June birthstone - Alexandrite, Pearl and Moonstone - Nobbier

June birthstone - Alexandrite, Pearl and Moonstone

by Werneri Grundström

June, a month synonymous with the onset of summer, brings not just warm breezes and longer days, but also a trio of exquisite birthstones: Alexandrite, Pearl, and Moonstone. Each of these gems holds a unique place in the world of jewelry, offering fascinating histories, distinctive properties, and rich symbolism. Let's delve into the allure of these June birthstones.

Pearls

Lustrous pearl birthstone nestled in a textured oyster shell, symbolizing June birthstone.

Pearls, synonymous with timeless elegance and classic beauty, have captivated humanity for centuries. These organic gems, unique in their formation, embody a blend of simplicity and sophistication, making them a coveted choice for jewelry enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Formation and Types

Pearls are formed within the tissue of mollusks, such as oysters and mussels. They develop as a reaction to an irritant, like a grain of sand, leading the mollusk to secrete nacre, a lustrous substance that eventually forms the pearl. Natural pearls are rare and thus highly valued, but most pearls in the market today are cultured or farmed.

Cultured pearls are a result of human intervention, where technicians implant a piece of mantle tissue, sometimes with a mother-of-pearl shell bead, into a mollusk. The mollusk then coats the irritant with nacre, creating the pearl. Cultured pearls are primarily farmed in saltwater or freshwater environments, with each type exhibiting unique characteristics in terms of color, size, and shape.

Symbolism and Historical Significance

The allure of pearls extends beyond their physical beauty to their rich symbolism. Traditionally associated with purity, humility, and innocence, pearls have often been the gem of choice for weddings and gifts of love. In ancient texts and folklore, pearls were believed to bring prosperity, longevity, and health benefits. For instance, they were thought to alleviate indigestion and improve eyesight in certain traditional medicines.

One notable historical pearl is La Peregrina, a 50.56-carat pearl discovered in the 1500s and later owned by Elizabeth Taylor. This pearl, with its fascinating history, highlights the gem's timeless appeal and its role in the lives of the elite.

Geographical Diversity

Pearls are found in various parts of the world, each location contributing to the distinct features of the pearls it produces. Key locations for pearl farming include Japan and China for Akoya pearls, the coastal regions of Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines for South Sea pearls, and French Polynesia for Tahitian pearls. Natural pearls have historical significance in regions like the Arabian Gulf, where pearl diving was a major industry for centuries.

Rarity and Grading

Pearl grading, a crucial aspect of assessing their quality and value, follows a standard scale ranging from AAA to A. This scale is widely recognized in the jewelry industry and helps in determining the overall quality of pearls.

Grade Description
AAA These are the highest quality pearls with a very high luster and at least 95% of the surface free from defects. They are considered to have the smoothest surface and the highest luster among all grades.
AA+ These pearls are slightly lower in quality than AAA. They have a very high luster, and at least 75% of the surface will be free from any defects.
AA Pearls in this category have a slightly lower luster than AA+ and more noticeable surface imperfections. However, many of these imperfections are not noticeable to the naked eye.
A These are the lowest jewelry-grade pearls, with more than 25% of their surface showing defects and reduced luster.

Key Factors in Pearl Grading

  • Luster: The most important factor in pearl grading. High luster indicates a high-quality pearl.
  • Shape: Perfectly round pearls are the most prized, but other shapes like oval, teardrop, or baroque also have unique appeals.
  • Color: Pearls come in various colors, and the rarity of the color can affect their value.
  • Surface Quality: Pearls with fewer blemishes and imperfections are considered higher quality.
  • Size: Larger pearls are rarer and thus more valuable, given other factors being equal.

A single shiny pearl resting in a natural seashell on a smooth surface.

Understanding Cultured Pearls

Cultured pearls, produced with human intervention, dominate the current market. The process involves inserting a nucleus into a mollusk to stimulate nacre production. Despite being cultured, these pearls are real and possess the same properties as natural pearls. They are graded using the same criteria as natural pearls.

Freshwater vs. Saltwater Pearls

  • Freshwater Pearls: Typically cultivated in freshwater lakes and ponds, they are known for their wide variety of shapes and colors.
  • Saltwater Pearls: These include Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea pearls, known for their round shapes and high luster.

Pearl Care and Maintenance

Pearls are delicate and require proper care to maintain their beauty. They should be cleaned with a soft cloth and kept away from harsh chemicals. It's also recommended to store them separately to avoid scratches from other jewelry.

Pearls in Jewelry

Pearls have long been a staple in jewelry design, embodying elegance and sophistication. From classic necklaces to contemporary designs, pearls adapt seamlessly to various styles. Their versatility makes them suitable for both formal occasions and everyday wear. In addition to traditional white pearls, they are available in a spectrum of colors, including black, pink, cream, blue, green, and gold, each offering a distinct charm and appeal.

Alexandrite

Radiant alexandrite gemstone showing color change, set against a sparkling background.

Alexandrite, a rare and captivating gemstone, is known for its remarkable ability to change color, earning it the nickname "emerald by day, ruby by night." Its transformation from bluish-green in daylight or fluorescent light to purplish-red in incandescent light or candlelight is nature's magic trick, making Alexandrite one of the most unique and sought-after gems in the world.

Origins and Discovery

Alexandrite was first discovered in the 1830s in Russia's Ural Mountains. Named after Czar Alexander II, this gemstone initially seemed abundant but quickly became scarce due to extensive mining. The largest and most valuable deposits were historically found in the Ural Mountains, specifically in the Ekaterinburg and Tokovaya mines.

Global Occurrences

Although the Russian mines were quickly exhausted, new deposits of Alexandrite have been discovered across the globe. Significant sources now include Brazil, Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Madagascar, each offering gems with distinct characteristics. For example, Sri Lankan Alexandrite often appears deep olive-green under sunlight, while Zimbabwean gems are known for their fine, emerald-green color.

Physical and Chemical Properties

Alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl, formed when beryllium and aluminum combine with traces of chromium, titanium, and iron. This complex formation process, occurring during the cooling of hot magma, contributes to its rarity. Alexandrite's most notable feature is its color-changing property, appearing green in daylight and transforming to a reddish or purplish hue under incandescent light. This extraordinary phenomenon is a result of its unique chemical composition and the way it interacts with different light sources.

A pair of faceted alexandrite stones displaying a color gradient from green to purple.

Symbolism and Meaning

Alexandrite, known for its unique color-changing ability, is rich in symbolism and meaning. Often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” it embodies the balance between physical and spiritual realms, linking the heart and mind for a balanced perspective. This gemstone is associated with good luck, glory, and fortune, making it a symbol of prosperity and wisdom. It is believed to strengthen the bond between married couples and aid in facing relationship challenges.

Additionally, Alexandrite is thought to center the wearer, boosting self-esteem and allowing one to experience genuine love and joy. Its dual nature symbolizes the ability to see both sides of an issue, harmonizing rational and intuitive viewpoints.

Alexandrite in Jewelry

Alexandrite has been a highly prized gemstone in jewelry, especially among Russian aristocracy. Its discovery in Russia's Ural Mountains in the 19th century, along with its captivating color-changing property, quickly made it a favorite among the elite. The gemstone's association with Russian Tsar Alexander II added to its regal allure. With the depletion of Russian mines, significant deposits found in Sri Lanka and Brazil have continued to supply this rare gemstone for jewelry making. Alexandrite's rarity and unique beauty make it an exquisite choice for engagement rings, necklaces, and other fine jewelry pieces, often symbolizing love, good fortune, and emotional connection.

Rarity and Value

Natural Alexandrite is among the rarest gemstones, with lab-created alternatives also available. These synthetic versions possess similar chemical and physical properties to the natural stones but are less valuable. Identifying genuine Alexandrite involves testing its color change in different lighting conditions.

Moonstone

Sparkling moonstone crystal clusters with iridescent reflections on a dark background.

Moonstone, a type of feldspar, is celebrated for its mesmerizing adularescence - a phenomenon that creates a soft, internal glow. This gemstone has been revered across cultures, symbolizing inner growth, strength, and harmony with nature.

The Mystique of Adularescence

Adularescence, the hallmark of moonstone's enchanting appeal, is an optical phenomenon that creates a unique glow from within the gemstone. This effect is caused by the interplay of light with the microscopic layers within the stone, resulting in a shimmering, ethereal appearance often likened to the moon's gentle luminescence. The quality and intensity of adularescence can vary greatly, making each moonstone a one-of-a-kind treasure. This mesmerizing trait not only defines the moonstone's aesthetic appeal but also contributes to its enduring mystique in jewelry making and gemstone collection.

Moonstones, depending on their internal structure and the size of their mineral components, can exhibit varying degrees of adularescence. This quality is especially pronounced when the stone is cut en cabochon, a method that involves shaping and polishing the stone into a smooth, convex form without facets. The cabochon cut maximizes the moonstone's adularescence, allowing for the full display of its captivating sheen. The skill and artistry involved in cutting moonstones are pivotal in revealing their intrinsic beauty, with the cut and orientation being carefully chosen to enhance the stone's natural features.

Cultural Significance and Historical Use

Moonstone has been steeped in cultural significance and historical use across various civilizations. In ancient times, it was revered in India and Rome for its celestial semblance and believed to bring good fortune. In India, moonstones were traditionally given as wedding gifts, symbolizing love and new beginnings. The stone's association with the moon, known for its cyclical and renewing nature, made it a symbol of fertility and passion.

In Europe, the allure of the moonstone was equally significant. The gemstone was particularly favored during the Art Nouveau period, with many European jewelers incorporating its mystical qualities into their designs. This era saw the moonstone being set in a variety of jewelry pieces, from brooches to necklaces, often highlighted with intricate metalwork that accentuated its ethereal glow. The moonstone's popularity continued into the 20th century, with notable figures in history and cinema often seen adorned with moonstone jewelry, further cementing its status as a timeless and captivating gem.

Moonstone Colors and Cutting Techniques

Moonstone displays a wide array of body colors, ranging from nearly white to shades of yellow, orange, pink, grey, and even brown. These colors are primarily influenced by the stone's iron content. The most prized moonstone is the one with bluish adularescence, ideally transparent and with minimal body color. Cutting techniques are crucial in showcasing moonstone's beauty, with the cabochon cut being the most common. This dome-like shape optimally displays the adularescence. In some instances, moonstones are faceted or formed into a cat’s eye or star stones, although these are less common. The cutting must be oriented correctly to maximize the display of adularescence, enhancing the moonstone's appea.

Healing Properties and Spiritual Significance

Moonstone is often celebrated for its purported healing properties and spiritual significance. In various cultures, it is believed to bring calm, enhance intuition, and promote inspiration. Many view moonstone as a gem of inner growth and strength, ideal for meditation and spiritual practice. The stone is thought to harmonize emotions, providing a sense of tranquility and balance. Additionally, moonstone is often associated with feminine energy, making it a symbol of fertility and nurturing. This connection to the moon and its cycles has led to its widespread use in rituals and as a talisman for protection, particularly during travel at night.

The spiritual significance of moonstone is deeply rooted in its connection with the moon, symbolizing renewal and the cyclical nature of life. It's believed to enhance psychic abilities, particularly clairvoyance, and to help access deeper emotional states and subconscious realms. In crystal healing, moonstone is used to align and balance the chakras, believed to facilitate a connection with higher powers and aid in spiritual growth. This gemstone is often recommended for those seeking to embark on a journey of self-discovery, looking to enhance their spiritual awareness, or wanting to deepen their connection with the natural world.

Translucent polished moonstone gemstones with blue sheen, scattered on dark pebbles.

Physical Properties and Care

Moonstone, primarily composed of orthoclase and albite, belongs to the feldspar group of minerals. Its physical beauty comes from the phenomenon of adularescence, which creates a unique, shimmering glow. Moonstones typically exhibit a range of colors, including white, blue, peach, and even rainbow hues. Their hardness on the Mohs scale is between 6 and 6.5, making them relatively soft and susceptible to scratches. Therefore, moonstone jewelry requires careful handling and maintenance to preserve its luster and appearance.

Proper care of moonstone jewelry is crucial for its longevity. It should be cleaned gently with a soft, damp cloth, avoiding any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the delicate surface. Moonstones are best stored separately, in fabric-lined boxes or soft pouches, to prevent contact with harder gemstones that could cause scratches. Avoid exposing moonstones to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, as these can affect the stone's color and structural integrity. With mindful handling and regular maintenance, moonstone jewelry can retain its enchanting appearance for years to come.

Identifying Real Moonstone

To identify authentic moonstone, look for the tell-tale sign of adularescence, the phenomenon that gives moonstone its unique, ethereal glow. Genuine moonstone will display a soft, internal light that seems to move within the stone, creating a shimmering effect. This quality can vary across different moonstones, but its presence is a key indicator of authenticity. Additionally, real moonstone often has inclusions or irregularities, which are natural characteristics of the stone. These can include tiny internal cracks known as 'centipedes' or slight irregularities in shape and color. Moonstone imitations, such as glass or synthetic opal, may mimic the appearance but lack the characteristic adularescence and natural inclusions of genuine moonstone. When in doubt, seeking the opinion of a qualified gemologist or reputable jeweler can provide assurance of a moonstone's authenticity.

  • Real moonstone will stay cool to the touch longer than synthetic materials.
  • Under a jeweler's loupe, genuine moonstone should not show any round bubbles under the surface, which are indicative of manufactured stones.
  • Moonstones are relatively soft, ranking 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, and are harder than glass or opalite, the most common moonstone fakes.
  • Authentic moonstones have a variety of body colors, ranging from brown, yellow, or green to gray or black, and can have a semi-transparent to opaque appearance with a colorless to blue, white, or silver adularescent effect.
  • When performing a scratch test, objects with a hardness between 5.5 and 6 Mohs will scratch a fake moonstone but leave an authentic moonstone undamaged.

Conclusion

In essence, June's birthstones - Alexandrite, Pearl, and Moonstone - each weave a unique tapestry of beauty, symbolism, and historical significance. Alexandrite dazzles with its color-changing magic, Pearls exude timeless elegance and purity, and Moonstone captivates with its inner glow and mystical allure. These gems not only embellish jewelry with their distinct charm but also carry rich cultural and historical narratives, making them much more than mere adornments. For those born in June, these stones offer a special connection to the natural world's wonders and the myriad stories it holds.

DON'T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT - SEE WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE TO SAY!

Excellent

4.6

/ 5

Based on over 17,500+ happy customers

Elevator compliments

No joke, I once had a stranger stop me in an elevator to compliment my Nobbier necklace. That's how eye-catching their pieces are! I felt like a million bucks all day after that. Thanks, Nobbier! No joke, I once had a stranger stop me in an elevator to compliment my Nobbier necklace. That's how eye-catching... No joke, I once had a stranger stop me in an elevator to compliment my Nobbier necklace. That's how eye-catching their pieces are! I felt like a million bucks all day after that. Thanks, Nobbier!

Stunning craftsmanship!

I was blown away when I received my Nobbier necklace. The attention to detail is remarkable - you can tell each piece is made with love. It's become my go-to accessory for special occasions, and I always get compliments. Nobbier has a customer for life I was blown away when I received my Nobbier necklace. The attention to detail is remarkable - you can tell... I was blown away when I received my Nobbier necklace. The attention to detail is remarkable - you can tell each piece is made with love. It's become my go-to accessory for special occasions, and I always get compliments. Nobbier has a customer for life

Perfect gift

Bought a bracelet for my best friend's birthday, and she absolutely adored it! The packaging was so elegant, and the bracelet itself was even more beautiful in person. Nobbier made me look like the ultimate gift-giver. Can't wait to shop here again! Bought a bracelet for my best friend's birthday, and she absolutely adored it! The packaging was so elegant, and the... Bought a bracelet for my best friend's birthday, and she absolutely adored it! The packaging was so elegant, and the bracelet itself was even more beautiful in person. Nobbier made me look like the ultimate gift-giver. Can't wait to shop here again!

Incredible quality

As someone who's passionate about jewelry, I can confidently say that Nobbier is the real deal. The materials are top-notch, and the designs are timeless. I've had my earrings for months now, and they still look brand new. Worth every penny! As someone who's passionate about jewelry, I can confidently say that Nobbier is the real deal. The materials are top-notch,... As someone who's passionate about jewelry, I can confidently say that Nobbier is the real deal. The materials are top-notch, and the designs are timeless. I've had my earrings for months now, and they still look brand new. Worth every penny!

Obsessed

I stumbled upon Nobbier from Google and immediately fell in love. I treated myself to a ring, and now I can't stop wearing it! It's become my signature piece, and I feel naked without it. Nobbier has totally upgraded my jewelry game. I stumbled upon Nobbier from Google and immediately fell in love. I treated myself to a ring, and now I... I stumbled upon Nobbier from Google and immediately fell in love. I treated myself to a ring, and now I can't stop wearing it! It's become my signature piece, and I feel naked without it. Nobbier has totally upgraded my jewelry game.

Customer service goals

Not only is Nobbier's jewelry stunning, but their customer service is unmatched. I had a minor issue with my order, and they went above and beyond to make it right. They truly care about their customers, and it shows. I'm a Nobbier fan for life! Not only is Nobbier's jewelry stunning, but their customer service is unmatched. I had a minor issue with my order,... Not only is Nobbier's jewelry stunning, but their customer service is unmatched. I had a minor issue with my order, and they went above and beyond to make it right. They truly care about their customers, and it shows. I'm a Nobbier fan for life!

Instant confidence boost

Whenever I wear my Nobbier earrings, I feel like I can conquer the world. There's something about their jewelry that makes me feel instantly put-together and confident. It's like my secret weapon! Whenever I wear my Nobbier earrings, I feel like I can conquer the world. There's something about their jewelry that... Whenever I wear my Nobbier earrings, I feel like I can conquer the world. There's something about their jewelry that makes me feel instantly put-together and confident. It's like my secret weapon!

Gorgeous and unique

I love that Nobbier's designs are so unique - I never see anyone else wearing the same pieces as me. They're definitely statement-makers, but in the best way possible. I always feel like the best-dressed person in the room when I'm wearing Nobbier. I love that Nobbier's designs are so unique - I never see anyone else wearing the same pieces as me.... I love that Nobbier's designs are so unique - I never see anyone else wearing the same pieces as me. They're definitely statement-makers, but in the best way possible. I always feel like the best-dressed person in the room when I'm wearing Nobbier.

In love!

I'm not exaggerating when I say I'm in love with Nobbier. Their jewelry is like a work of art. Every time I wear one of their pieces, I feel like a million bucks. I can't imagine not having Nobbier in my life! I'm not exaggerating when I say I'm in love with Nobbier. Their jewelry is like a work of art. Every... I'm not exaggerating when I say I'm in love with Nobbier. Their jewelry is like a work of art. Every time I wear one of their pieces, I feel like a million bucks. I can't imagine not having Nobbier in my life!

Nobbier nailed it!

I was looking for the perfect gift for my sister, and Nobbier totally nailed it. She's obsessed with the earrings I got her, and I scored major sister points. I might have to borrow them from her... I was looking for the perfect gift for my sister, and Nobbier totally nailed it. She's obsessed with the earrings... I was looking for the perfect gift for my sister, and Nobbier totally nailed it. She's obsessed with the earrings I got her, and I scored major sister points. I might have to borrow them from her...

Compliment magnets!

I swear, every time I wear my Nobbier earrings, I get stopped on the street with compliments. It's like they have a magnetic force field or something! Not that I'm complaining - bring on the compliments! I swear, every time I wear my Nobbier earrings, I get stopped on the street with compliments. It's like they... I swear, every time I wear my Nobbier earrings, I get stopped on the street with compliments. It's like they have a magnetic force field or something! Not that I'm complaining - bring on the compliments!

Werneri Grundström

About the Author

Werneri Grundström

Werneri Grundström is a renowned expert in the Nordic jewelry industry, with over a decade of experience in the field. As a writer for Nobbier, a leading Nordic jewelry brand, Werneri shares his extensive knowledge and passion for jewelry and fashion with readers around the world.

With a keen eye for style and a commitment to quality, Werneri provides valuable insights and advice for jewelry enthusiasts and fashion-conscious readers alike. His engaging and informative writing style has earned him a loyal following among Nobbier's audience.

Limited Time Offer - 20% Off

LIMITED TIME OFFER

Get 20% off your purchase automatically applied at checkout
Discount automatically applied at checkout