Pearl Anniversary Jewelry

Dear Leslie,
My husband and I are about to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. According to some traditions, pearl is the 12th anniversary gemstone. As it is also my birthstone, I feel this is appropriate. My husband told me that he wanted to buy me a nice strand of pearls as a present but is confused about what each type of pearl means. For instance what is natural and what is cultured? He was embarrassed to write you, so even though the gift is for me, I have agreed to write you.
Laurel in San Francisco

Well pearl certainly is a popular anniversary stone. I have seen it listed as the stone for 1st, 3rd, 12th and 30th wedding anniversaries. And it is the June birthstone as well, according to most opinions.Pearl

Now, to answer your question regarding different types of pearls, pearls can be divided into a variety of “types.” The different types of pearls are due to the way in which they were cultivated. As you may know, pearls are made when a lustrous substance, known as nacre, is secreted around a bit of sand or other irritant that finds its way inside the oyster shell. As layer upon layer of nacre coats the irritant, a pearl is formed. This process can take up to seven or eight years.

Cultured Pearl NecklaceThe most commonly heard of pearl types are natural pearls, made solely by the oyster with no human interference; cultured pearls which are made when a human inserts foreign pearl-forming tissue into a living oyster.

Then there are Freshwater Pearls found in freshwater, as their name implies. These tend to have a less perfect, more natural shape to them.

Tahitian PearlsThe other variation is Tahitian Pearls, the name given to pearls when the growth in the oyster is gray or black.

Pearl RingLesser known pearl types include baroque pearls (irregularly-shaped pearls), Biwa pearls (a freshwater pearl from Lake Biwa, Japan), and the unappealingly-named blister pearls which are grown attached to the oyster’s shell.

I hope that your husband finds the perfect pearl for you. Tell him he should write me himself next time, I’ll be kind.

Birthday Gift For a Friend

Dear Leslie,
One of my best friend’s birthdays is June 13th. I had to work that night and would like to get her a special gift to make up for it. Suggestions please!
Simone in Syracuse

Pearl BraceletWell Simone, June birthdays are relatively easy because you have a variety of stones to choose from. You can go with pearl, the traditional June birthstone, or opal and moonstone, the new-age variety. Bracelets are also a good choice for those whose birthday falls within the sgn of Gemini. My personal recommendation would be this beautiful, and affordable, freshwater cultured pearl and silver bracelet, though this cultured pearl three bracelet set is lovely as well (and even more affordable- only $30!).

Although bracelets are the piece of jewelry most preferred by Gemini, I happen to think opals look best in necklaces, and would recommend this sweet opal and pink tourmaline pendant if opal is the gemstone you choose to go with.

If none of those gems seems right for your friend, you may want to check out’s great new summer collections. You are sure to find the perfect gift amongst these innovative, personalized collections.

June Birthstone – Pearl

pearl earringsJune babies are lucky enough to have not one, but two birthstones to choose from, Alexandrite and Pearl.

Alexandrite, a gem which varies in color from red to green, was first discovered in the Ural Mountains and is named for the former czar of Russia, Alexander II, as it was supposedly discovered on the day of his birth. Although this gem has a noble history, it was the national stone of tsarist Russia, it is not as popular as the better known June birthstone, Pearl.

kinetic pearl necklacePearl possesses an iridescent quality and has been long regarded as the symbol of nobility. Pearls represent beauty, modesty and purity.

Depending on what ocean they were taken from, pearls can vary in color from white to green to the elusive and hauntingly beautiful black pearl. Pearl

Some people even stretch the June birthstone further to include moonstone, another iridescent gem. Moonstones have silvery white sheens and look like the face of the moon. Moonstones are the gift for lovers. Symbolising passion, this stone was believed to bestow the power of clairvoyancy on its wearers.

Needing a Jewelry Change

Dear Leslie,
All of my jewelry is very tasteful and simple, but I’ve grown a little bored of it. I just need something new to put on every once in a while. Any good ideas?
Morgan in Denver

I saw a fresh water pearl circle kinetic pendant which is absolutely stunning. Still simple and elegant, but with a certain unique flair to it.

Pearl Jewelry
Also, you must not be afraid to adding some color to your jewelry wardrobe. Take a look at this multicolored freshwater pearl necklace combining pearls and gemstones in a beautiful, light hearted approach to a pearl necklace.

Ruby Pendant
Or maybe something like a rhodolite garnet and diamond pendant.

I love that deep purple heart-shaped centerpiece. Both are affordable and either one will give you that wonderful feeling of having something new and different.