June Birthstone: Pearl and Alexandrite

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From the organic pearl to the rare alexandrite, the two both have unique and fascinating qualities. Although June is known for having two, but up to three birthstones. 

Pearl is the most traditional June birthstone. It’s the only birthstone made from a living creature and only non-gemstone birthstone. Pearls are quite fragile creations by gemstone standards. They measure only 2.5 to 4 on the Mohs Hardness Scale and therefore suffer damage easily. This includes the mild acids in our sweat, which means they aren’t very practical to work with and is the reason why they are often not used in some jewellery design, such as rings. 

To astrologists, the pearl represents the birthstone for June. They say that the gem is aligned with the zodiac sign of Gemini. Since ancient times, people have believed that pearls bring love, luck, wisdom and peace. The demure glow about them, the white or cream colouring of often associated with light and purity. Therefore, the pearl birthstone often stands for innocence and sincerity. It is said to bless new life beginnings, for instance, in the case of marriage, house moves and babies – with love and luck.

Since natural pearls are rare and difficult to recover from the ocean’s depths, man invented the technique of culturing salt and freshwater pearls from mollusks. Commonly pearls are white or cream in colour, however this can vary depending on the species of mollusc and the environment in which it lives. They can also be found in shades of black, grey, blue, yellow, green and mauve! Physically pearls have been regarded for their medicinal benefits, and are even still used as an anti-inflammatory and for cosmetic purposes. They boast a history full of legend, romance and powerful women!

Pearls have been around as long as the animal kingdom has been, and in the ancient-mythology have described them as dewdrops from heaven, or the tears of angels, nymphs, faeries, and mermaids. Mentally pearls were said to be a great cure for insomnia and memory loss, even insanity. They have also often been emotionally associated with the calming of both mind and body and being able to cure heart, stomach and spleen ailments.

Alexandrite. Green in daylight, Purple in incandescent light.

Alexandrite gemstones are extremely rare and desirable since they change colour based on the lighting. Emotionally it is said to not only make our dreams and inner images clearer, but also our feelings and desires. It strengthens intuition, aids creativity and inspire the imagination. Mentally it encourages strategic thinking and planning, but also enhances the willingness to take risks and to trust our inner voice.

Originally mistaken for emerald from a source in the Ural Mountains of Russia, it has since been found in India, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka. Alexandrite is a type of chrysoberyl. Despite having beryl in the name, and often having a colour similar to emerald, the two are not related. Physically it increases the power of self-healing and helps particularly with inflammations detoxifying effects, as well as stimulating the regenerative powers of the liver.

Alexandrite will appear green in daylight, due to the way our eyes are more sensitive to green light. In incandescent or artificial light, however, it will appear red or violet, due to the low levels of the green light present. The very finest gems show a colour change from green to red. It is this light-shifting that makes alexandrite almost unique and accounts for its great desirability. Alexandrite is thought to bring luck, good fortune, and love, and brings balance between one’s physical and spiritual world.

When meditating Alexandrite can be used for its spiritual and emotional effects, used alternately in sunlight and by candlelight. Alternatively this gem can be simply carried about your person. 

Birthstone ring in silver with alexandrite. Hand made in cornwall by Chloe Michell Jewelley
Alexandrite birthstone ring

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