an unpolished pearl
Photograph by The Natural History Museum

Pearl is June's Birthstone

This is the only birthstone made by living creatures—oysters and other shellfish. If a grain of sand finds its way into an oyster's shell, the oyster covers the irritating grit with layers of shiny substance its body produces over many years. Eventually the grain is encased, becoming a pearl.

Old-School Myths

Pearls were thought to possess magical qualities. By law, only powerful, rich people could own and wear these gemstones. According to legend, wealthy Roman women wore pearls to bed so that when they woke in the morning, they instantly remembered how rich they were.

More to explore!

Rocks and minerals