Introduction to Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
June is one of the few months that has three birthstones, offering a wealth of options for different tastes. These stones are the pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone. Each gemstone is unique and brings its own set of qualities and meanings.
Pearls, symbolizing purity and innocence, are traditionally considered the primary birthstone for June. Unlike most other gemstones, pearls are produced by living creatures, mollusks, primarily oysters and clams. They are cherished for their natural beauty and have been used in jewelry for thousands of years.
Alexandrite, a relatively modern gemstone, is known for its remarkable color-changing properties. It ranges in color from green in daylight to a reddish-purple under incandescent light. This gemstone is rare and is highly prized for its unique characteristic.
Moonstone is the third birthstone for June and was named for its moon-like sheen. It exhibits a phenomenon known as adularescence – a soft glow of light that appears to emanate from within the gem, similar to the soft glow of moonlight.
|Birthstones||Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone|
|Symbolism||Pearl: Purity and Innocence; Alexandrite: Balance and Confidence; Moonstone: Protection, Abundance|
|Origins||Pearl: Produced by living creatures, mainly mollusks; Alexandrite: Discovered in Russia, found in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil; Moonstone: Found worldwide, best from Sri Lanka|
|Mythology and Beliefs||Pearl: Associated with innocence, purity, and the moon; Alexandrite: Believed to bring luck, good fortune, and love; Moonstone: Regarded as a sacred stone in India with special significance for lovers|
|Physical Properties||Pearl: Varies from 2.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale; Alexandrite: Rates 8.5 on the Mohs scale, changes color based on light; Moonstone: Rates 6 on the Mohs scale, exhibits adularescence|
|Use in Jewelry||Pearls: Necklaces and earrings; Alexandrite: Various types, unique for its color-changing ability; Moonstone: Commonly cut into cabochons, popular in bohemian and vintage designs|
|Care and Maintenance||Pearls: Avoid chemicals, wipe with soft cloth; Alexandrite: Can be cleaned with most methods, avoid harsh chemicals; Moonstone: Clean with soft cloth and soapy water, avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaning|
|Psychological and Emotional Significance||Pearl: Associated with purity, honesty, calmness; Alexandrite: Helps balance emotional state, increase self-esteem; Moonstone: Associated with inner goddess, abundance, protection|
|Choosing a Birthstone||June offers three choices: the timeless elegance of pearls, the color-changing ability of alexandrite, and the enchanting shimmer of moonstone|
Origin and History of Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
Pearls have been used in jewelry for thousands of years. They were highly valued by ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. Pearls are unique among gemstones because they require no cutting or polishing before use.
Alexandrite was discovered in Russia in the early 19th century and was named after Tsar Alexander II. It was found in emerald mines located in the Ural Mountains. Today, it can also be found in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil, but fine material is exceptionally rare and valuable.
Moonstone was popular with Art Nouveau jewelers in the early 20th century. This gemstone is found in many locations around the world, including Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India, Madagascar, Brazil, Australia, and the United States. The finest moonstones are from Sri Lanka.
For those born in June, these gemstones symbolize a variety of qualities including purity, love, wealth, and tranquility.
The Mythology and Symbolism of Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
Each of June’s birthstones carries its own set of mythologies and symbolic meanings.
Pearls have been associated with innocence, purity, and humility. Because of their natural beauty, pearls have been linked with the moon, and many ancient cultures believed that they were teardrops from the moon, fallen into the sea.
Alexandrite, with its chameleon-like qualities, is often associated with balance and confidence. It is believed to bring luck, good fortune, and love. In Russia, it is considered to be a stone of very good omen. It is also believed to strengthen intuition and creativity and to bring about change.
Moonstone has been used in jewelry for centuries, including ancient civilizations. The Romans admired moonstone, as they believed it was derived from solidified rays of the moon. Both the Romans and Greeks associated moonstone with their lunar deities. It has been regarded as a sacred stone in India with a special significance for lovers and is a traditional wedding gift there.
The Various Facets of Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
Pearls come in a variety of colors, including white, black, grey, pink, blue, and golden. Their overtones — the colors you see when you look at the pearl — can be rose (pink), green, purple, or blue.
Alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl that changes color from bluish-green in daylight to purplish-red under incandescent light. The value of an alexandrite gemstone is primarily determined by the quality of its color change.
Moonstone comes in a range of colors, from colorless to gray, brown, yellow, green, or pink. However, its most appealing feature is its adularescence — the shimmering or glowing effect when light is reflected off its internal layers.
The Physical Properties of Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
Pearls, unlike most gemstones, are not measured by carat weight. The size of the pearl is directly related to the amount of time a pearl is left to grow in the oyster. Their hardness varies significantly depending on the type and quality of the pearl ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale.
Alexandrite is relatively hard, rating an 8.5 on the Mohs scale. It is a pleochroic gem, which means it can show different colors when viewed from different angles.
Moonstone has a hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale, making it a softer stone that requires careful handling to prevent scratching or cracking. It has a monoclinic crystal structure and a pearly and opalescent luster.
Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone in Jewelry Design
All three June birthstones are used in a variety of jewelry styles.Pearls are often seen in necklaces and earrings but can be used in all types of jewelry. They offer a classic look and can either be featured on their own or alongside other gemstones. Due to their delicate nature, pearl jewelry should be added last after applying makeup, perfume, and hairspray.
Alexandrite is a striking gem that can be used in a variety of jewelry types, including rings, earrings, pendants, and bracelets. Its color-changing ability makes it an interesting and conversation-starting gemstone. However, due to its rarity, alexandrite jewelry can be expensive.
Moonstone is commonly cut into cabochons to display its adularescence. It is popular in necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings. The mystical and ethereal qualities of moonstone make it a popular choice for bohemian and vintage-inspired jewelry designs.
How to Care for and Clean Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone Jewelry
Pearls are delicate and require proper care to keep their luster. They should be kept away from chemicals and stored separately from other jewelry to avoid scratches. After wearing, pearls should be wiped with a soft cloth and occasionally washed with mild soapy water.
Alexandrite can be cleaned with most methods, including ultrasonic cleaners. However, as with all gemstones, it is best to avoid harsh chemicals.
Moonstones are a bit delicate and should be handled carefully to avoid scratches and other damage. They can be cleaned with a soft cloth and soapy water. Ultrasonic and steam cleaning should be avoided.
Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone: The Birthstones of June
For those fortunate enough to be born in June, the month offers three wonderful birthstones from which to choose. Each stone has its unique set of qualities: the timeless elegance of pearls, the astonishing color-changing ability of alexandrite, and the enchanting shimmer of moonstone.
The Psychological and Emotional Significance of Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
Pearls are often associated with purity, honesty, and calmness. They are thought to promote faith, charity, and integrity, especially personal integrity.
Alexandrite is said to help balance one’s emotional state, increase self-esteem, and inspire imagination. It is a stone of joy and is said to strengthen the ability to anticipate and appreciate the beauty in everyday life.
Moonstone is associated with the inner goddess, a symbol of fertility and sensuality. It is believed to bring strong energies of abundance to one’s life. Moonstone is a stone of protection, especially during childbirth, pregnancy, and travel at sea.
Conclusion: The Lasting Appeal of Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
The fascinating lore, exquisite beauty, and deep symbolism of pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone make them a delightful gift for those born in June. Whether you choose the timeless pearl, the rare alexandrite, or the mystical moonstone, each of these gemstones offers its own unique charm and appeal.