"What is important with pearls is the woman who is wearing them." - Anonymous

June's birthstone has an ancient, storied history: As early as 2300 BC, pearls were presented as gifts to Chinese royalty. Ancient Romans considered them the ultimate status symbol. Julius Caesar even passed a law in the first century BC limiting the wearing of pearls only to the ruling classes (he didn't get the memo that they're actually for everyone! It didn't work out well for him in the end). Famous designers from Coco Chanel to Jackie Kennedy and celebrities like Liz Taylor have brought pearls out of their shell and where they belong: front and center!

But what makes pearls so special? For starters, they are the only gems created by a living creature. Like people, no two pearls are ever exactly alike. In many areas of the world today pearls remain more coveted than diamonds. Unfortunately, these natural beauties have been virtually depleted and can be found in the wild quite rarely - only off the coasts of Bahrain and Australia. Cue the cultured pearl industry, featuring the famous saltwater varietals such as Tahitian and Akoya.

Regardless of your birth month, salt and freshwater cultivation means we can all enjoy pearls. Asymmetrical pearls that occur most often in freshwater are coined "Baroque." Although perfectly round pearls have been the most coveted historically, these irregular shapes are gaining interest in jewelry design today. Their dazzling shapes and individuality create pieces as unique as the wearer. Some shapes that occur naturally are quite simply - amazing. And since people ARE indeed like pearls, given their individuality, these unique baroque gems make wonderful gifts and very personal statements to wear. If you are looking for something truly special to gift or to select for yourself, consider this new twist on a classic. Seek and you will find "the one" that speaks to you.

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