Those with a June birthday can claim this unique gemstone, the only one made from a living organism, as their birthstone. Most pearls are composed of a material called nacre, built up within an oyster's shell to protect the oyster from sand grains or other irritants.
Because of their composition, pearls require special care and handling relative to other gemstones. Contact with household and other chemicals may cause wear, and rough surfaces can scratch pearls more easily than other types of stones. Ideally your pearls should be stored in a soft cloth and cleaned with a mild soap and soft brush or cloth.