The Folklore of Pearls

Pearl folklore spans centuries. This June birthstone’s iridescent beauty has inspired many stories.

Chains of pearls

Ancient Japanese folktales told that pearls were created from the tears of mythical creatures like mermaids and nymphs. Early Chinese civilizations believed that dragons carried pearls between their teeth and the dragon had to be slain to claim the pearls, which symbolized wisdom. The phrase “pearls of wisdom” is still used today.

Other cultures associated pearls with the moon, calling them “teardrops of the moon.” Hindu folklore explained that dewdrops fell from the moon into the sea, and Krishna picked one for his daughter on her wedding day.

Some ancient legends described pearls as tears cried by gods. It was believed that Eve cried pearls when she was exiled from Eden.

Pearls have also been symbols of wealth, purity, and fertility. Pearl jewelry is often worn by brides during weddings in Asia and in Western cultures.

Some cultures believed that pearls were bad luck, since the gemstones were ripped from living creatures. To counteract this, pearl jewelry had to be given out of love, without jealousy and malice.

If you’re looking for pearl jewelry for yourself or for someone with a June birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend and historical lore of pearls and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Alexandrite

Alexandrite was discovered in fairly modern times. Since it was found in the early 1800s in Russia, not much lore has built up around this incredibly rare gemstone.

Alexandrite ring sitting on a rock by the sea

When this gemstone was first discovered in emerald mines in the Ural Mountains, they assumed it was emerald. However, the mineralogist who found it later noticed that the gemstone changed colors depending on the type of light it was in.

Often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that changes from bluish green in daylight to purplish red under incandescent light. The shifting colors are the result of alexandrite’s uncommon chemical composition that includes traces of chromium, the same coloring agent found in emerald.

According to legend, alexandrite was named for Alexander II because it was discovered on the future czar’s birthday. Because alexandrite’s red and green hues matched Russia’s military colors, it became the official gemstone of Imperial Russia’s Tsardom.

Since its discovery, people have felt this June birthstone brought good luck and abundance. Some have even believed it brought happiness and love into their lives.

Associated with concentration and learning, alexandrite is believed to strengthen intuition, aid creativity and inspire imagination, bringing good omens to anyone who wears it.

If you’re looking for alexandrite jewelry for yourself or for someone with a June birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend and historical lore of alexandrite and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Moonstone

Throughout time, moonstone has been connected to the Earth’s moon. This mysterious stone—which looks like a moonlit night—has been the object of lore across the world.

For two thousand years, Romans used moonstone in jewelry. They linked the stone to the Moon Goddess Diana and believed that wearing moonstone would bring love, wealth, and success.

In Asia, there was a myth that every 21 years, blue moonstones were brought in by the tide. In India, it was believed that this gem was good luck and allowed romantic partners to read their future, if they placed the moonstone in their mouth during a full moon. Moonstone is one of India’s traditional wedding gifts. They also felt that the stone’s luster grew and weakened as the moon transitioned from a full moon to a new moon.

Hindu mythology also told that moonstone was made from the moon’s ethereal light. Legend portrayed it as a sacred and magical “dream stone” that could bring serene and beautiful dreams at night.

Legends have claimed that moonstone could help the wearer have clear visions and prophecies. If someone was continuously angry, the stone would lose its beautiful luster. It was also known as the “Traveler’s Stone,” as it was believed that it would protect people who wore it while traveling at night.

Current lore revolves around moonstone’s ability to help wearers go with the flow, similar to the moon affecting the tides.

This dreamy stone is gorgeous no matter how you feel about it.

If you’re looking for moonstone jewelry for yourself or a friend or someone with a June birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend and historical lore of moonstone and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

Jewelers Mutual Presents: Your Birthstone Guide

JM-birthstone-guide

There’s something about birthstones that creates fascination, whether the focus is on their history and lore, or the emotional connection an individual may have with their birth month’s gem(s). In fact, the most searched topic on the American Gem Society website is “birthstones.”

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, in collaboration with the American Gem Society, has created a handy, go-to guide for birthstones. The guide features interesting facts about each birthstone and how to care for them. Click here to learn more!

If you’re looking for jewelry featuring your or a loved one’s birthstones, visit an AGS jeweler near you.

Teardrops of the Moon: Pearls in Legends…and Trends

Ancient Japanese legends told stories of mermaids and nymphs crying tears of pearls. When the Greek gods wept, they shed pearls. Even the moon allegedly shed tears of well…you know.

There are many myths pearls, and not all tales involve crying.

Early Chinese civilization believed that dragons carried pearls between their teeth. If you were brave enough to slay a dragon and claim a pearl, it was a symbol of wisdom. In Hindu folklore, dewdrops fell from the moon into the sea, turned into pearls, and Krishna picked one out of the water as a gift for his daughter on her wedding day.

Being the subject of many legends, pearls, as you can imagine, were highly coveted. They were also extremely rare in nature. During the Byzantine Empire, only the emperor was allowed to wear pearls. The ancient Egyptians loved them so much, they were buried with them. And Tudor England was nicknamed the Pearl Age because of the gem’s popularity with the sixteenth-century upper class. The next time you are in a museum looking at Renaissance art, notice the many portraits of the royals wearing pearls.

In more modern times, they became the Art Deco centerpiece for flappers and fashionistas. Ladies who lunch wore them with their white gloves. Pearls during the day, diamonds at night, and never the two shall meet.

And now? Today’s pearls are more often than not cultured. Honora, one of the premier pearl designers, refers to them as “affordable luxury.”

If pearls are the gem of legends, then this watch from Honora is legendary. We love the contrast of the leather wristband and the halo of pearls around the watch dial.

Pearl watch

One more from Honora: this classic strand of white pearls is timeless and versatile. Wear it with a blouse and jeans or a dress to work. It’s perfect for either and will make you feel like royalty.

strand of pearls

Thankfully, these drop earrings from Breuning ignored the memo that diamonds and pearls don’t go together. Try telling that to these rebellious diamond, pearl, and pink sapphire jewels.

diamonds_pearls_pink sapphires

Last, but certainly not least, are these pairs of thoroughly modern fringe earrings from Mastoloni Pearls, featuring both black and white pearls.

Diamond Pearl Fringe Earrings

If you are looking to mix up your jewelry arsenal, give pearls a whirl. Seriously, find some pearls you will love and enjoy them for years to come. Click here to find a jeweler who can help you find the perfect piece.