Pearls are another organic gem; that is, one not formed by mineral crystallization (think quartz crystals), much like amber or jet. Pearls are made by oysters, when a grain of sand or something else irritating gets inside their shell, they secrete a substance called nacre which builds up in layers to protect the oyster's delicate flesh from the irritant. Many oyster farms are dedicated to pearl farming, and often seed the oysters with specially shaped irritants in order to get specially shaped pearls. They're the June birthstone (funny story, this is why my Mom hates pearls... she doesn't like that pearls are her birthstone. I told her I'd trade if I could - mine's blue topaz, which is ok, but I do love pearls). They are also a big favorite for weddings.
This is my time of year, my own personal perfectly uncomfortable and yet fitting juxtaposition... my birthday is on the Winter Solstice. If you know me, then you know I am a scrawny bit of 5'3" with no extra body fat to speak of (too high a metabolism), and before you think, "lucky girl" let me just say that it's a pain the butt... but that's for another post. The point is... I get cold. Very cold. Very easily. Any body heat I create just doesn't stay inside unless I'm wearing plenty of layers, even indoors. So I was born at the height of the time that causes me the most physical discomfort. So I find other ways to enjoy the season... and looking for gemmy inspiration in the middle of the frozen wasteland of winter is just as good as any other.
What gemstones come to mind when you think of winter sparklies?