June Birthstones: Pearl, Moonstone & Alexandrite
Birthstones are adored worldwide. Often, people enjoy jewelry featuring gems that align with their birth month, giving them an extra degree of meaning. Additionally, many believe that birthstone jewelry makes an excellent gift, increasing its popularity. Every month on the calendar is connected with at least one gemstone. If you are curious about the June birthstones, here’s a look at what they are, their coloring, and more.
What Is the June Birthstone?
Like a few other months, there isn’t just one June gemstone. Instead, there are three. In fact, only one other month has the same number of birthstones, and that’s December.
The most popular June stone isn’t a stone at all; it’s the pearl, the only gemstone that’s made by a living creature. Mollusks make pearls when an irritant gets stuck in their shells, covering the irritant in calcium carbonate layers.
In some cases, the pearls come out almost perfectly round. However, other shapes are also possible, including oval, button, teardrop, baroque, and semi-baroque. They can also be clean and smooth or feature imperfections, known as spots.
By Original uploader was User: at en.wikipedia - Photographed by David Weinberg for Alexandrite.net and released to the public domain. Alexandrite.net contributors. Step Cut Alexandrite Cushion, 26.75 cts. In Alexandrite.net, Tsarstone collectors guide. December 07, 2006, 16:42 UTC. Available at: http://www.alexandrite.net/viewpage.html?id=ALX-001-00001. Accessed February 26, 2007., CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Considered a modern June birthstone, Alexandrite is a rare variety of chrysoberyl, a mineral. The Russian Alexandrite gemstones are usually considered the most valuable due to their intense coloration. However, even the less dramatically hued stones out of Brazil, East Africa, and Sri Lanka are rare, making them all potentially pricy.
Moonstone also originates from a mineral, adularia. The stone is made of feldspar layers, causing light that hits the surface to scatter, creating an effect known as adularescence, which makes the gem appear to glow. One of the first mining sites was near Switzerland’s Mt. Adular. However, it is now found in Australia, India, Madagascar, Myanmar, and the United States.
What Is the June Birthstone Color?
There isn’t technically a June birthstone color. While many pieces of cheap June birthstone jewelry feature a pink or raspberry hued “gem,” that color isn’t a great representation of any of June’s birthstones.
Pearls are most commonly white, gray, or cream. However, black, pink, purple, blue, green, champagne, and chocolate pearls all naturally exist. Plus, some even seem to have multiple hues. For example, Tahitian pearls can be mainly black but have a blue to green overtone, giving it a unique sheen.
For Alexandrite, the June stone color varies a bit. The gem is known for a “color-changing” quality, appearing blueish-green in some lights and purplish-red in others. Strong tones generally make the stone more valuable than less intense gems with otherwise similar characteristics.
Moonstone is mainly white, though it is also host to a rainbow of other pastel hues. Blues, greens, pinks, purples, yellows, and grays may all seem to make an appearance. In fact, the finest moonstones tend to have a blue shimmer, making it the most valuable coloration.
June Birthstone Jewelry
June birthstone jewelry options are plentiful. You can find examples at nearly any price point, as long as you are open to pieces featuring any of the stones. Additionally, each one works well with every supporting metal, so you might find June birthstone jewelry in yellow, white, or rose gold, silver, and platinum.
Pearl birthstone jewelry is probably the most popular option for June. You can find necklaces featuring pendants or full pearl strands. Rings may feature a pearl as the showcase gem, and pearl stud earrings are always widely available.
Moonstone birthstone jewelry is a little more limited, mainly because the demand for it isn’t as high. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find some with relative ease, just that you might not spot it at a jewelry store in the mall.
In most cases, moonstones are turned into cabochons. It allows light to dance across the surface, creating the characteristic glow. You may find moonstone cabochons on rings, pendants, earrings, and more.
However, there are also moonstone beads. As with a cabochon, the smooth surface of a bead is great for capturing and reflecting light, leading to beautiful rainbows of color. These often make their ways onto strand necklaces and bracelets.
Alexandrite birthstone jewelry can be incredibly expensive if the gemstones are genuine. Comparatively speaking, Alexandrite is a very rare gem, especially the stones from Russia that offer the best coloring. Even small Alexandrite gemstones can come with big price tags.
While there are plenty of faux Alexandrite pieces that are incredibly cheap, jewelry featuring pink “gemstones” isn’t actually a good substitute. The coloring doesn’t match up with what you can find in a real June birthstone Alexandrite.
Stones Similar to the June Birthstones
Each June gemstone has at least one possible substitute. For natural pearls, cultured pearls are the most accurate alternative. They are still created by mollusks. The only difference is that there was some human intervention when it came to introducing the irritant and managing the conditions.
When it comes to moonstone, there are few stones with a similar look. In some cases, certain opals might work as stand-ins, as well as some pieces of white cat’s eye quartz. However, since moonstone can be quite affordable, there usually isn’t a need to find an alternative.
Alexandrite is a bit trickier. At times, synthetic corundum might have a similar look, as it’s frequently made to serve as an Alexandrite substitute. However, even when carefully crafted, the appearance doesn’t always measure up to the original.
At times, specific sapphires and garnets can have the color-changing quality. However, these aren’t readily available either, so they can be quite expensive.