Pearls have been wildly popular in jewelry for centuries because of their natural beauty. Throughout human history, mankind has admired and worshipped pearls. Persian mythology referred to pearls as the “tears of the gods,” while ancient Chinese legend claimed the moon held the power to create pearls, instilling them with its celestial glow and mystery.
Pearls are unique because they are the only gemstone formed within a living creature. Since natural pearls are rare and difficult to recover from the ocean’s depths, man invented the technique of culturing salt and freshwater pearls from mollusks carefully seeded with irritants similar to those produced by nature.
Cultured pearls come in many beautiful colors, ranging from pale cream and white to rose, lilac, green, gold, gray and black. There are four main types of cultured pearls — Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian and Freshwater — each with unique qualities that separates it from the others.
Today, pearls are both classic and contemporary; a strand of white pearls can be timeless but a bracelet of chocolate pearls is more modern. No matter the color or size, pearls can be worn every day or can compliment the most formal attire.
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Alexandrite gemstones are extremely rare and desirable since they change color based on the lighting.
A relatively modern gemstone, alexandrite was discovered in Russian emerald mines located in the Ural Mountains. Legends claim that it was discovered in 1834 on the same day that future Russian Czar Alexander II came of age, hence the name honoring him. It can now be found in Sri Lanka, East Africa and Brazil.
If you love magic, you’ll love Alexandrite, also known as “the color-change gem.” In daylight, it is a cool, bluish and mossy green. In lamplight, it is a red gem with a warm raspberry tone. You can see it change color by switching from fluorescent to incandescent light. The value of the gemstone increases as the color change becomes more distinct.
It is truly spellbinding to see the spectacular changing colors in this wonderful gemstone. You might even feel some of the mysterious magic and lore ascribed to it. It’s said to strengthen intuition, aid in creativity and inspire the imagination.
June’s third birthstone, moonstone, was named by the Roman natural historian Pliny, who wrote that moonstone’s shimmery appearance shifted with the phases of the moon.
The most common moonstone comes from the mineral adularia, named for an early mining site near Mt. Adular in Switzerland that supplied this gemstone. This site also birthed the term adularescence, which refers to the stone’s milky glow, like moonlight floating on water.
Moonstone is composed of microscopic layers of feldspar that scatter light to cause this billowy effect of adularescence. Thinner layers produce a bluish sheen, and thicker layers look white. Moonstone gems come in a range of colors spanning yellow, gray, green, blue, peach, and pink, sometimes displaying a star or cat’s eye.
The finest classical moonstones, colorlessly transparent with a blue shimmer, come from Sri Lanka. Since these sources of high-quality blue moonstones have essentially been mined out, prices have risen sharply.
Moonstones are also found in India, Australia, Myanmar, Madagascar, and the United States. Indian gemstones, which are brown, green, or orange in color, are more abundant and affordably priced than their classical blue counterparts.
This beautiful gemstone’s weakness is its relatively low hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale, making it prone to stress cracking and cleaving. Care is required with moonstone jewelry like rings or bracelets; so, sometimes brooches and pendants are preferred for long term durability.
JUNE ~ ROSE & HONEYSUCKLE
The June birth flowers are the rose and the honeysuckle. Read more about everyone's perenial favorite, and all the varieties of this beauty here.