TEARDROPS OF THE MOON

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The qualities that make the pearl special also make it a perfect gift for the woman born in June. The gift of cultured pearls not only celebrates a woman's birthday, but also gives a woman a lifetime treasure, steeped in historical lore and tradition.

For centuries, the pearl has been June official birthstone. Perhaps it is because in ancient mythology the pearl has been connected to the moon. The pearl’s soft glowing appearance were believed to be formed from the teardrops of the moon that fell into the sea.

Throughout history the pearl has also come to symbolize various traits thought to reflect those individuals born in the month of June. Such virtues include purity, wisdom, charity and loyalty.

In ancient Greece, it was believed that pearls had the power to prevent newly wed brides from crying and to promote happiness among all those who wore them. More than 2,000 years ago, ancient Chinese believed pearls had the power to perpetuate eternal youth. To this day, pearls are ground up and used in Chinese cosmetics and serums to promote youthful looking skin.

Knowing the criteria that determines cultured pearl quality will help shoppers feel confident selecting pearls that will give them the most beauty and best value for their budget and personal styles.

Luster
The first thing to look for is luster. Luster is the brilliant sheen and deep inner glow that gives a pearl its appeal and, most importantly, its value. Dullness or chalkiness in pearls is a sign of poor quality.

Clean Surface
The second criterion is a clean surface. Since live oysters grow cultured pearls, it’s rare to find a pearl whose surface is completely free of any type of blemish. Blemishes often appear on the surface of a pearl as bumps, cracks and indentations. The fewer blemishes on the face of a pearl, the prettier and more valuable it will be.

Shape
The shape of a pearl is equally important. It’s difficult for an oyster to produce a perfectly round pearl, so naturally those pearls are rare and quite valuable. However, slightly off-round pearls can appear to be round from a distance of two feet or more and are a perfectly acceptable substitute. Baroque cultured pearls, or irregularly shaped pearls, have a uniquely interesting look in their own right, and can cost a fraction of what one would pay for a perfectly round pearl.