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Keep reading to discover more about pearl
- Physical properties
- Metaphysical, Spiritual and Healing** Properties***
- Common Associations
Properties of Pearl
Pearl is not a true mineral, as its source is organic. It is formed within the soft living tissue of a shelled mollusk.
Chemically pearls are made of calcium carbonate, either the mineral aragonite or a mixture of aragonite and calcite, sometimes with minor vaterite. The shell contains small amounts of conchiolin, a hornlike organic substance; together with traces of aragonite, these are called nacre, or mother-of-pearl. A beautifully iridescent and durable substance, mother-of-pearl has been used for millennia for utensils, and for ornamentation such as buttons and inlays. The finest pearls are those produced by mollusks whose shells are lined with mother-of-pearl; such mollusks are limited to certain species of saltwater oysters and freshwater clams.
The shell-secreting cells are located in a layer of the mollusk's body called the mantle. When a foreign particle enters the mantle, the cells build up more or less concentric layers of pearl around the foreign particle. Baroque pearls are irregularly shaped pearls that have grown in muscular tissue; blister pearls are those that grow adjacent to the shell and are flat on one side.
Pearls are valued by their translucence, luster, play of surface color, and shape. The most valuable are spherical or droplike, with a deep luster and good color play. In the jewelry industry, saltwater pearls are commonly referred to as Oriental pearls; those produced by freshwater mollusks are called freshwater pearls.
Cultured pearls are those that have been grown on a pearl farm. A tiny sphere of mother-of-pearl is implanted in the mantle of the nacre-producing mollusk, which is then placed in the waters of the farm. The oyster forms a pearl around the tiny sphere, which is then harvested up to two years later. The first steps toward pearl culturing occurred hundreds of years ago in China, and Japanese pioneers successfully produced whole cultured pearls around the beginning of the twentieth century. These became commercially important in the 1920s (about the same time natural pearl production began to decline). From the 1930s through the 1980s, pearl culturing diversified and spread to various countries around the world.
The color of pearls varies with the mollusk and its environment. A pearl can be any delicate shade from black to white, cream, gray, blue, yellow, green, lavender, and mauve. Pearls vary from the size of tiny seeds--called seed pearls--to one large baroque pearl that weighed 3 oz!
Metaphysical, Spiritual and Healing** Properties***
For millenia, pearls have symbolized purity, faith, charity and innocence. Pearl is a “stone of sincerity,” assisting in bringing truth to situations. Pearls enhance purity of both body and mind, thus providing preparation for receipt of spiritual and other guidance. This aspect of pearl also supports balance through changing cycles, intuition, and inner clarity.
In Buddhist iconography, a pearl held by a dragon is a “wish-fulfilling jewel” representing the energy of the Sun, bringing light and the potential for true joy to all.
Since ancient times pearls have been associated with the energy of the Moon and the sacred feminine, and have been used for enhancing fertility and easing childbirth.
Feng Shui of Pearl
Minerals placed in the home or work environment with intention can enhance that energy. The art of feng shui helps to understand how certain parts of your home or work place can benefit from the placement of objects. For a basic primer on feng shui, click HERE.
In feng shui, pearls can be worked with based on their shape, their color, and their energetic associations with the sacred feminine, the moon, and new beginnings. The round shape of many pearls is an expression of “metal” in the feng shui classification of elements, as are the colors white and gray. The area of your home / room associated with the Children / Completion section of the bagua map (from the entrance, the right middle section of the space) benefits from placement of metal objects – try putting a pearl bracelet or necklace in a silver bowl in that area.
Pearls come in all colors, so you can select your pearl jewelry based on the pearl color and the energy you want to enhance. White pearls support purity and innocence, black pearls support intuition and insight, and pink and peach pearls provide feelings of gentle warmth and support.
Common Associations for Pearl
- Color –from white to dark grey, some rainbow, some colored
- Chakra – crown
- Numerology - vibrates to the number 7
- Planets – Moon
- Zodiac – Rabbit, Cancer
- Bagua –completion/children (dui)
- Elements –metal
- Birthstone - June
- Wedding Anniversary –3rd and 30th
* Mineralogical information is from mindat.org
** Always consult with your medical professional for any physical or long-term healing issues.
*** Metaphysical properties come from:
Love Is in the Earth (1995) Melody, Earth-Love Publishing House, 726 pp.
The Crystal Bible, A Definitive Guide to Crystals (2003) Judy Hall, Walking Stick Press, 399 pp.
Crystal Muse (2017) Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro, Hay House, 285 pp.
Crystal Gridwork (2018) Kiera Fogg, Weiser Books, 128 pp.