June’s Birthstone

Art Deco Mother-of-Pearl Cufflinks with Seed Pearls and Goldplated Backs (LEO Design)

The month of June is endowed with three birthstones: Pearls, Alexandrite, and Moonstone. And while pearls are not true “stones,” for millennia they have been valued for their rarity, costliness, and mysterious beauty.  Pearls are the “build-up” of calcium carbonate, produced by fresh- and saltwater mollusks, when a small foreign object enters (and irritates) the creature’s tender internal tissue.  Naturally occurring pearls are very rare.  In fact, they are so rare that in 1917, Paris jeweler Pierre Cartier traded a double strand of matched, natural pearls for the Fifth Avenue mansion where his New York store still operates today.

Mother-of-Pearl, while not as precious as pearls, also is formed of the same nacreous material as its inhabitant .  The lustrous, iridescent substance is also used in jewelry, clothing, and inlay.

The cufflinks above might be the right gift for the June-born man (or woman).