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June - Alexandrite, Pearl, Moonstone

June: Alexandrite, Pearl, Moonstone

Alexandrite - Natural Day LightAlexandrite - Incandescent Light Alexandrite is what’s known as a “phenomenal” gemstone.  This means that the gem displays certain optical characteristics that allow it to have two different colors.  Alexandrite is green in natural daylight, but is reddish-purple in artificial light! 

This rare and beautiful stone was discovered in 1830 in Russia, and was named after Czar Alexander II as a birthday gift for the young boy.  Russian mines in the Ural Mountains ran out of Alexandrite after twenty years of production.  Since then, Alexandrite has been found in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Brazil, and India.  Each mine produces Alexandrite of slightly varying colors and intensities.

Even with a few mines producing Alexandrite, this is an extremely rare stone in the gem world.  Due to the rarity and expense of natural Alexandrite, most June birthstone jewelry is made from synthetic materials.  Many jewelry stores do not carry natural Alexandrite items in stock, because there is a very small demand for such a difficult-to-find and costly stone.

Pearls

Tahitian Pearls Pearls are an alternate birthstone for June.  Ever since the Han Dynasty in China (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.), people have been diving into the oceans for pearls.  Today, seen as a classic symbol of femininity, pearls are a wonderful gift for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions. 

Pearls come in many shapes, sizes and colors—too many to count, in fact!  Natural pearls are grown within the soft tissue in the mantle of a mollusk (specifically clams, mussels, and oysters).  A pearl starts to form when a bit of sand or other small particle is lodged inside of the mollusk.  The foreign object acts as an irritant, so the mollusk secretes a hard substance called nacre to smooth it over.  This secretion happens many times and eventually forms a pearl.  Natural pearls are generally perceived as accidents, and therefore, are quite rare (and expensive).  Therefore, the majority of pearls sold in today’s market are called “Cultured” pearls.  These pearls are still grown in mollusks, but they are given a helping hand by humans.  Because of cultivation for all types of pearls, there is certainly no shortage of pearls in the marketplace!

Moonstone 

MoonstoneMoonstone is yet another birthstone option for June.  These iridescent, shimmering silver-blue stones are absolutely mesmerizing.  Moonstones are from the feldspar family of minerals, which constitute two-thirds of the rocks present on earth.  Uncut, you would never guess the potential beauty that lies within!

The moonstone is said to symbolize our being in its entirety.  They also stand for the true joys of love, intuition, capacity for understanding, dreams, and fertility.  Some cultures view this as a holy, magical stone.

Traditionally, the Moonstone is found in Sri Lanka, but has also been found in the United States, Brazil, Madagascar, Australia, and Myanmar.  Moonstone itself is not rare, nor is it particularly expensive.  However, the more intensely blue, large and transparent the Moonstone, the more rare and expensive it is.  Since this type is a rarity, it’s more likely that you will find the opaque, silver kind.