A Pearl is historically believed to possess mystical and healing powers. Roman women slept with them under their pillow to sweeten dreams. Ancient Asian cultures used pearls in medicinal ways. The early Hindus revered them as a symbol of purity in marriage.
The June birthstone, pearl is a recognized gift for the 3rd and 30th wedding anniversaries. Pearls are most commonly thought of as round and white, but they come in many shapes (i.e. oval, teardrop and freeform) and colors (cream, pink, peach, cinnamon, gold, blue-gray and black). A pearl's color is a combination of its body and overtone color (orient).
Pearls are available in both saltwater and freshwater varieties. Five factors determine value: luster, orient, surface-cleanliness, shape and size. Pearls are commonly bleached to achieve uniform color. Some are dyed to get black, gray, blue, rose and golden hues, as well as fashion colors. Wipe pearls clean gently with a soft, dry or damp cloth. Mild soapy water is fine, but not mechanical cleaners.