The word pearl comes from the French word ‘perle’, which was originally from the Latin word ‘perma’, meaning leg, named for the ham or mutton leg shaped bi-halves that produce pearls. A pearl is produced when an irritating microscopic object becomes trapped in a shelled mollusk’s mantle folds; any shelled mollusk can create a pearl. Nacreous pearls are the most commercially significant pearls and are primarily produced by two groups of molluscan bi-halves or clams. A nacreous pearl is made from layers of nacre, by the same living process as is used in the secretion of mother of pearl which lines the shell. The species that produce pearls that are considered gemstones include the bailer shell Melo, the giant clam, various scallop species, pen shells Pinna, and the Haliot (an iris species of abalone).
|Elizabeth Taylor Pearl Necklace|
Historically pearls were used in cosmetics and medicinally. For centuries people relied on Pearl Powder made from low-grade pearls to give their skin a pale, pearlescent glow. Though still used today, any therapeutic value derived from pearls, stems from their chemical makeup. Pearls are primarily made of Calcium and some 20 amino acids. Research however, indicates that only a small amount of the calcium in pearls can be absorbed by the body.
|Pearl of Lao Tzu|
|Ancient Susa Pearl Necklace|
Pearls are the official birthstone for the month of June; and are also the zodiac stone for the signs of Gemini and Cancer. These Moon and Water ruled ‘gems’ are historically symbolic of purity, innocence, and faith. They are believed to enhance personal integrity and to help clear the mind so that it can be a channel for wisdom and spiritual guidance. They are, also, said to bring centering and a calming reflection, as well as attuning the wearer to the ebb and flow of life. Pearls are also thought to be quite balancing for emotions, especially to water signs. There are also those that claim pearls can bring inner wisdom and help to strengthen and nurture the growth of love. They are believed to offer the power of love, money, protection, luck, and to lessen stress. Due to the fact that pearls are believed to absorb the negative energy of the wearer, they must be cleansed often to recharge.
- Zodiac: Gemini, Cancer
- Planet: Moon
- Element: Water
- Energy: Receptive
- Chakra: 3rd
- Deities: Isis, Aphrodite, Freya, Venus, Lakshmi, Diana, Neptune, Poseidon, and all oceanic deities, though the pearl is more specifically goddess-oriented.
- Properties: Purity, honesty, innocence, integrity, concentration, focus, tranquility, wisdom