May 21 – June 20
In the previous article, we considered the meaning of the Moonstone. In order to round up our overview of the three June birthstones, we now take a look at the Alexandrite and Pearl.
Like the Moonstone, the Alexandrite has many moods. It will appear blue-green in bright daylight and reveal subtle raspberry and purple tones when placed near an incandescent light source. These “moods” make the Alexandrite one of the most valued gems.
Alexandrite is in the same family as Cat’s Eye. It is a chrysoberyl. Gems in this family contain titanium and iron. Alexandrite contains a third “impurity,” chromium. This is the cause of its changing color under different light temperatures.
This stunning gemstone was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia, in 1834. Tsar Alexander II was the inspiration for its name. Its dominant colors, red and green, made it the perfect gem for Imperial Russia since these were the very colors used in Imperial emblems. The Alexandrite became the national gem.
Alexandrite is the gem of imagination, intuition and creativity.
The pearl may seem out-of-place in this June birthstone trio, but in fact it is in perfect company. Consider this: The moonstone calls attention to the skies, the Alexandrite hails from the mountains, and finally the pearl represents treasures from the ocean. Interestingly, the pearl is also considered an astral gem and it has been called “teardrop of the moon.”
Archeologists have found pearls in the Persian Gulf area dating back to 6,000 years ago. These were not merely there by accident. They were purposefully placed in the right hand of the deceased. It is natural to conclude that these peoples likely assigned spiritual properties to pearls. We know that this gem has been a symbol of wealth for thousands of years as well.
Any mollusk with a shell has the ability to produce pearls. In essence, the phenomenon is merely an immune reaction to an impurity, typically sand, having lodged itself within the shell. Nevertheless, pearls occur naturally in only one out of 10,000 mollusks.
While the pearl as a birthstone is traditional in June, the folklore surrounding this gem gives it special significance in February, April, July and November also. Like the moonstone, the pearl is linked to integrity. It is also a symbol of purity and innocence, hence its traditional use in a bride’s jewelry.
Isn’t June a fascinating month for birthstones?
Read about other birthstones HERE