Hello and welcome to all my lovely ladies and gents who were born in the month of June. If you weren’t born during this month, that’s okay! We have some great gems that you will love, no matter what time of the year you just so happen to be born! AND this month is very exciting because it celebrates PEARLS, which is what we specialize in here at Key West Local Luxe! So, let’s just dive right in, boys and girls-the weather is fine (it’s actually really great, you really should join us here in Key West)!
For each month, there are usually a couple of birthstones. That is because there is a traditional birthstone and modern day birthstone. Why, you may ask, are there two birthstones for each month? Well, that’s a good question! It is thought that throughout time, numerous cultures and civilizations associated different meanings and metaphysical powers to stones and crystals. Therefore, these ancient civilizations were unknowingly also creating the path for birthstones. There are also two zodiac signs for each month, so there’s a stone attached to each sign within the month. There are three months within the year that have three birthstones, and June is one of them (the other two are August and December). So, you lucky ducks are in for a treat! Pearls, moonstone, and alexandrite are all associated with the month of June.
Let’s start with pearls, because we obviously LOVE them here at Key West Local Luxe. We have over 700 beautiful pieces with pearls on our website, and Barb is extremely knowledgeable on the subject. There is a ton of information on pearls that will definitely not fit in one blog post (look for another one this month that is more in-depth) so we will look more into the history and origin of these natural wonders at this time.
The origin of pearls was quite fascinating to our ancestors. People living in ancient times of the Middle East believed that pearls were tear drops fallen from heaven. The Chinese originally believed that pearls came from the brain of a dragon. Christopher Columbus and his peers thought that mollusks formed pearls from dew drops.
We know now that pearls are organic gems that grow inside the tissue of a living saltwater or freshwater mollusk (either an oyster or a mussel). Natural pearls form when the mollusk secretes a substance called nacre around an irritant such a parasite that has invaded its shell. Now, it’s very rare to find a pearl that is formed naturally; only 1 in about 10,000 wild mollusks will yield a pearl and of those, only a tiny few would be good enough in sixe, shape, and luster to be of any interest for jewelry. Thankfully, a man named Mr. Mikimoto worked tirelessly for 15 years to finally figure out how to cultivate pearls.
Cultured pearls are raised in pearl farms-saltwater or freshwater operations where the mollusks are cleaned, protected from predators and eventually harvested. Pearl technicians implant a piece of mantle tissue alone (common for freshwater cultured pearls) or with a mother-of-pearl shell bead (all saltwater) into a host mollusk. The mollusk covers the irritant with nacre, just like a natural pearl. Cultured pearls are REAL pearls formed with a little help from human hands.
Pearls have long been associated with purity, humility, and innocence. As such, pearls were traditionally given as a wedding gift. They are also thought to have beneficial properties. In the ancient Sanskrit text, the Atharvaveda, pearls were said to give long life and prosperity. In Asia, pearls were believed to help alleviate indigestion and hemorrhages. Some 19thcentury Arab physicians maintained that pearl powder improved eyesight, quieted nervous tremors and eased depression. No matter what era, pearls have proven themselves to be timeless.
Okay, did I mention we LOVE pearls around here?! I could go on forever, but we still have two more gems to discuss, and the next is moonstone! You’ve probably seen a moonstone and thought, “Wow!” when you’ve seen the blue sheen across the white or colorless background. This is called adularescence: the light that appears to billow across a gemstone, giving it a special glow. Moonstone is actually a variety of the feldspar-group mineral orthoclase. It’s composed of two feldspar minerals, orthoclase and albite. At first, the two minerals are intermingled. Then, as the newly formed mineral cools, the intergrown orthoclase and albite separate into stacked, alternating layers. When light falls between these thin, flat layers, it scatters in many directions, producing the phenomenon we just mentioned above called adularescence. One of the most captivating aspects of adularescence is its appearance of motion. The misty light seems to roll across the gem’s surface as you change the viewing angle.
Moonstone has been associated with both the Roman and Greek lunar deities. Hindu mythology claims that it is made of solidified moonbeams. Moonstones are often associated with love, passion, and fertility. They are also believed to bring good luck.
You all still with me, here?! I mean this is pretty great stuff so I hope you are enjoying yourself, reading all these amazing tid bits of information! The last stone we are going to discuss for the month of June is alexandrite. Never heard of it? Well, now you have! Let’s learn some more about this rare gem!
Alexandrite is the rare variety of the mineral chrsoberyl that changes color in different lighting. The most sought after alexandrite are those that show a vivid green to bluish green in daylight or fluorescent light, and an intense red to purplish red in incandescent light. When certain types of long, thin inclusions are oriented parallel to each other in this stone, they can create another phenomenon called chaoyancy or the cat’s-eye effect.
Alexandrite was named after the young Alexander II (1818-1881) since the first deposits were discovered in 1830 in Russia’s Urual Mountains. This June birthstone caught the country’s attention because of its red and green colors that mirrored the national military colors of imperial Russia.
As for alexandrite’s beneficial properies, it is believed in Russia to be a stone of very good omen. In other parts of the world, it is thought to bring luck, good fortune, and love.
There you have it, June born babes! I hope you enjoyed learning about all these magical stones associated with your birth month. June is a great month for celebrations! Not just birthdays, but graduations and weddings occur during this time so it’s a good thing there are three stones to choose from in the month of June!