June is one of only two months out of the year that gets to choose between three birthstone gems – pearl, alexandrite and moonstone. June’s gemstones range from the opalescent pearl to the rare, color-changing alexandrite; allowing people with birthdays within the month to choose from a spectrum of price points and color options to suit their style and budget.
Pearls are the only gemstones made by living creatures. They are created by mollusks by depositing layers of calcium carbonate microscopic irritants that get lodged in their shells. However, only two groups of bivalve mollusks (or clams) use mother-of-pearl to create the iridescent “nacreous” pearls that are valued in jewelry.
According to the American Gem Society, the name pearl comes from Old French perle, from the Latin perna, meaning “leg” – referencing the leg-of-mutton shape of an open mollusk shell.
Pearls are very soft, ranging between 2.5 and 4.5 on the Mohs scale. They are also heat and acidic sensitive. In fact, calcium carbonate is so susceptible to acid that pearls will dissolve in vinegar.
The finest pearls have a reflective luster, making them appear creamy white with an iridescent sheen that casts many colorful hues; but cultured pearls can also be dyed.
What Does Pearl Symbolize?
Pearls have been used in jewelry and adornments for centuries. Ancient Greeks believed pearls were the tears of the gods, while ancient Japanese folklore claimed they were the tears of mythical creatures, such as mermaids and nymphs.
Other cultures associated pearls with the moon, calling them “teardrops of the moon.”
In many cultures today, pearls symbolize purity and innocence, which is why it’s tradition for a bride to wear pearls on her wedding day. They are also frequently gifted on 1st, 3rd, 12th and 30th wedding anniversaries.
Alexandrite was discovered relatively recently, in a Russian emerald mine located in the Ural Mountains around 1834.
The gemstone is often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night”, as this rare gemstone changes colors from bluish green in daylight to purplish red under incandescent light.
With a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale, alexandrite is softer than sapphire and harder than garnet – the other gemstones that can change color. However, due to its scarcity, alexandrite is more valuable than most gems, even rubies and diamonds.
What Does Alexandrite Symbolize?
Associated with concentration and learning, alexandrite is believed to strengthen intuition, boost creativity and encourage imagination – bringing good omens to anyone who wears it.
The last birthstone for June is moonstone – a gemstone with a shimmery appearance that ranges in colors from yellow, gray, green, blue, peach and pink—sometimes displaying a star or cat’s eye. However, the finest, classic moonstones are transparent with a blue shimmer.
The moonstone has a relatively low hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale, making it prone to stress cracking and cleaving. Care is required with moonstone jewelry like rings or bracelets; brooches and pendants are preferred.
What Does Moonstone Symbolize?
Because of its name, moonstone is closely associated with lunar mystery and magic. It supposedly can attune to natural biological rhythms with its calming, balancing energies. It is often turned to as the ultimate fertility crystal by sparking passion in new lovers and reuniting old ones.
Moonstone is also known as the Traveler’s Stone, and is believed to protect travelers at night. Some use it to treat insomnia and sleepwalking, encourage sound sleep and create beneficial dreams.
Are you searching for a unique piece of pearl, moonstone, or alexandrite jewelry? Call Victoria Jewelers at (407) 895-0047 or contact us online today to learn more about our custom jewelry process and how we can create a beautiful piece of jewelry designed just for you.