Birthstones represent a person’s period of birth either related to the month itself or to their zodiac sign. The ancient birthstones of June in the 15th – 20th centuries were Cat’s Eye, Turquoise, and Agate. These have changed to our modern Birthstones for June, which are Pearl, Moonstone, and Alexandrite.
Let’s start with Pearl!
Pearls are organic gems that grow inside of the tissue of a living saltwater or freshwater mollusk. Natural made pearls are formed when the mollusk releases nacre, a substance formed and targeted around an irritant such a piece of sand that had gotten inside of its shell. The secretion creates layers of nacre that build and form into a pearl.
Natural pearls have been found in the Persian Gulf for at least 5,000 years, while the Strait of Mannar has been known for pearls since 2000 BCE.
Today, only small quantities of pearls are found in any of these areas. Fortunately, cultured pearls are what we mostly use today. Pearl farmers implant a small piece of mantle tissue (common for freshwater pearls) or a mother-of-pearl shell bead (for saltwater) into the mollusk. The mollusk then begins the process of covering the irritant with nacre, thus forming a pearl. Saltwater pearls have been harvested from all over the world; the most notable being the Akoya cultured pearl from Japan and China.
Today, cultured pearls come in a wide array of sizes, colors, and shapes. Pearls have been long associated with purity, humility, and innocence, which is why it is often seen as a wedding gift.
Many myths and legends are associated with the pearl from across the world. In ancient Greek myths, pearls were seen as the tears of the gods. While in Sanskrit text, they were said to bestow their wearer with long life and prosperity. Ancient Chinese legend has it that black pearls, which symbolized wisdom, formed inside the head of a dragon and once fully grown, the dragon would carry them between its teeth.
Moonstone, a dreamer's gem!
Moonstone is from the feldspar groups of minerals known for is adularescence, the light that appears across the gemstone giving a it a glowing effect. This is very popular in rainbow moonstone which have a blue sheen along with yellow, greens, and purples.
This birthstone is associated with Roman and Greek and Lunar deities and goddesses. While Hindu legend states that moonstone was formed by moonbeams. Another common legend notes moonstone as the “traveler’s stone,” coming from the belief that wearing moonstone will protect the traveler on their journeys.
This gem has long been a talisman of love, fertility, protection, enhanced intuition, and sleep. It is a highly feminine stone that can aid in tuning into our own emotions and guidance and intuition. It has been noted to also aid in emotional balancing and help calm the spirit, especially during changes. Like the moon’s phases, moonstone reminds us of the ebb and flow of nature’s rhythms to aid us in our own welcomed changes.
Moonstone is found in parts of the United States such as New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia. The most noted places for moonstone are India, Sri Lanka, and Brazil.
Alexandrite, a color-change wonder...
Alexandrite is a rare variety of chrysoberyl that changes color in different lighting. High quality Alexandrite shows vivid blue-green in the daylight or under fluorescent light, while exhibiting an intense red or purplish red in incandescent light. Nicknamed, “Emerald by day, Ruby by night”, these gemstones are highly prized for their stunning color change.
These gemstones were first discovered in the 1830’s in Russia’s Ural mountains and named after young Alexander II, the heir to the throne. Eventually most of the Ural Mountains were completely mined out. They are now found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, and East Africa. Because of their scarcity, larger fine quality Alexandrite is one of the most expensive colored gems.
Alexandrite is considered to bring good luck, good fortune, and love. It is known to bring balance between the physical and the spiritual world and is known to strengthen your intuition, boost your creativity, and support your imagination.
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