Alexandrite and Pearl are the two birthstones for June. Pearls are a classic choice, while natural Alexandrite is expensive and rare. In response to the costs associated with Alexandrite, some retailers have selected their own stone to represent the month of June, including green tourmaline to represent the green color of Alexandrite, or pink Tourmaline to represent the red, or color change garnet because of the change.
Pearls can be saltwater or freshwater. Most pearls sold today are “cultured,” which means that they are formed around a shell “seed” that has been inserted into the mollusk. Salt water pearls are generally formed singly in an oyster, while freshwater pearls are formed from multiple seeds in a mussel. Colored pearls may be natural, but many colored pearls, especially freshwater, appear to be dyed – the prudent buyer should be aware of this fact, and be sure to inquire as to the origin of color.
Pearls are great gifts for weddings, graduations, confirmations, Mother’s Day and anniversary gifts
Alexandrite is an extremely rare gemstone of the chrysoberyl species, which was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830, on the day that Prince Alexander came of age. Alexandrite is one of the rarest gemstones. It is prized for its change of color from shades of green in daylight to shades of red in incandescent light. The finest specimens change from grass green to raspberry red. Perhaps because of its ability to change colors, legend holds that Alexandrite brings good fortune when the sun is shining and love at night.
Alexandrite is a very durable stone, ranking an 8 1/2 on Mohs hardness scale. The best Alexandrites have been found in Russia, but they are also mined in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Tanzania, Africa, and Burma.