Happy BIRTHDAY June Babies!
June Birthstones Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
Pearl is an organic gem and the traditional birthstone for the month of June. There are three basic types of pearls: 1) natural pearls, which form naturally within the shell of a living mollusk; 2) cultured pearls, which are propagated by people by inserting a "seed" into a mollusk shell with the intent that the mollusk will deposit layers of nacre around it; and, 3) imitation pearls, which are usually plastic beads with a lustrous coating applied. Most pearls in today's market are cultured pearls, which are very affordable when compared to natural pearls, and make a much nicer gift than imitation pearls. Most jewelry stores sell pearl jewelry, most often with cultured pearls.
Alexandrite is a color-change variety of chrysoberyl that appears as different colors under daylight and incandescent illumination. Pictured here is a faceted specimen of color-change alexandrite of 26.75 carats from Tanzania, showing a blue-green color in daylight and a purple-red color under incandescent light. Natural alexandrite of good color and clarity is an extremely expensive gem, however, lab-created alexandrite can be found in many jewelry stores. Some of the lab-grown alexandrite has a spectacular appearance!
Moonstone is a Feldspar mineral that produces a "pearly" luster when light enters the stone and is reflected by mineral layers within the gem. Moonstone is most often a white or gray color with a glow that is white or silvery - like the glow of the moon (that's how it got its name!). Moonstone also occurs in pink, orange, near-colorless and other colors. Rare moonstones produce a blue or a multicolored glow. These are called "rainbow moonstones" and they are market favorites.