June's Birthstone : Pearl, Moonstone or Alexandrite

Square Abacus Pearl Earring by Danielle Miller

The first and most popular birthstone for the month of June is the pearl. Pearls are unique because they are the only gemstone formed within a living creature.—The process begins when an irritant, such as a piece of sand or a parasite, enters a mollusk’s shell. The mollusk then secretes a substance called nacre around the irritant as a defense mechanism. Over time (anywhere from 2-4 years) and thousands of layers of nacre, a pearl begins to form.

Before the creation of cultured pearls in 1893 by Kokichi Mikimoto, all pearls were natural. — Meaning they grew in the world’s waters naturally. Natural pearls are rare and very valuable. Today, most of the pearls used in jewelry are categorized as “cultured” in both fresh and saltwater oyster farms, where skilled technicians carefully seed the mollusk's with irritants.

White or cream are the most popular shadings for pearls, but these days it’s not unusual to see them also available in wide color palette including pinks, black, grey, blue, lavender and green.


Rainbow Moonstone earrings by Katie Poterala 

If you think pearls are too traditional then why not check out a moonstone? From the family of feldspar minerals, moonstones get their name from the opalescent and luminous quality caused by light diffraction within the stone, giving it an internal glow. 

The highest quality moonstones are mined in Sri Lanka but can also be found in India, Madagascar, Brazil and the Alps. 

Folklore has it that moonstones bring good fortune to the wearer because of spirits that are believed to inhabit the stones.


Alexandrite Gemstones 

Perhaps you want a stone that reflects your changing personality, then alexandrite is the one for you. “Emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite has a fascinating color change properties. A brilliant green, many times with either a blue or brown tint when viewed in natural light, alexandrite changes and appears violet with reddish highlights under artificial light.

Alexandrites are difficult to mine and considered a fairly rare and uncommon stone. Originally found in Russia’s Ural Mountains in 1830, however those deposits have been mined out. Today, alexandrite can be found in Brazil, Sri Lanka and East Africa.

People with June birthdays are so lucky! From traditional to rare, people born during the month of June can choose a birthstone as unique as their personality!

Gifting Pearl: Pearl is always a perfect birthstone for a June baby, but it is also the customary 30th wedding anniversary gift.
Pearl Care: Pearls are classified with a hardness of 2.5-3 the Mohs scale, making them extremely soft, but with proper care they can last a lifetime. Due to their susceptibly to scratching, pearls are not recommended for rings that are worn daily. Pearls can be damaged by many chemicals and all acids, so it's best to avoid letting them come into contact with cosmetics, hair spray, or perfume. Do not use abrasive polishes, chemical tarnish removers, or ultrasonic cleaners on pieces containing pearls. To clean pearls, simply wipe them gently with a soft cloth.

Gifting Moonstone: Moonstone can be an alternative to Leather as a 3rd wedding anniversary gift.
Moonstone Care: Moonstones are classified with a hardness of 6-6.5 the Mohs scale, making them somewhat soft. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not recommended on moonstone. The best option for cleaning is warm, soapy water with a soft brush.

Gifting Alexandrite: A gem with such unusual qualities makes for a perfect 55th wedding anniversary gift.
Alexandrite Care: Alexandrites are classified with a hardness of 8.5 the Mohs scale, making them very sturdy stones -- only diamonds, sapphires and rubies are harder. Although it is best to clean alexandrites in warm, soapy water, ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe as well.

Browse PEARL or MOONSTONE jewelry on MAKE MADE.