The June birthstone is actually a perfect gem to represent the beginning of our summer months – it is, after all, the only gorgeous gem to originate from living sea creatures. Pearls are formed when an irritant (like a grain of sand) gets into an oyster, clam or mussel shell. The oyster, for example, will repeatedly secrete layers of nacre over the sand, creating an iridescent pearl. The elegant white gem goes perfectly year round, but for June babies, it will be perfect for tanned skin and summer outfits. Pearls look clean and fresh as summer jewelry, graceful during colder months, and are chic and stylish at all times.

This classic gem is flattering on every skin tone and at every age, and there is a wealth of different styles you can draw inspiration from for how you want to wear your pearls this summer. It has become common for jewelry to mix different eras and feels, and pearls are a great gem to wear in creative and personal ways. For example, they can be worn in its simplest form to go with a minimalist style: wear peals in drop earrings or set in a smooth white or yellow gold band on your finger. Wear grey, silver or black pearls for a more contemporary edge, or keep the black and white to your wardrobe and go with more unexpected pink, gold or pistachio colored pearls. Some pearls have a secondary color that creates an overlay rainbow effect. You can also play with different shapes of pearls, which can be irregular, oval or round.

One thing to look at when shopping for pearls is its luster, which is the brightness and clarity of light reflection on a pearl’s surface. The look you want is down to personal preference of course, but many gem lovers do seek out high luster, where the light reflection is sharp and has distinct edges.

Size can also affect the price and value of pearls. The size of a pearl simply reflects the type of oyster the pearl comes from, as well as the length of time the pearl grew inside the oyster. You can create different looks with pearls ranging from 4mm to 16mm. Of course, you can mix in larger costume pearls too, as Coco Chanel herself often did. She loved mixing authentic, high quality pearls with costume jewelry for more volume and impact.

Besides being a timeless gem that celebrates June birthdays, pearls are also the perfect choice to wear for wedding season coming up. Brides can layer on ropes of luxurious pearls to add to their special day, and grooms can wear matching pearls on custom cuff-links. Family and friends of happy couples this summer would also look both bright and refined in pearl jewelry and accessories. We feel that you just cannot go wrong with pearls, and hope this post has inspired you to see pearls in a new light, and to wear them in new ways.