beaded pearl bracelets with charms

Pearls & Their Meaning

Of all the gemstones, pearls evoke a timeless class quality. Pearls serve as a powerful symbol and natural wonder that has fascinated and beautifully adorned humans for over 6,000 years. What are pearls, what do pearls symbolize, and what does it mean to wear pearls?

How Pearls Are Created

Among gemstones, the pearl is unique. Unlike the origins of gems formed from the earth such as diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, pearls are formed organically in mollusks (such as oysters, clams, or mussels) in fresh and saltwater bodies of water. 

A pearl begins with a tiny grain of sand or another small irritant that prompts the animal to secrete a fluid, nacre, similar to that they use to create their shell to cover and smooth the irritant. The process repeats over time until countless layers form a pearl. The smooth luminescent surface formed by the nacre may form a nearly perfect sphere or have a more irregular, but equally beautiful, shape.

What Do Pearls Symbolize?

pearl bangle bracelet stack

The pearl’s meaning is entwined in history, mythology, and the sciences. The shape, appearance, and water origins of the pearl strongly evoke the Moon. Ancient Vedic texts from the area we now know as India, describe the pearl as being born of the Earth’s waters and heaven’s powers and sparked by a flash of lighting. 

In Western Astrology, the pearl is associated with the planet and goddess Venus. And in the famous Botticelli painting “The Birth of Venus,” the goddess is shown arising from the sea on a mollusk shell. Many cultures associate pearls with the moon. The moon's association with water reinforces these connections, as pearls are born in water.

Today, the meaning of the pearl is rich and varied. The very process of making a pearl ties into the wisdom that comes from experience and overcoming seeming hardships to grow even stronger and more beautiful. The very act of creating a pearl makes them a natural sign of strength and protection and enduring, lasting relationships. Pearls can also denote healing and balance as well as beauty and spirituality.

Because of pearls’ rare and unique nature, they are also seen as symbols of luck and prosperity. When you wear pearls, they are a reminder of your own one-of-a-kind identity and personality. 

Pearls make great, meaningful jewelry. You can browse our pearl jewelry collection to find the perfect piece, or get some styling tips to make sure you're making the right fashion statement with your pearl jewelry.

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