Guest Author - Ann Marie Hodrick
You have three choices for your birthstone if you were born in June. The traditional June birthstone is Alexandrite and the modern birthstones are Pearl and Moonstone.
Alexandrite is a color changing variety of the mineral Chrysoberyl. This coloration is due to the balanced situation of the trace element, chromium and the way different light waves reflect different colors. In incandescent light the gem appears red, mauve or brown while sunlight or fluorescent light gives it a green appearance.
High quality natural alexandrite gems are so rare that chances are if you find a large stone with no inclusions on the market today, it is most likely lab created or synthetic. It is therefore important to buy this gem only from a reputable dealer and to ask for GIA certification.
Alexandrite was named after Alexander the II of Russia when it was discovered there in the Ural Mountains in 1831. The gem is thought by Russians to bring good fortune. Some people also believe Alexandrite to help you experience joy and bolster your self esteem.
Pearls have always been highly valued through history for their beauty and elegance. All pearls are formed inside the shells of a mollusk when its defense system coats an irritant, such as a particle of sand with layers of calcium carbonate and conchiolin, forming the lustrous substance called nacre. Natural pearls, those formed without any human intervention, are rare. Cultured pearls that are created when an irritant is planted inside the mollusk are much more plentiful. Freshwater pearls are formed in lake, pond and river mussels while salt water pearls are from ocean and sea oysters.
When selecting pearl jewelry, the natural, larger, perfectly round pearls are usually the most expensive, but luster, size, how they were grown, color and type all play a part in the value of a pearl. Thick nacre and luster, an intense brightness that illuminates from within the pearl, are also important factors to consider.
Stories of the pearl’s origin vary from different ancient civilizations. According to Arab legend, pearls were formed when drops from the moon were swallowed by oysters. The Greeks believed that when Aphrodite was born from the sea, she shed tears of joy, which hardened into pearls. The Chinese thought that pearls came from the brains of dragons. All through time and to this day, a gift of pearls is considered a symbol of love.
Moonstone belongs to the large mineral family of feldspars, a variety known as adularia. It is an opalescent stone which can range from colorless to white, peach, pink, yellow, brown or gray with a luminous glow and silvery sheen. This distinctive shimmering effect is called adularescence which is due to the refraction of light rays within the gem. Rainbow moonstone is transparent to milky white with a bluish sheen from the mineral albite.
According to Roman legend, the moonstone was formed from the light of the moon.
There are many healing properties associated with moonstone, especially dealing with inner peace, femininity and the emotions. A gift of this stone is symbolic of health and longevity, and said to arouse passion when given as a gift between lovers.