June is pearl month - let's celebrate these lovelies!
The pearl is one of the birthstones for the month of June. Most months only have one stone that represents it but June is lucky enough to have two. Prized for their lustrous beauty, pearls add class and distinction to any wardrobe.
The pearl is a miracle of nature produced by a mollusk. Made primarily of calcium carbonate, the pearl is created by the mollusk's attempt to protect itself from an invader - usually some sand or grit. Layers of calcium carbonate are deposited over the grain of sand and over time, a pearl develops.
Exceedingly rare is the pearl naturally occurring in nature. The majority of pearls are known as "cultured" pearls and are grown using sophisticated techniques to encourage the mollusk to make a pearl. China leads the way in the cultured pearl marketplace today.
At Rock Your Nose, I use half drilled pearls, cabochon pearls, and drilled pearls in many of my designs. It's important to note that cleaning requires some care due to the pearl's fragile calcium carbonate composition. Cleaning silver jewelry using a "dip" solution where the jewelry is plunged into the cleaner for a short period of time, then removed and rinsed isn't an appropriate method for silver and pearls. You can use the cleaner for the silver parts - just make sure to use a Q-Tip dipped in the solution and then applied to the metal portion of the stud or ring while avoiding the pearl(s).