June is one of only two months that has three birthstones associated with it, giving the lucky people born in June a choice of gemstones between pearl, alexandrite and moonstone. June's birthstones range from creamy-colored opalescent pearl and moonstone to the rare color-changing alexandrite, one of the most valuable gems on earth.
Pearls are the only gemstones made by living creatures. Mollusks produce pearls by depositing layers of calcium carbonate around microscopic irritants that get lodged in their shells- usually not a grain of sand, as commonly believed. While any shelled mollusk can technically make a pearl, only two groups of bivalve mollusks (or clams) use mother-of-pearl to create the iridescent "nacreous" pearls that are valued in jewelry. These rare gems donŐt require any polishing to reveal their natural luster. Because perfectly round, smooth natural pearls are so uncommon, the word "pearl" can refer to anything rare and valuable. The finest pearls have a reflective luster, making them appear creamy white with an iridescent sheen that casts many colorful hues.
Pearls used to be found in many parts of the world, but natural pearling is now confined to the Persian Gulf waters near Bahrain. Australia owns one of the world's last remaining pearl diving fleets, and still harvests natural pearls from the Indian Ocean. Today, most freshwater cultured pearls come from China. South Sea pearls are cultured along the northwestern coastline of Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia.
In many cultures, pearls symbolize purity and innocence, which is why it's tradition for a bride to wear pearls on her wedding day. Besides being one of three birthstones for June, the pearl is also the birthstone for babies born under the signs of Gemini and Cancer, and frequently gifted on 1st, 3rd, 12th and 30th wedding anniversaries.
The alexandrite gemstone is quite fascinating as it changes color depending on the nature of the lighting; outdoors the alexandrite appears green or teal, but indoors and under incandescent lights, the gemstone turns red or magenta. Due to this unique optical characteristic, it is one of the most valuable gemstones. This gemstone has a hardness of 8.5 on the Moh's Scale, which makes it an uncomplicated stone to wear. Not only is it gorgeous, folklore has it is that the alexandrite is a stone of very good omen. Wearing an this stone will strengthen your intuition, aid in creativity, and inspire the imagination.
June's third birthstone, moonstone, was named by the Roman natural historian Pliny, who wrote that moonstone's shimmery appearance shifted with the phases of the moon. The most common moonstone comes from the mineral adularia, named for an early mining site near Mt. Adular in Switzerland that supplied this gem. This site also birthed the term adularescence, which refers to the stone's milky glow, like moonlight floating on water.
Moonstone comes in a range of colors spanning yellow, gray, green, blue, peach and pink- sometimes displaying a star or cat's eye. The finest classical moonstones- colorlessly transparent with a blue shimmer- come from Sri Lanka. Since these sources of high-quality blue moonstones have essentially been mined out, prices have risen sharply.
As its name implies, moonstone is closely associated with lunar mystery and magic. Its calming, balancing energies can supposedly attune to natural biological rhythms. Moonstone acts as the ultimate fertility crystal by sparking passion in new lovers and reuniting old ones. Also known as the Traveler's Stone, it's believed to protect travelers at night. Moonstone is used to treat insomnia and sleepwalking, encourage sound sleep and create beneficial dreams.
Come in and see our selection of gemstone jewelry or select a stone to make your very own one-of-a-kind piece!