June Birthstone | The Old Farmer's Almanac

June Birthstone: Color and Meaning

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June Birthstone Color, Meaning, History, and Symbolism

by Martie Majoros
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June’s traditional birthstone is the pearl. With their natural beauty, pearls have been beloved for centuries. Learn more about the pearl, which is associated with purity, honesty, and calm.

June Birthstone Color

Iridescent pearls come in soft colors that complement and flatter most complexions, and they are a popular wardrobe accessory for this reason. You’ll find pearls in a spectrum of neutrals ranging from creamy white to black to an assortment of beautiful hues including pink, yellow, brown, green, purple, blue, silver, and black.

High-quality pearls have a reflective luster, making them appear creamy white with an iridescent sheen that casts many colorful hues.

They don’t need any polishing to reveal their natural luster.

Image: MSLightbox/Getty

How Pearls Are Made

Unlike other gems, true pearls develop naturally in the wild and are made by living creatures! 

Mollusks, such as clams, oysters, and mussels, create pearls in response to irritants that get inside their shells. When this happens, a mollusk coats the substance with conchiolin (which acts like a glue) and layers of crystallized calcium carbonate, called nacre or mother-of-pearl.

Only a few mollusks create pearls that are of high enough quality to use as jewelry. Natural pearls, found in the wild, can be various shapes; it is rare to find a perfectly smooth, round specimen.

Pearl, June birthstone

Meaning of Pearls

Pearls are associated with purity, honesty, and calmness. If you dream of a pearl ring, expect romance.The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love. 

Other cultures associated pearls with the moon, calling them “teardrops of the moon.” Hindu folklore explained that dewdrops fell from the moon into the sea, and Krishna picked one for his daughter on her wedding day.

English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) is believed to have eaten a paste of ground pearls and lemon juice to cure illness.

More Facts About Pearls

  • Most pearls available on the market are not wild; they are “cultured,” meaning that the mollusks are farmed and implanted with nuclei to start pearl development. 
  • Pearls are very soft compared to other gems. They’ll even dissolve in vinegar so take care of your pearls!
  • Alternate birthstones for June include alexandrite (an extremely rare gem that turns from bluish green in daylight to purplish red in incandescent light) and moonstone (a gem that shimmers like moonlight; the clearer the stone and the bluer its sheen, the more valuable).

See ALL birthstones by month

See June’s birth flower.

Check out our Birthdays page to find fun birthday facts, history, folklore, and more!