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Pearls are your lucky birthstone if you were born in the month of June. The word pearl comes from the French word perle which means led. This refers to the leg shape of a mollusk shell.
Pearls are gemstones but not minerals as pearls are formed by living organisms, mollusks. A mollusk will form a pearl if there is a nucleus to start, sometimes an individual grain of sand. The mollusk will then corm layers of calcium carbonate around that sand grain sequentially over time. Actually, the mollusk does this because the grain is an irritant and this is the reaction to ease that irritant by adding a smooth coating around it.
The majority of pearls you find in the marketplace today are actually cultured in a pearl farm where people artificially induce creation of a pearl through insertion of an irritant into the mollusks shell. Most pearls come from southern China, Indonesia, Philippines, and Australia.