A few months out of the year have multiple birthstones – June is one of the lucky ones, featuring both Pearl and Alexandrite!
Pearls are one of the most unique gemstones in the world as they are the only ones formed by living organisms. Mollusks produce natural pearls when a small “irritant,” perhaps a single grain of sand, ends up inside the mollusk. To protect itself from the irritant, which can be sharp and cause the mollusk pain, it slowly begins to cover it layer by layer with nacre (also know as “Mother of Pearl”). Over time and much layering, the irritant eventually transforms into a beautiful, iridescent pearl!
The chances of finding a natural pearl are actually quite low with approximately 1 out of every 10,000 wild oysters producing a pearl. The amount of time it takes a mollusk to produce a pearl from start to finish varies but typically ranges from 6 months to several years.
There is evidence of Pearls being traded as far back as 1,000 BC and, throughout history, pearls have been highly sought-after and greatly treasured. Click here to learn more about Pearls, the way they are formed, and their rich history!
June’s other birthstone is a strikingly unique gemstone as well! Alexandrite is loved for its chameleon-like qualities, which have earned it the nickname “Peacock Stone.” In daylight or fluorescent light, Alexandrite shines vibrantly in hues of blue-green, but in darker settings or incandescent light, Alexandrite appears red-purple.
This unique stone was discovered somewhat recently in history. In the early 1830s, the first Alexandrite stones were found in the Ural Mountains in Russia and named after future tsar, Alexander II. The country immediately fell in love with the stone since its dual colors matched those of the military. Now, the Ural Mountain deposits of Alexandrite have been mined out, but this unique gemstone has since been discovered elsewhere, like in Brazil, Sri Lanka, and throughout eastern Africa.
Another great quality of Alexandrite is how durable it is. With a Mohs scale rating of 8.5, Alexandrite is tough enough to be used in daily wear jewelry applications and rings.