The Symbolism and Meaning of a Pearl, June’s Understated and Elegant Birthstone

Photo: W+G Creative
The birthstone most commonly associated with the month of June is the understated and elegant pearl. Unlike the other birthstones, it comes from a living organism, making it unique unto itself. Generally speaking, the June birthstone is an energetic reminder that beauty and wisdom can be gleaned from experience, and it can help provide calm and enhance one’s intuitive knowing during times of strife.

Experts In This Article

According to multiplayer modality healing practitioner and Reiki master Laura Ellis, a crystal expert with more than 15 years of experience, it can also help ease the transition from Gemini to Cancer season. “Incorporating this gem during the month of June will help while moving through erratic heady Gemini season and the start of emotionally sensitive Cancer season,” which astrologer Cristina Farella previously told Well+Good can “prompt a lot of looking within.”

Properties of the June birthstone: the pure, wise, and elegant pearl

June birthstone
Photo: W+G Creative

  • Birthstone color: Varied
  • Chakra: Crown chakra
  • Origin: Varied

Most gems form in the earth’s interior realms by way of intense pressure and blistering heat. Pearls, however, are produced by mollusks, and they are essentially a byproduct that occurs when an irritant, like a grain of sand or a parasite, enters a mollusk’s mantle. As a means of protection, the mollusk will secrete calcium carbonate called nacre or mother of pearl—the same iridescent substance that forms its shell. It encases the intruder in layer upon layer of nacre, and over the course of several years, this can yield a lustrous pearl.

As natural pearls are typically hard to come by, people have taken to creating cultured pearls, which involves methods that mimic the process that happens in nature. According to the Gemological Institute of America, there are four common types of cultured pearls, which are all sourced from various parts of the world, including China, Japan, Australia, Tahiti, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Pearls can also come in a range of colors, though they are commonly associated with white or cream hues—in any case, they will always be marked by an iridescent sheen.

Birthstone meaning and symbolism of pearl

Pearls have been thought to have energetic properties since ancient times. Greek mythology believed that pearls were shed by Aphrodite, symbolizing love and femininity. In Chinese tradition, pearls were associated with wisdom, spiritual energy, and power, while Western cultures have long regarded pearls as a symbol of modesty and purity.

“A pearl reminds us that beautiful things can come out of discomfort.” —Laura Ellis, multiplayer modality healing practitioner, and Reiki master

Today, pearls continue to retain their ineffable allure—if not for their iridescent beauty, then for what they’ve come to symbolize. “A pearl reminds us that beautiful things can come out of discomfort,” says Ellis, calling to mind the years-long process it takes for a mollusk to create a pearl. She says they are also helpful for calming the stress and negativity that might arise, providing you with a “nurturing, loving energy” to buoy you in times of strife. According to Mariah K. Lyons, founder of ASTARA, Reiki master, and crystal healer, the gem also serves as an energetic reminder that “pearls of wisdom” can be gleaned from experience.

June-born Geminis can harness the energetic powers of the pearl, says Lyons, who just so happens to be a Gemini herself. Quick, charismatic, and clever, “they are intuitive communicators who can translate higher-concept ideas into tangible concepts,” she says, a notable skill that is key among Gemini’s traits. “The pearl helps Gemini translate, communicate, and emanate the wisdom they have gleaned from their life experiences and to share that with others, and it also helps Gemini process information that they are receiving intuitively and in their own intellectual pursuits.”

“Pearls also have an association with the moon and the different phases of the feminine that women go through different phases that women go through in their life, but also biologically in their life,” says Lyons. In astrology, the moon is Cancer’s ruling planet. A feminine force that emanates emotional, introspective, and empathetic energy, the moon is reflective of many of Cancer’s personality traits. “We often think of Cancer as the sign of the mother. It is very nurturing and sensitive, and as a water sign, it is highly intuitive,” says Lyons, and the pearl can bring out Cancer’s full feminine and intuitive abilities. “It helps to enhance their healing, nurturing, and mothering abilities, whether they are mothering a business, mothering plants, mothering children, helping birth forth different creations in the world,” she says.

Since pearls can help one glean information and tap into their intuitive knowing, they are also typically associated with the crown chakra, says Lyons. Known in Sanskrit as the Sahasrara or the “thousand petals lotus chakra,” it is the center of enlightenment, “connecting you to your soul, higher self, purpose, the universe, source, and the divine,” Reiki practitioner Serena Poon previously told Well+Good.

Another thing that sets pearls apart from other birthstones are their healing properties. “In Chinese medicine, they’ve been used for thousands of years,” says integrative medicine and crystal expert, Elizabeth Trattner, AP, DOM, a licensed acupuncturist trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the owner of wellness center The Helia House. “They can be taken orally for their mineral and amino acid profile, and they can be used topically to reduce scarring,” she says, citing one study conducted in 2021 that confirms the gem’s benefits.

What are the other June birthstones?

According to the Jewelers of America’s standardized birthstone list, alexandrite and moonstone are also listed as June birthstones, but pearl is thought of as the “main” one. “Alexandrite is a very rare stone—much rarer than diamonds—found in Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka, and Africa,” says Ellis, adding that “it’s dichroic, which means it changes colors depending on the light source; it is green in natural light and turns red in artificial light.” According to Ellis, it’s said to promote physical and spiritual balance, bring joy and lucky, and help one to accept and embrace change.

Moonstone is a feldspar mineral that comes in a range of hues, from clear to colorless and white streaked with a metallic blue, silver, or white iridescence that resemble moonbeams. It serves an energetic reminder of purposefulness. “From more mindful decisions day-to-day to bigger life changes, this crystal offers you support and guidance to help you live a purposeful life,” crystal expert Heather Askinosie, the co-founder of Energy Muse, previously told Well+Good. People born under Gemini and Cancer in particular can benefit from moonstone, she says, as “both Gemini and Cancer signs tend to have a strong drive to connect with their purpose.”

What are birthstones?

Birthstones are gemstones that represent a person’s birth month or zodiac sign. Their origins are believed to trace back to biblical times, and the first-century historian Flavius Josephus associated the 12 gemstones on Aaron’s breastplate in the Book of Exodus with the months of the year and the 12 zodiac signs. However, the custom of wearing an individual gem per month didn’t begin until around the 15th or 16th century in Germany or Poland. Birthstones are also found to have origins in Eastern Culture. The Ratna Pariksha, a fifth-century Hindu text, linked specific gems to deities, celestial bodies, and days of the week, while Vedic astrologers recommend certain gems to individuals based on their astrological birth chart.

In 1912, the American Council Association of Jewelers (which is currently known as the Jewelers of America) created a standardized list of birthstones in the United States. This list was updated by the Jewelry Industry Council of America and later by The American Gem Trade Association to include new types of birthstones for certain months of the year.

An overview of the birthstones for every month of the year

Want to pick a crystal that corresponds to your birth month? Here’s a quick overview of the birthstones for every month of the year:

Frequently asked questions about the June birthstone

What is the true birthstone for June?

There are three June birthstones—pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone—but pearl is considered as the traditional birthstone of the month.

What does the June birthstone represent?

Pearl can represent several things. In Chinese tradition, they were symbolic of wisdom, spiritual energy, and power, while they were associated with purity and modesty in Western cultures. Pearls have also been associated with the moon, which in astrology, is considered a feminine force with a nurturing energy.

What are Gemini’s birthstones?

June-born Geminis have three birthstones—namely, pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone. Geminis born in May have emerald as their birthstone.

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