Place: China, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), Australia, French Polynesia (especially Tahiti)
Colour variations: White, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, Purple, Gray, Black, Multicolour
Birthstone of: Not associated with a specific sign of Zodiac.
Brief history and geological characteristics: Unlike all gems, Pearl is organic matter derived from a living creature – oysters and molluscs. Over time, Pearl has become the symbol of purity and innocence and it is often sewn into bridal gowns, or worn as jewellery by the brides. Natural Pearls are rare to come across and seldom used in jewellery. Unless explicitly called “Natural Pearl”, buyers should assume that Pearl is cultivated. In Hindu culture, Pearls were associated with the moon and were symbols of love and purity. Hindu texts say that Krishna discovered the first Pearl, which he presented to his daughter on her wedding day. Christianity also adopted Pearl as a symbol of purity. Many of these ideas have come down to us in Pearl lore and legends and persist until today. For example, Pearls are often associated with brides and weddings – a concept possibly linked all the way back to Krishna and the wedding of his daughter. Pearls are also said to symbolize tears, to provide love and fertility, to symbolize purity, and to ward off evil.
Spiritual and healing energy: From ancient China and India to medieval Europe and Arabia – and in almost every culture in between – Pearls have been used for medical purposes, ranging from aphrodisiacs to cures of insanity. Pearls could be simply worn as jewellery for their curative powers, or they could be ground up and made into potions, balms, and salves to treat a wide variety of ailments and conditions. As one legend has it, a Pearl placed in the navel could cure stomach disorders.