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Pearls are made when a sand or speck of dirt that's irritating the inside of a mollusk is covered in layers of nacre.

It's the calm nourishing itself of the irritation, which is why pearls are considered to be a nourishing gemstone. It's well known for it's healing properties, especially in Asian medicine.

The first time I encountered the magic of pearls was in 2012 in China.

We spent a day in the Forbidden City, doing Tai Chi in the gardens under the cherry blossom trees, visiting the Boat of Purity and Ease, and learning about the Dragon Lady.

Empress Cixi ruled from behind a curtain, whispering orders to her five-year-old Emperor son. She covered herself from head to toe in pearls, using them for healing herself. Upon her death, a gigantic pearl was placed inside of her mouth to prevent it from decomposing.

When in China, we visited one of the oldest and most prosperous pearl manufacturers. I bought two sets of pearl cream, a moisturizer made from pearl dust, that was to be applied in the morning and at night.

I swear, I have never used a better cream when it comes to sunburn. I went to bed that night covered in red, flaky splotches that vanished by morning. It was freaky and incredible.

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In witchcraft, pearls can be used for more than just healing, as it has many other symbolism and energies. It's a powerful grounding and center gem, as well as pronouncing feminine qualities like faithfulness, purity, and integrity.

Going along with Ancient Chinese tradition, pearls used for medicinal reasons can help with digestive, muscular, and skin problems. They can even be used to rebalance and fortify the body.

Pearls help ease anxiety and increase mental stability. Pearls ease the pain of menopause and menstruation.

If you want to learn more about how awesome pearls are, magically and scientifically, check out these links.

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All photographs in this post are credited to BadassjewelryTronto and it's owner.

Today, I want to feature some beautiful freshwater pearls from BadassjewelryToronto.

As the Greeks used to believe that pearls were the tears of the gods, the owner of this badass shop creates her own pieces with the gentlest care and respect.

The pieces featured in this post are all made by this awesome lady. I know I'm planning to place an order for a beautiful pearl necklace from her (because damn it, I miss my pearl necklace).

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I wanted to update this post and show this surprise gift from BadassjewelryToronto: a pearl pendulum!

Now, just for you guys, I went ahead and did the test I was taught to see if the pearls were real. What you do is rub or scrape the pearl with your nail or against another pearl (I scrapped it against the shell). When you do this, a powder will come off and there will be scratches where you scraped the pearl. If you wipe at the scratch and it goes away, it's a genuine pearl. If it, not it's a fake.

I performed this test twice on both sides of the pearl on the end of the chain and it wiped away clean both times. Test complete!

This gorgeous pendulum has a freshwater pearl on the end of the chain and four other pearls pressed together inside a shell. Ugh, my heart! I can't wait to use it! Cleansing and energizing as I'm typing this!!

Again, I'd like to thank the lovely owner of BadassjewelryToronto. I totally didn't expect a gift from you, let alone something as wonderful as this. I've been wanting to get into pendulum work for quite some time now and now I have the perfect tool to do so! You rock!

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