June Birthstone(s): Pearl, Moonstone, and Alexandrite June 09 2014

People born in June have not two, but three birthstones to choose from: pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite. These three gems vary greatly in appearance, value, and essentially every other aspect, but each are highly coveted.

Pearls are formed when something like a grain of sand or parasite enters the shell of a mollusk, which then responds by covering it with layers and layers of shell material. The color and shape of the pearl depends on the type of mollusk making it, along with its location while forming. Different parts of the world are known for having the most valuable types of pearls, such as black pearls from the Gulf of Mexico, cultured pearls in Japan, and the Persian Gulf for cream-colored pearls called Orientals. While pearls are valued and loved in every country, they were also popularly used in medicines. To this day, people in Asia ground the lowest-grade pearls for their use in medicine.

The second birthstone for June is the moonstone, which are named for the areas within them that, when held up to light, give off a silvery glow reminiscent of moonlight. They are part of the feldspar group, and composes almost half of the earth’s crust. However, rare geological conditions cause their formation so they are only found in certain parts of the world, the best ones coming from Sri Lanka. While not extremely valuable, moonstones are considered sacred in India and are commonly displayed on a yellow cloth, a sacred color.

Last but certainly not least is alexandrite, a stone considered by most to be more valuable than a diamond due to its rarity. Alexandrite possesses a chameleon-like personality, appearing as a greenish-blue color under natural light and then changing to red and violet tones under artificial light. These unusual characteristics are caused by amounts of chromium in the gem. As stated earlier alexandrite is very rare, with the main exporter being Sri Lanka and others found in Brazil, Tanzania, and Burma. The very first alexandrite was found in an emerald mine in Russia in 1819, and it was named for Price Alexander of Russia because it was found on his birthday. Since it was discovered relatively recently, there has not been much time for myth or superstition to build around it.

We do not have any alexandrite in our store, though we can always find it for a special request! Pictured below are green and orange moonstones, freeform biwa and Tahitian silver pearls, and a Tahitian black pearl.