Welcome to Malak Jewelers' Monday Message! Each Monday we will post an informational blog post. Check in each week to learn more about the history of jewelry, rare gemstones, the diamond industry, and more! This week we're catching you up on June's birthstones -- all three! That's right, June has the distinction of having three birthstones: pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone!
All images in this article are taken from Malak Jewelers' in-store stock!
Pearl is probably the most famous of June's birthstones. In fact, pearls are probably one of the most famous stones in the gem world -- second only to perhaps diamonds! Pearls are unique in the gem world as they are organic, rather than mineral, gems. Pearls are produced by living mollusks when an irritant is coated in nacre, a substance secreted by the mollusk to protect itself. The nacre builds up around the irritant, creating the lovely pearl we know!
Pearls have a rich history and lore surrounding them. They are some of the oldest known gemstones, with pearl jewelry dating back 6,000 years! It makes sense, therefore, that they would have a rich mythology. Ancient Asian cultures believed that pearls came from dragons. Dragons would drop moisture from the heavens, which would fall into shells. The moisture would be fed by moonbeams and grow into pearls. Looking at a perfectly lustrous pearl, one could believe that dragons were involved!
Pearls are a very popular stone for jewelry, though they do require delicate care. They have been a popular choice for millennia, and for good reason! The soft glow and pearly lustre make pearls a perfect choice for any piece.
Alexandrite is a very rare jewel, but a stunning one nonetheless! It is most famous for it's eye-catching color change: alexandrite appears green in natural light and red in incandescent light. It's like getting two stones for the price of one -- but beware, alexandrite can get very pricey for its rarity and optical effects.
Alexandrite was discovered in the Ural mountains in Russia in the early 1800s. Originally, it was thought to be an odd emerald, but was soon recognized as its own, distinct stone. Because green and red were the colors of the Russian imperial family, and the prince Alexander came of age the same year the stone was classified, it was named for him. Alexandrite's early popularity came from its association with the royals: who didn't want jewelry like royalty? However, the Russian mines were soon exhausted. Although new mines have been found elsewhere, alexandrite still remains rare and the largest source of alexandrite today is actually no mine, but antique jewelry!
Due to its unique properties and general toughness, alexandrite is a popular choice for any type of jewelry. Though it is naturally rare, it is possible to synthesize alexandrite. Alexandrite became an alternative to pearls for June's birthstone in the 1950s.
Moonstone is perhaps the least famous of June's birthstones, but it has the most magical backstory. Moonstone has a rich history of mythical associations and lore. Indian folklore tells us that moonstone is crystallized moonbeams. Other cultures believed that the glow inside moonstone -- known as adularescence -- indicated that a good spirit was within the stone. Moonstone was used in magical applications, and was believed to give bearers a glimpse of the future. It is also considered an excellent stone for meditation purposes, as it promotes focus. Moonstone is considered a good talisman for lovers (as it promotes peace) or seafarers (as the moon controls the sea, granting safe passage).
Moonstone is most famous for the adularescence, which gives a blue or white glow from within the stone. It comes from albite crystals within the stone refracting light. While other stones, such as labradorite, have similar effects, moonstone is distinct for its unearthly glow.
Moonstone is most popular as a June birthstone in Germanic and Scandinavian cultures. It provides an excellent alternative if you're looking for a less ubiquitous birthstone gift. Like pearls, moonstone does require a more delicate approach, but a good piece of moonstone jewelry can last a lifetime!
Birthstones are a wonderful way to express your individuality through jewelry. Come into Malak Jewelers to check out our wide variety of gemstones and gemstone jewelry today!
Malak Jewelers is Charlotte, North Carolina’s premier direct diamond importer, supplier of loose diamonds, and custom design jewelry. When you buy from Malak you receive 100 Day Price Protection and a Lifetime Upgrade Promise. Be sure to check out our wide variety of diamond engagement rings both in our online catalogue and at our store in Charlotte, North Carolina's Arboretum Shopping Center.