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June Birthstones - Pearl, Alexandrite and Moonstone

Subtle but elegant are the June Birthstones.

PEARLS

The June birthstone, pearls, have captivated women of all ages for generations. These organic gems grow inside saltwater or freshwater molluscs, and come in a variety of shapes, colours, and sizes. While natural pearls form when a mollusc secretes nacre around an irritant, cultured pearls are created through human intervention. Pearl farms are responsible for the majority of today's pearl sales, as natural pearl beds have been decimated over time.

Pearls have long been associated with purity, innocence, and humility, making them a traditional wedding gift. Additionally, they were thought to possess beneficial properties, such as bestowing long life and prosperity, and aiding in the alleviation of indigestion and haemorrhages.

The origin of pearls has fascinated people throughout history. Some believed that they were teardrops from heaven, while others thought that they came from the brain of a dragon or were formed from dew drops. One of the most famous natural pearls is La Peregrina, a 50.56 carat drop-shaped pearl discovered in the Gulf of Panama in the 1500s. It became a prized possession of European royalty and was eventually gifted to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton in 1969. Christie's New York auctioned the Cartier necklace containing La Peregrina for $11.8 million in 2011.

ALEXANDRITE

Alexandrite, a rare variety of chrysoberyl mineral, is known for its ability to change colour in different lighting conditions. The most valuable alexandrite birthstones display a vibrant green to bluish-green hue in daylight or fluorescent light, and a rich red to purplish-red in incandescent light. The largest deposits of alexandrite were first found in 1830 in the Ural Mountains of Russia. This gemstone was named after Alexander II (1818-1881), who was the heir apparent to the throne at the time. The colours of alexandrite – red and green – were considered significant as they represented the military colours of imperial Russia.

In addition to its colour-changing ability, alexandrite can also display a unique chatoyancy effect, commonly known as the cat's-eye effect, when long, thin inclusions are arranged parallel to each other in this June birthstone. The cat's-eye alexandrite is a fascinating and stunning gemstone.

MOONSTONE

Moonstone, a mineral from the feldspar group, is widely recognized as a stunning gemstone. Its signature characteristic is its adularescence, a billowy light that appears to move across the gemstone's surface, creating a unique glow. The most exceptional moonstones exhibit a blue sheen against a clear background, and this June birthstone has been associated with lunar deities in both Roman and Greek mythology. In Hindu mythology, it is believed that moonstone is made of solidified moonbeams. Moonstone is often connected with love, passion, fertility, and is considered a symbol of good fortune.

In the Art Nouveau period (1890s-1910s), renowned designers such as René Lalique and Louis Comfort Tiffany utilized moonstone in their exquisite jewellery designs. The moonstone birthstone gained popularity again during the "flower child" movement of the 1960s and with the New Age designers of the 1990s.

 

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