June is the beginning of summer, the beginning of true warmth, and sometimes it can head into scorching hot territory. Overall a really nice month to hit the beach, get started on your tan, and enjoy life as it is. For some of us, June is also the time we were born ! So you might be wondering what your birthstones are. And why June has three birthstones, while most months only have the one gemstone. Let’s take a look.
Why does June have 3 birthstones ?
June has three birthstones because the original gem assigned – pearl – became incredibly rare and a compromise needed to be made, so people could actually find a birthstone to wear. Moonstone was later added, and even later alexandrite became an option as well. Similar things have happened, such as December’s three birthstones, November’s two gems, and several other months.
The reason birthstones have changed, and why they might change again in the future, is that they’ve become increasingly rare and a suitable alternatives was needed. All birthstones derive from the original association between the 12 stones on Aaron’s breastplate and the 12 tribes of Israel, which was later associated with the twelve months of the year.
From there to people wearing one specific stone for the month they were born in is a small step, and as time went on this custom became more and more ingrained throughout all faiths. The birthstones are worn more as a decorative element than a show of faith. So let’s take a look at the three gemstones associated with the month of June.
Pearl was the original June birthstone, and for good reason. When you think of June you think of warm weather, the beach, summer holiday, and just a general all-around summer vibe. Pearls just seem to fit into this whole scenery, right ? Well, they do, but they were originally the most expensive and rare gemstone you could ever find.
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Real, organic pearls – especially saltwater – were difficult to find and collect, and required many, many clams be opened and all of them died in the process. Finding just one pearl was a big deal, let alone finding on that is nicely shaped and has a perfect surface. As for finding another one that looks pretty much the same so you can have a pair of pearl earrings ? You literally had to be a king, or emperor. No one else could get their hands on that.
So for a very long time – centuries – pearls were associated with high class, pure blood, royalty, elegance, and faith because the royal families always had a strong link with the Church.
Alexandrite was added to the June birthstone list sometimes in the late 1900, but the gem was around for a longer time than that. Alexandrite was first discovered in Russia, and was named after tsar Alexander II Romanov. This gemstone is actually very interesting as it can naturally shift form green like an emerald to red like a ruby, depending on what light source you have.
Outdoor light – more blue in it – will bring out the green-blue color, while indoor lighting – more red-yellow – will bring about the ruby color. This is only true for very fine quality alexandrite, as poor quality alexandrite will only shift from a muddy green to a dull brown-yellow.
True alexandrite, earth-mined and of very good quality, is very rare. About as rare as fine quality rubies, which makes alexandrite a very expensive birthstone. Fortunately there are synthetic alexandrites for sale, though these have a slightly different coloration. Synthetic alexandrite will shift from teal (a bit more blue than the original) to raspberry, without flashing any sort of green or yellow as the light changes. Still a very mesmerizing gem !
Moonstone is an ancient stone, very well known to ancient Romans in fact. Moonstone is not rare, but fine-quality moonstone with a good sheen and semi-translucent is not easy to come by. Moonstone has an eerie blue glow that sits just under the surface of the gem. As you move the gem in your hand, the glow moves as well.
Ancient Romans thought moonstone was the concentrated essence of moonlight. In truth moonstone owes its haunting and beautiful blue glow to layers of feldspar interspersed within the gem. A higher concentration of feldspar will mean more blue glow, while a better clarity will allow the glow to be seen.
When buying moonstone do not fall for opalite. This is a man-made material that mimics the blue glow of moonstone, has a very good clarity, but will always appear slightly milky and give off more than just a blue glow, pink, green and yellow are colors you will also notice. Think of a glass of clean, cold water with a few drops of dairy milk added to it. That’s the general look of opalite.
Can you wear all June birthstones together ?
We recommend you only wear one June birthstone at a time, to avoid clashing styles and mismatching gems. This does not mean you can’t wear pearls one day and moonstone the next. But wearing them, together isn’t the best decision since these three gems don’t go together very well.
One thing to remember about these June birthstones, they tend to have a lower Mohs rating than others. The Mohs rating is the hardness rating, and it ranks a gemstone’s hardness on a scale from 1 to 10. The harder the gem (closer to 10), the more scratch and chip resistant it is.
The softest June birthstone is pearl, scoring an average of 3 on the Mohs scale. The next birthstone is moonstone, with a Mohs rating of 6-6.5, and then alexandrite with a 8.5 rating. Alexandrite is fit for everyday wear, whether it’s a ring or a pendant or just earrings.
Pearls and moonstone should only be worn as earrings or pendants, and restricted to occasional wear. Pearls are particularly sensitive to chemical abrasives, perfume, sweat, and oils.
June birthstone jewelry to get you inspired
Wondering what kind of June birthstone jewelry you can find ? Here’s a few ideas to get you inspired ! Please keep in mind that the following links are all Amazon links. This site is an Amazon affiliate, so any product you purchase form this list may bring is a small commission.
Here’s an idea for an alexandrite pendant.
The alexandrite in this pendant is lab-created, and cut into a very beautiful pear shape with a checkerboad top. There is a genuine round diamond set atop the alexandrite and it adds some extra sparkle to an already intriguing pendant. The pendant is prong-set in 14k white gold, and it comes with a 14k white gold 18 inch box chain.
And let’s take a look at moonstone jewelry. We recommend wearing moonstone as a pendant or a pair of earrings to keep the gem out of harm’s way if you want to wear moonstone every single day. Here’s a really cute pair of moonstone earrings to give you an idea.
These are dangle earrings, and they come with a triquetra celtic know pattern, with the moonstone just under the knot. These rings are lever-back, so they’re pretty secure. The metal is 925 sterling silver.
If you’d like something more flashy for your moonstone jewelry, something for occasional wear, you can try this big moonstone ring.
This ring is more of a cocktail ring, or a statement ring, something you’d wear every now and then. The moonstone is quite large and it looks to be great quality. The ring is customizable, such as changing the metal type, ring size, adding engraving onto the ring, and adding a matching pair of earrings or a pendant.
Now let’s take a look at pearl jewelry. These are usually very elegant, so we’ve found this beautiful strand of Tahitian pearls.
Tahitian pearls are renowned for their black body with green-blue luster, and amazing shine. This particular strand comes in three pearl sizes: 8-10mm, 9-11 mm, and 10-12 mm. The necklace measures 18 inches total, and the clasp can be either white or yellow gold (14k).
If you’re interested in a pair of pearl earrings to go with the necklace, then why not check out these Tahitian pearl earrings set in 925 sterling silver.
I’m the main author for jewelrymaterialguide.com. I started this site after we did tons of research before our wedding and noticed that there is information about rings, jewelry, and so on that is really hard to find on the internet.