Were you or someone that you love born in June? If so you might be on the hunt for the perfect birthstone-themed ring or piece of jewelry for the Gemini or Cancer in your life. Luckily, there are plenty of options to work with as June has not one, not two, but three birthstones to choose from.
Learn more about the history of these three dazzling stones and discover how to care for each in this informational blog. Plus, we’ll explore fun ways to flaunt the stone of your choice (think: gemstone engagement rings) so you can showcase your birth month with style.
Pearl Birthstone Meaning and History
Enchanting by nature, fine pearl jewelry is a timeless staple. However, it’s those with a June birthday who have a special connection with this unique gem.
Pearls captivated people from eras past. Some believed they were teardrops fallen from the heavens while others believed that they originated from the brain of a dragon. Today, pearls are associated with humility, innocence, and purity. The fascinating pearl is also believed to have a slew of beneficial properties. Some cultures say that wearing pearls will result in long life and prosperity. While others used the gem to aid with indigestion, faulty eyesight, hemorrhages, and even depression.
Where Are Pearls Found?
Originating from the depths of the ocean, pearls are found inside mollusks, soft-bodied invertebrates that happen to be the only living creatures capable of producing gemstones. Developing within a period anywhere from six months to four years, pearls are the result of layers of calcium carbonate that surround a grain of sand.
The distinct iridescent color that pearls are so famous for is referred to as nacreous or “nacre”. Nacreous pearls are highly valuable and do not require any polishing to maintain their natural beauty. Alternatively, cultured freshwater pearls can be colored shades of yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, brown, or even black for those looking for something a little different.
According to the American Gem Society, natural pearling is now limited to the Persian Gulf in waters near Bahrain. In addition, Australia still harvests natural pearls in the Indian Ocean as the nation has one of the world’s only remaining natural pearl diving fleets. Due to their rarity, natural pearls made without any human interference are more expensive and valuable than their human-made counterparts.
Cultured, or farmed, pearls are created when people implant a grafted piece of shell into freshwater pearl mussels or pearl oysters. Most cultured pearls originate from Chine, Australia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
How to Care for Pearls
While the diamond sets the scale at 10, pearls rank somewhere between 2.5 and 3.0 on the Mohs Scale of hardness. This means that pearls are incredibly fragile stones that need the utmost attention and care.
To avoid damage, pearl jewelry should be kept separate from other pieces when not in use. That being said, be sure to never store your pearl birthstone jewelry in a plastic bag since the material can damage the surface of the gems. What’s more, be mindful to keep pearls out of the bathroom as cosmetics, perfumes, and hair products can be harmful to these delicate stones.
As for cleaning, the best way to keep this June birthstone clean is with a quick swipe of a soft, damp cloth, preferable after every wear.
Moonstone Birthstone Meaning and History
Moonstone was named by Pliny, a Roman natural historian who stated that the gemstone’s dazzling appearance shifted with the phases of the moon. Across ancient civilizations, moonstone jewelry was associated with lunar deities and was believed to encourage magical dreams. Additionally, some cultures believed that moonstone was a cure for nighttime ailments such as sleepwalking and insomnia. In modern times, this striking gem is associated with love, passion, fertility, and good fortune.
While always gorgeous, the beautiful gemstone didn’t enjoy the spotlight until the Art Nouveau era(the 1890s-1910s) when famous designers such as Rene Lalique and Louis Comfort Tiffany featured the stone in some of their most eye-catching styles. More recently, June’s modern birthstone rose to popularity during the flower child movement of the 1960s and later again in the 1990s.
Where Is Moonstone Found?
A rainbow of colors that flash beneath the light, exquisite moonstone is transparent with a transfixing blue color shimmer. This unique gem most commonly consists of the mineral adularia, a prismatic wonder often found near the alps. In fact, adularia was named after an early Swiss mining site, Mt. Adular, where they coined the term “adularescence” after moonstone’s one-of-a-kind milky glow.
In addition to Switzerland, Moonstone can be found around the globe in Sri Lanka, India, Australia, Myanmar, Madagascar, and in the U.S. in states like New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia. Varieties of brown, green, and orange moonstone are commonly found in India and can be purchased at a lower price point than the coveted blue assortment due to their abundance.
How to Care for Moonstone
If you’re considering a moonstone piece for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s a fragile gem. Similar to pearls, moonstone scores relatively low on the Mohs scale at a 6 meaning that it’s more prone to cracking than other precious stones. However, with good care, you can still enjoy a piece of moonstone fine jewelry.
To clean moonstone, use a gentle solution of warm water mixed with mild dish soap. If the piece has intricate details or metal work you can use a soft-bristled brush to remove any remaining grime. As for storage, keep moonstone pieces in a felt-lined box to prevent them from sustaining any damage. If your moonstone ring or piece of fine jewelry does lose its luster don’t fret. Simply bring the piece to a jeweler for a repolish and it will look good as new.
Alexandrite Birthstone Meaning and History
Nothing short of magical, an alexandrite stone is a chameleon-like gem. Sometimes described as, “emerald by day, ruby by night,” this captivating stone is made of chrysoberyl, a rare mineral that changes from a blueish-green color to a purplish red when exposed to incandescent light.
As far as gemstones go, alexandrite is a rather recent discovery. It’s widely believed that the stone was found in Russia’s Ural Mountains in 1834. Legend even goes as far as to say that alexandrite was discovered on the same day that Russian Czar Alexander II came of age, hence, the stone was named for him.
Where Is Alexandrite Found?
In addition to Russia, alexandrite can also be found in India, Madagascar, Tanzania, Brazil, and Sri Lanka. However, it is said that these gems seem lackluster when compared to their Russian counterparts which have an undeniable allure.
Natural alexandrite is incredibly rare which makes it a costly stone to obtain, in fact, some experts value the gem even higher than other valuable stones such as rubies and diamonds.
How to Care for Alexandrite
If you were born in the month of June and are looking to purchase some alexandrite jewelry there are a few things that you should know to keep the stone looking its best. Unlike pearls and moonstone, alexandrite is a relatively strong stone rating as an 8.5 on the Mohs scale. For comparison, alexandrite is harder than garnet yet softer than sapphire, two other stones admired for their color-shifting abilities.
Despite being durable, you’ll still want to pay special attention to your alexandrite June birthstone jewelry when doing things like washing the dishes, working out, or cleaning around the house. Clean your alexandrite pieces using a bowl of warm water paired with mild dish soap, then wipe dry with a clean cloth. Additionally, alexandrite can still be prone to scratching, so be mindful as to how you store it to avoid damage.
How to Wear a June Birthstone
With three gorgeous stones to choose from you’re probably excited to start shopping with Diamond Nexus. Luckily, there are tons of ways to accessorize while simultaneously showing off your traditional birthstone.
Choose a simple accessory like a minimalistic bracelet or a stylish pair of earrings. Or aim for something a little more flashy like a custom jewelry charm bracelet complete with a charm for your zodiac sign or birthstone of choice. If you’re into pearls you can’t go wrong with a classic pearl pendant necklace, a timeless style that’s sure to please.
If you want to show off your birthstone every day, a right hand ring or a unique engagement ring could be the way to go. However, be sure to keep in mind that each of these stones is less durable than a diamond and should be treated with special care, especially if worn on a daily basis.
*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulant that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.