surface and has medium to high lustre.
D – Pearls in this rating exhibit flaws in at least 60-percent of their surface, but the lustre can range from poor to high.
To learn additional information about pearls being June’s birthstone and its other qualities, contact Ken Ross Jewellers today. We provide only high-quality pearl and other jewellery to all our customers. With over 60 years of experience in this field, we bring this expertise to you with each purchase you make from us.