June: Pearls, Alexandrite, & Moonstone
No matter what month you are born in, you'll be able to call a birthstone your own. Some of us are lucky enough to have more than one to choose from! All the June babies out there are blessed to be associated with timeless pearls, mysterious Alexandrite, or enchanting moonstone. In the following post, I will lay out some facts on these wonderful "gems" in order to understand what makes them so special!
Pearls have stolen the hearts of humanity for several THOUSAND years! Most stones that adorn jewelry are rough, crystal-like structures that are removed from deep within the earth. Pearls, however, are organic; the result of a biological process that occurs underwater. Members of the mollusk family, oysters (saltwater) or mussels (freshwater) are the only producers of pearls. In a natural setting, pearls are created after an irritant, such as a grain of sand or a parasite, makes it way inside the mollusk. As a reaction, the mollusk then begins to surround and coat the irritant in the material that will grow and grow and eventually turn into a pearl!
Due to humanity's fascination with pearls, we have collectively over-harvested most natural pearl "deposits" around the world. But we wouldn't let the shortage stop us from our beautiful pearls! In fact, most pearls on the market today are harvested at so-called "pearl farms." The workers at these farms continually simulate the natural pearl creation process by keeping mollusks in a controlled enviroment where irritants are manually inserted and kept in until the time is just right! The results are most of the stunning pearls in collections around the world. (Including the one pictured above)
Pearls are a soft material. You should always put your pearls on LAST (after perfume, lotion, etc..) and they should only be cleaned with a warm, damp cloth.
A gem that literally shows us two faces, Alexandrite is the second birthstone for the month of June. An extremely rare stone, Alexandrite is a member of the chrysoberyl family. Originally discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830, it has been coveted due to a color-changing property where it shows green or blueish green in daylight or flourescent light and a reddish purple in incandescent (candle) light. Due to its rarity and unique properties, Alexandrite is one of the most expensive gemstones on the market.
Alexandrite gets its name from Alexander II of Russia. At the time of its discovery, the stone was extremely sought-after. This led to the primary mine (and only discovered deposit of the time) to become decimated and emptied. Currently, there are mines in a handful of locations around the world. However, stones from the Ural Mountains deposit are the most desirable due to their spectacular color changing properties.
A very hard stone, Alexandrite is easy to clean and care for. The stone can take heat, so no cleaning restrictions are necessary.
Beams from the night sky dancing on water is perhaps the best description of a fine moonstone, the final birthstone for June. A member of the feldspar-group, moonstone combines two minerals (orthoclase & albite) into a tightly layerd structure that scatters incoming light. This structure is what gives moonstone its glowing appearance.
Typically cut into a cabuchon, moonstone has adorned jewelry since Greek and Roman times, often being associated the the God/Goddess of the moon. Thankfully, moonstone is a common stone, which allows it to be used in a wide range of jewelry.
Moonstone is a semi-soft stone and does not respond well to sudden heat changes. Cleaning one with steam can lead to cracks. Cleaning with warm, soapy water is always best!
There you have it! June babies are blessed with THREE absolutely stunning choices for their birthstone. It might not be an easy choice, but I'm certain that there is a pearl, alexandrite, or moonstone out there for you! As always, any questions are welcomed! Come by the store or message us at Tammy's Jewelry today!