Happy Birthday, June! The June birthstone is pearl.

One of our most treasured gems, the pearl comes from one of the humblest of all life forms, the mollusk. The scientific formation of natural pearls is almost as mystical as folklore. When an irritant becomes lodged in the flesh of a mollusk (an oyster, mussel, or clam), the mollusk produces a protective substance called nacre. Over time, the irritant is coated in layer after layer of shimmering nacre, creating a natural pearl!

Natural pearls are relatively rare, and today, roughly 90% of the pearl industry is comprised of cultured pearls, a process in which a piece of shell, a bead, or other item is placed inside a mollusk to begin the process of cultivating a pearl.

Natural pearls are found by divers in the Persian Gulf, off the coast of Japan, in the South Pacific Islands off the coast of Northern Australia, and along the coasts of Panama, Venezuela, and California. Much of the cultured pearl industry is located along the Japanese and Australian coasts.

Pearls come in a range of hues, and are most commonly found in shades of white, pink, yellow, gray, and black. They come in different shapes and sizes, with round pearls being the most popular for jewelry.

Jewelry featuring the June birthstone pearl is an excellent option for a birthday gift.