JUNE - YOUR BIRTHSTONES ARE... June 01 2016

June is one of the few months, that counts 3 gemstones as its birthstone. For all your lucky ladies born in the month of June, that gives you 2 extra reasons to shop for gorgeous baubles.

PEARLS
Unlike most gemstones that are found on Earth, Pearls are one of the few that have an organic origin. Created inside the shells of certain species of oysters, clams and molluscs that inhabit the sea or rivers. Today, many pearls are cultured-raised in oyster farms that sustain a thriving pearl industry.
A pearl is created when a very small fragment of rock, a sand grain, or a parasite enters the mollusc’s shell. It irritates the oyster or clam, who responds by coating the foreign material with layer upon layer of shell material called nacre. Pearls formed on the inside of the shell are usually irregular in shape and have little commercial value. However, those formed within the tissue of the mollusc are either spherical or pear-shaped and are highly sought out for jewellery. Most of the pearls that we use in Lustre jewellery are either genuine Baroque, Freshwater pearls and sometimes Shell Pearls. You will always find a clear explanation of the type of pearl used in any of the jewellery descriptions on our site.

Pearls possess a uniquely delicate translucence and lustre that place them among the most highly valued of gemstones. The colour of the pearl depends very much on the species of mollusc that produced it, and its environment. While White is perhaps the best-known and most common colour, pearls also come in delicate shades of black, cream, grey, blue, yellow, lavender, green, and mauve.

Pearls, according to South Asian mythology, were dewdrops from heaven that fell into the sea. They were caught by shellfish under the first rays of the rising sun, during a period of full moon. In India, warriors encrusted their swords with pearls to symbolise the tears and sorrow that a sword brings.
Pearls were also widely used as medicine in Europe until the 17th century. Arabs and Persians believed it was a cure for various kinds of diseases, including insanity. Pearls have also been used as medicine as early as 2000 BC in China, where they were believed to represent wealth, power and longevity. Even to this day, lowest-grade pearls are ground for use as medicine in Asia.

MOONSTONE
June’s second birthstone is the moonstone. Moonstones are believed to be named for the bluish white spots within them, that when held up to light project a silvery play of colour very much like moonlight. When the stone is moved back and forth, the brilliant silvery rays appear to move about, like moonbeams playing over water.

Moonstone belongs to the family of minerals called feldspars - About half the Earth’s crust is composed of feldspar, a mineral that occurs in many igneous and metamorphic rocks, and also constitutes a large percentage of soils and marine clays.
Rare geologic conditions produce gem varieties of feldspar such as Moonstone, Labradorite, Amazonite, and sunstone. Whilst the best moonstones are from Sri Lanka, they are also found in the Alps, Madagascar, Myanmar, and India.

The ancient Roman natural historian, Pliny, said that the moonstone changed in appearance with the phases of the moon, a belief that persisted into the sixteenth century. The ancient Romans also believed that the image of Diana, goddess of the moon, was enclosed within the stone. Moonstones were believed to have the power to bring victory, health, and wisdom to those who wore it.

In India, the moonstone is considered a sacred stone and often displayed on a yellow cloth – yellow being considered a sacred colour. The stone is believed to bring good fortune, brought on by a spirit that lives within the stone.

ALEXANDRITE
June’s third birthstone is the Alexandrite.

The stone is named after Prince Alexander of Russia, who was to become Czar Alexander II in 1855. Discovered in 1839 on the prince’s birthday, alexandrite was found in an emerald mine in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Possessing an enchanting chameleon-like personality. In daylight, it appears as a beautiful green, sometimes with a bluish cast or a brownish tint. However, under artificial lighting, the stone turns reddish-violet or violet.

Alexandrite belongs to the chrysoberyl family. It is a hard mineral, only surpassed in hardness by diamonds and corundum (sapphires and rubies). The unusual colours in Alexandrite are attributed to the presence of chromium in the mineral. 
Alexandrite is an uncommon stone, and therefore very expensive. Sri Lanka is the main source of alexandrite today, and the stones have also been found in Brazil, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Myanmar (Burma). Synthetic alexandrite, resembling a reddish-hued amethyst with a tinge of green, has been manufactured but the colour change seen from natural to artificial lighting cannot be reproduced. 

Because it is a relatively recent discovery, there has been little time for myth and superstition to build around this unusual stone. In Russia, the stone was also popular because it reflected the Russian national colours, green and red, and was believed to bring good luck.