June babies have a few birthstone gems to choose from, ranging from ultrarare Alexandrite, to rare Pearl to popular moonstone. Why three different gems? As time has past, the original selections for some original birthstones have become exceedingly rare. By making newer and more readily available gems for certain months, this creates better opportunities for jewelry lovers seeking accessible birthstone jewelry. Here we examine the meanings of each of June's birthstones.
Originally discovered in Russia's Ural Mountains during the 1830s, Alexandrites were named for the heir apparent to the throne, Alexander II. The color change Chrysosberyl gem often shows blue or green in normal daylight and purple or red under incandescent light. The red-to-green color change present in some of these gems brought to mind the national colors of Russia's military, making the rare gems particularly special at the time and place they were originally discovered.
Alexandrite, measuring an 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, can now also occasionally be found in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil but gem quality fine material is still exceptionally rare.
The pearl is a naturally formed iridescent bead prized for it's simple beauty. Pearls are formed inside mollusks (oysters or mussels) when the organism recognizes an irritant within its shell; often a grain of sand is all it takes to create a beautiful pearl. In Eastern cultures, the pearl represents long life and prosperity. Pearls are even said to aid indigestion and improve eyesight, among other magical qualities.
Moonstone is a glowing variety of feldspar. It is actually quite rare is "top qualities" despite being derived from the earth's most common mineral groups. The moonstone is often associated with both Roman and Greek lunar deities and the gem is associated with love and fertility.
Moonstone, which rates a 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale, is domestically mined in New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia. Internationally moonstone is found primarily in India and Sri Lanka.
Which is your favorite birthstone for June?