June Birthstones

June’s three official birthstones have a common theme: iridescent, mysterious and complex. The shimmering pearl is the only birthstone emerging from a living organism. Its huge range of colors & shapes can dazzle and surprise. It is both incredibly delicate and timeless.

The lesser-known moonstone captivates with its strangely hypnotic glow. Lovely alexandrite possesses the power to transform itself with a magical play of light. Which is your June gemstone soulmate?

June Birthstones

Birthstone Care

One of the most important aspects of June’s birthstones are their delicate nature. As an organic substance, pearls form from accretions of calcium carbonate that can dissolve when exposed to highly acidic substances. They do not respond well to impact or abrasion, so keep this in mind when wearing & storing your precious pearl jewelry. As fashion gurus constantly advise, it’s important to apply beauty products before donning your pearls.

Below is a close-up view of what happens to pearls when they are exposed to hairsprays & other harsh solvents over time. Not such a pretty and lustrous sight, is it?

corroded-pearls
When cleaning is required, bring them to a jeweler for professional treatment, or gently brush with lukewarm water and mild soap. A polish with a selvet cloth is a perfect finishing touch. Older pearl strands should be re-strung periodically, and knotted properly to avoid a disastrous spill. Silk thread is used to prevent chafing at the inside of the pearls. Laying them in a soft, flat place will prevent a misshapen strand.

Overall, pearls can respond magnificently to a bit of loving care and gentle cleaning. Some pearl jewelry remains pristine for hundreds of years, making it a wonderful heirloom.

Moonstone

Photo: Moonstones in shadow, GIA.edu

Rainbow moonstone
An alternate birthstone for June is the moonstone, a type of feldspar. Like the pearl, it has a radiant, iridescent quality that ancients believed could confer good health, wisdom and victory. Moonstone makes an excellent June birthstone for the man on your list!

Moonstone’s mesmerizing iridescence relies in part on its delicately polished surface. It is a soft stone, better suited to necklaces than to rings. It should be gently cleaned by hand. Alexandrite, though a harder and more durable gem, should be inspected for fracture-filled treatments before subjecting it to ultrasonic cleaners or steamers. Avoid chemical exposure to maintain the striking optical effects at their best.

Alexandrite

Alexandrite is one gemstone that does spectacularly well in the spotlight… and just as well out of it! Its most famous quality is its apparent ability to transform color, from a deep forest green in daylight, to a purplish-red in the evening (or when exposed to incandescent light). Its color depends on the way light reflects off the chromium inside the crystal, which is a type of chrysoberyl (frequently seen as cat’s eye).

Alexandrite Effect

Alexandrite was first discovered in Russia in 1831 and named for Alexander II, heir to the Russian Empire. It is still extremely rare, chiefly originating in Russia’s Ural Mountains, and parts of southeast Asia & eastern Africa.

Myths have evolved around alexandrite’s mysterious abilities, touting legends of mystical powers and magical influence. Believe them or not, alexandrite is certainly an enchanting alternative to the more feminine and traditional pearl birthstone. This daring, dramatic jewel is like having two gemstones in one!

It is a relatively durable gem, suitable for rings and other jewelry that is likely to receive more surface wear. Clean your alexandrite jewelry often and gently with lukewarm soapy water and a soft cloth. Above all, enjoy looking at your magical gem in every light – you’ll always be surprised with something new!

Read more:

American Gem Society: June Birthstones

GIA Alexandrite Gem Profile

EarthSky.org: Pearl | Moonstone | Alexandrite

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