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Serving New England Since 1979

June's Birthstone of the Month

The shimmering radiance of a strand of pearls has held the attention of brides for millennia. The ancient Greeks believed that wearing pearls would promote marital bliss and prevent newlywed women from crying. During the Crusades in the Middle Ages, pearls were the gift of choice for a knight to give to his lady. During the 14th and 15th centuries, royal wedding scenes closely resembled a sea of pearls, with everyone from the bride down to her male guests adorned with impressive arrays of pearl jewelry. In modern times, cultured pearls have graced such 20th century brides as Queen Elizabeth II, the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor.

You may have seen the term cultured" preceding the word pearls at your jewelry store. Cultured pearls are pearls that are nudged to life when a worker surgically implants a tiny bead into the oyster (that's the shellfish in which pearls grow). The host oyster is then lowered back into the water and, if all goes well, it deposits layer upon layer of a substance called nacre around the bead, eventually forming a pearl large enough to harvest. Of course, some oysters continue to produce pearls without any help, forming nacre around a natural irritant that gets inside their shells. They are rare however. Culturing produces far more pearls than nature could alone.

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