June babies - did you have any idea that you are lucky enough to have three birthstones?? All three have special luminescent properties all their own. “Pearlescent” is even a term named to describe how a pearl gently shimmers with a subtle refraction of color. Alexandrite changes from green to mauve with different lighting, and a single stone can show greens, blues and purples at the same time. Finally, Moonstone has an almost ghostly blue/green shimmer that shines across its smoothed white surface.
Perhaps you’ve been wondering, why do some months have more than one birthstone and others just get one? The answer is quite simple: business. There are jewelry maker/seller organizations that regulate this sort of thing - Jewelers of America, the American Gem Trade Association, and Britain's National Association of Goldsmith. They have switched the different stones for each month over the years for reasons like availability, affordability and how well a stone can be worn in jewelry.
Pearl is the original stone for June. Natural wild pearls have been harvested so much over the years that most every pearl on the market today is actually a cultured pearl harvested from mollusks on farms. The increasing rarity is one reason why other stones were added to June, and durability is another. Pearls are quite soft and can scratch or dull easily, so they are less ideally suited for rings and more for necklaces and brooches.
Pearl lore: Pearls have long been associated with purity, humility and innocence. So it may be said that the June birthstone meaning is "sweet simplicity." As such, pearls were traditionally given as a wedding gift. The origin of pearls long fascinated our ancestors: ancients from the Middle East believed that pearls were teardrops fallen from heaven. The Chinese fancied that the June birthstone came from the brain of a dragon. Other magical properties bestowed on wearers include: long life and prosperity, improved eyesight, and the easing of indigestion.
Alexandrite is the next stone given to June. This stone is much more durable than a pearl and can be cut into a faceted gem, but it has surpassed natural pearls in rarity. Natural alexandrite is extremely rare, might not even be mined anymore at all, and therefore quite pricey. Lab-gown alexandrite is available and even has the same color-changing properties as the natural stones.
Named for young Russian prince Alexander II in the early 1800’s when it was discovered in the Ural Mountains, this fascinating gemstone changes from green in fluorescent light to pinkish purple in incandescent light. They can appear blue to purple at the same time, and some very rare alexandrites even have a cat’s-eye crystalline structure.
Moonstone, the final stone for the month of June. This stone has been around since ancient Greek and Roman times, associated with their lunar deities. Moonstones have a special adularescence - the light that appears to billow across a gemstone, giving it a special glow. The finest moonstones show a blue sheen against a colorless background.