June - The Month of Pearl

Pearl, the birthstone of June.

People have used natural pearls as a symbols of wealth and status for over a thousand years. One of the oldest written documentation of pearl was from China in 2206BC, they believed that pearls can protect people from fire and fire-breathing dragons. In Europe, they symbolised modesty, chastity and purity.

Pearls are unique because they are the only gemstones formed within a living creature and so come in wide variety of sizes, shapes and colours. There are two basic varieties of pearls, cultured pearls and natural pearls. All pearls can then be further categorised into two main types - freshwater and saltwater. There are distinct differences between these two types, with saltwater pearls generally considered the superior of the two. Examples of salt water pearls include Akoya Pearls, South Sea Pearls and Tahitian Pearls.

Pearls can be found in saltwater and freshwater mollusks. When the mollusk secretes an iridescent substance, called nacre, around an irritant, it forms a natural or cultured pearl. Natural pearls occur when the irritant, such as a minute organism, accidentally enters the mollusk.  When humans introduce the irritant, the end result is a cultured pearl. Not all mollusks secret nacre. When there is no nacre, the pearls are referred to as non-nacreous pearls.

There are seven factors describing pearl quality: size, shape, colour, lustre, surface, nacre quality and matching. Each factor contributes to the final grading of a pearl. At ikku london each pearl is picked with extreme care by experts.

ikku London particularly love baroque pearls, as their beauty lies within their irregularity. Baroque pearls are identified based on how they are formed, they can be found in both freshwater and saltwater. In our Seaspired Collection, we have used both South Sea Pearls, and freshwater pearls.

The Diapiary Earring and Baroque Bangle are both made from South Sea Pearls, decorated with 18k gold and diamonds. Since every baroque pearl is a different shape, all of these pieces are 100% hand made and unique, each time they are crafted, they may look a little different due to the pearls unique features.

The other pearl items we have are the Baroque pin, Seashell Earring, Seashell Stud Earring , Pearl Ear Hook and the ikku Pearl Rings. They are made from fresh water pearls decorated with 18k gold, diamonds and sapphires.

Diapiary - 18k white gold with south sea pearls, diamonds and white topaz - £2,770

Baroque Bangle - 18k yellow gold with diamonds and south sea pearls - £2,110

Baroque pin - 18k white gold with diamonds and freshwater baroque pearls - from £455

Seashell Earring - 18k white gold, diamonds and freshwater pearls - £3,665

Pink Sapphire Seashell Stud Earring - 18k pink gold, pink sapphires, diamonds and freshwater pearls - £1,070

Lemon Sapphire Seashell Stud Earring - 18k yellow gold, yellow sapphires, diamonds and freshwater pearls - £1070

Pearl Ear Hook - 18k yellow gold and freshwater pearl - £80 (per piece)

ikku Pearl Ring - Freshwater pearls - £37