June birthstones: Pearl. June Birthstone Color is White.
By Devorah Isenberg
, Thursday, June 16, 2011
By Devorah Isenberg
, June 16, 2011
You might think birthstones are only for kids’ jewelry and sentimental Mother’s Day gifts, but modern designs and rethought uses are catapulting these twelve semi-precious stones back into the limelight. June’s birthstone is no different, except for one surprisingly puzzling question: What is the birthstone for June?
Believe it or not, this is not as simple a question as it sounds. June actually has three separate traditional birthstones—pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite. Of these three, pearl is by far the most common, and therefore most often used in June birthstone jewelry. But if you are looking for a perfect birthstone jewelry piece for someone with a June birthday, any of these three stones will make an unusual, unique gift he or she is sure to treasure for years and years to come.
Pearls may be the most common, seen on everything from cocktail rings to long strand necklaces, but first let’s take a look at the other two, lesser-known June birthstones that also have something unique and beautiful to offer.
June Birthstone: Pearl
The pearl is the best-known of June’s three birthstones, as it is also one of the most popular and best-selling gemstones in the world. Of course, a pearl is not really a gemstone, as it is not produced in the earth like other gemstones. Instead, it is a calcium carbonate deposit produced in shell of a mollusk—but is still known worldwide as one of the most valuable and sought-after pieces of jewelry for its sheen and elegance. Pearls, whether they are worn as earrings or in a long necklace, are a symbol of luxury and elegance like no other gemstone. The pearl’s unworldly beauty and humble origins prompted many ancient civilizations to create fanciful myths about the pearl: the Greeks referred to pearls as the tears of joy that the goddess of love cried as she was born from the sea, ancient Arab legend attributed the pearl’s origin to oysters drinking moonlit dewdrops, while the ancient Chinese said pearls came from the brains of dragons.
Of course, the real scientific explanation is not as fanciful, but it is nearly as magical to think that a grain of sand and a tiny shellfish could produce one of the most enchantingly beautiful objects on earth. Although most pearls are an iridescent white, pearls can come in any color from pink to yellow, black or gray. Pearls, once worn only by royalty, have now come to symbolize refined and elegant style any way they are worn, and have recently become increasingly trendy in new and modern settings. Universally popular and beloved, pearls make the perfect June birthstone for anyone.
June Birthstone: Alexandrite
A simple yellow-brown or green stone in color, alexandrite has a secret magical quality that makes it an especially romantic gift for someone with a June birthday. An alexandrite stone actually changes color and glows red when it is exposed to dim, glowing light such as candlelight. So a ring set with alexandrite will have one color in everyday light and another, secret hue in low, romantic candlelight. The poets have described alexandrite as “an emerald by day, a ruby by night,” gemologists just call it the “alexandrite effect.” This secret identity makes it perfect for a romantic present for someone looking for a birthstone color for June that is deeper and more unique than a simple pearl. Different alexandrite mines around the world produce stones with different primary and hidden tones—alexandrite from the Ural Mountain region of Russia tends to be green in daylight and red in lower light, while other mines produce stones with yellow or pink stones that appear raspberry or maroon in candlelight.
But even outside of a romantic setting, alexandrite is said to be symbolic of joy and good fortune—making it a perfect gift for anyone you love and want to bless with a year of good fortune. Even the legend about alexandrite’s discovery is about good luck. According to the legend, a Finnish meteorologist named Nils Gustaf Nordenskiold discovered the stone in the nineteenth century, but at first mistook it for emerald. When he realized it was in fact a new stone, he named it after Tzar Alexander II of Russia.
June Birthstone: Moonstone
The second alternate birthstone for June is the moonstone, another rare but fascinating gemstone. Moonstone is actually a type of feldspar, an extremely common stone that makes up as much as 60% of the Earth’s crust. But the iridescent sheen of this particular stone earned it the name moonstone for its resemblance to the moon. Ancient civilizations considered the moonstone to be sacred and magical, believing it to give deeper spiritual knowledge to the wearer due to its mystical connection to the heavens. The Romans referred to moonstone as solid rays of the moon, and associated it with the power of the lunar gods and goddesses. In India, moonstones were called “dream stones” and were said to bring good dreams, while Arabic women considered the stone an amulet for fertility. Although we no longer believe that a moonstone can make the wearer invisible, as some ancient people believed, the gift of this June birthstone is still said to be a symbol of health and longevity—and what better birthday present can there be than that? Since its heyday in the 1920’s Art Nouveau movement, moonstone has fallen somewhat in popularity in use in gemstone jewelry, but its status as one of the June birthstones has kept it around, as did its one-of-a-kind beauty and luster. Moonstones from Sri Lanka, where the stone was traditionally mined, are pale blue and almost translucent, while gems from India can be beige, green, orange, or brown. No matter the color, however, moonstone can be characterized by the delicate shimmer that makes it an enchanting stone for use in all kinds of birthstone jewelry.
June birthstone Color
So what color is the June birthstone? If it’s alexandrite, it can be green or red, depending on the light. If it’s moonstone, it can be blue or beige. And if you’re choosing the pearl birthstone, you can have almost any color, with an iridescent sheen that gleams with all the colors of the rainbow.