Husbands and males out there -- listen up. If you still have not done your Christmas shopping for your wives and girlfriends, consider giving jewelry this holiday season.

One of the most versatile and elegant birthstones around would be the pearl. The pearl is the birthstone of those born in June and signifies wealth. I guess you have to be pretty wealthy to be able to afford it. It also corresponds to the 30th wedding anniversary, just as we call the 25th year, the silver anniversary and so on. References to the pearl abound -- you have the "pearl of great price" in the Bible; the classic novel, The Pearl; and you hear about throwing pearls before swine. No other stone can probably claim that -- except when you refer to "acres of diamonds" probably or sing that Diamonds are forever and that they are a girl's best friend. =)

Back to pearls -- there are cultured pearls (those which are not natural -- Mikimoto is a brand that comes to mind) and there are natural pearls like South Sea Pearls. Natural pearls may not be as round, nor as perfect in shape as cultured pearls but if you find really good ones, it will cost you a fortune. There are champagne colored South Sea pearls -- sort of yellowish in color.

In the Philippines, you can get pearls from the Greenhills tiangge (flea market) but if you really want good quality ones, you can ask your friendly alahera (an individual who sells jewelry for a living, usually a freelancer who knows where to source the stones and knows someone who can set it) or if you are willing to spend a lot, go to the more established jewelry shops.

One such supplier of Philippine South Sea Pearls would be Jewelmer International Corp. Their website does not load quickly so you may be better off visiting one of their stores (e.g. SM Megamall Building B, Glorietta 4 Makati). You may call them at 810-0266 or 633-5068 or 817 8704 in Metro Manila, Philippines.Your pearl jewelry will come with a certificate (a number, the weight or size, how much gold was used) and you will also get tips on how to care for your pearls (e.g. do not wear them when you take a bath).

So guys, what are you waiting for? Check out those pearls.

[By Angelica Viloria | Wednesday, November 29, 2006]

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