Pearl is one of the June stones mascots

Our next publication under the heading "Stone of the Month" is about the May pearl that occupies and will undoubtedly always occupy a special position among gemstones. Throughout its long and illustrious history, it has been highly valued for its silvery colour, which needs no enhancement from the master artisan. Until the 15th century, when the method of polishing and cutting diamonds was invented, i.e. until the advent of diamonds, pearls were the most expensive, invariably the top-ranked gemstone at that time. Strictly speaking, pearl is not a stone. Its delicate pearly lustre, amazing energy of tantalizing deep waters and organic origin make pearls a unique jewellery mineral of zoic origin. People knew pearls since the ancient times. The references of pearls and pearl jewellery were found in the Indian Vedas and on clay tablets found while excavations in Persia. Historical records testifying that the people of Ancient Babylon were skin-diving for pearls in the Persian Gulf 2700 years ago! Nowadays, there are skin-divers near the islands of Indonesia, in the coast of India, in the coastal waters of Sri Lanka, the coast of Panama, in Mexico, Australia, the Bahamas and in the coast of California as well as in the Persian Gulf and Tahiti.

Pearls were among the first jewellery items that a man used. The ancient Greeks believed pearls were the frozen tears of a beautiful sea Nymph, the Slavs thought that they were the reflection of lightning and the Chinese thought that they were the petrified light of the Moon.

Today when we hear the word 'pearls', first we think of Coco Chanel's pearl beads, Grace Kelly's laconic string of pearls, the noble pearl earrings. We rarely remember that pearl embroidery was very popular handicraft in Russia and Russian craftswomen reached unprecedented heights in this art. Our northern rivers were so rich in pearls, that - no matter how incredible it may sound - luxurious, fully embroidered with pearls holiday dresses could be afforded even by ordinary peasant women. Hence, by the 17th century, the resources were practically exhausted.

Pearls is the only jewellery material formed in mollusks body, pearl is one of the oldest gems used as jewellery as they do not need any further processing. For many centuries, high quality pearls have been very expensive. However, this price dominance was put to an end when cultural pearls were launched at the market in the 1920s. pearl cultivation technology successful acceptance and development is attributed to Mikimoto Kōkichi (1858-1954). Japan, where pearls became the national symbol, controls the quality of exported pearls following the Mikimoto tradition.

In many cultures, pearls are considered to be the most "feminine" of all gems as they are favored for childbearing and help develop the qualities, which are considered to be feminine, namely emotionality, delicacy and intuition. Astrologers believe that jewellery and decorative items with pearls of all shapes, colours and sizes will work well with people born under the sign of Cancer.

New themed photo album "Pearl is one of the May stones mascots" is posted in the museum Photo Gallery.

Pearl is called the queen of jewels and it has been fascinating people for thousands of years.