Hello, June! It’s finally Summer!
June has three acknowledged birthstones, the Pearl, Moonstone and Alexandrite (one of the rarest stone in the world), and is only one of two months to have three birthstones.
All three of June’s beautiful gemstones enhance the sense of well-being and stability of the wearer through transitional times, and can be used to calm one’s sense.
June’s first and most renowned birthstone, the pearl, has been portrayed for centuries in ancient mythology and folktales as a symbol of purity. Ancient Greeks believed that pearls were formed by the tears of joy that fell from the eyes of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. As a symbol of the Goddess of Love, ancient Greeks also believed that wearing pearls prevented women from crying (tears of joy) on their wedding day. The ancient Japanese folktales stated that pearls were created from the tears of mythical creatures, like mermaids, nymphs, and angels. Other ancient cultures like Indian and Hindu associated pearls with the moon, and named them the “teardrops of the moon.” Their folklore claims that ‘dewdrops’ fell from the moon into the moonlit sea, in the form of pearls. One of their gods, Krishna, plucked the first pearl out of the sea to gift his daughter, Pandaia, on her wedding day. Since pearls have symbolized purity and innocence for many religions, including Hinduism and Christianity, this myth could have started the ancient tradition for a bride to wear or receive pearls on her wedding day, which continues to this day. As such, Pearls have commonly symbolized loyalty, faithfulness and friendship, and they embody modesty, chastity and purity.
Pearl is organic in nature; they are the only gemstones made by living creatures: Mollusks (like clams and oysters). Created over long years, the pearl is round, smooth and lustrous, with a brilliant opalescent luster, because its substance is “nacre”, or mother-of-pearl.
The history, myths, legends and folklore surrounding the magical properties of Moonstone, the third June birthstone, are – as the name suggests – strongly associated with lunar magic and mystery. Moonstone, associated with love, passion, and fertility, signifies longevity and good health. Like the ever-changing phases of the moon, the emotional energy of the moonstone is reputed to help one go through transitions (difficult or otherwise). Also known as the ‘Traveler’s Stone’, it is often a talisman for safe travel, especially at night, or on the water, under the watchful eye of the shining moon.
With its calming, soothing aura, Moonstone has been a beautiful adornment and a powerful talisman since ancient times for a number of civilizations. Believing the shiny stone was formed from literal moonbeams, ancient peoples admired it as protection for travelers, a gift for lovers (Hindu), a channel for prophecy (Roman/ Greek oracles), and a stone of wisdom and embracing change. As an earthbound moonbeam, it is a very sacred stone in India, with a special significance for lovers, as a traditional wedding gift there. In the ancient Orient, the shimmering stone was believed to house a good moon spirit that brings good fortune. Both the Romans and the Greeks associated moonstone with lunar deities, and called Moonstone, “Aphroselene,” after the (Greek) goddesses Aphrodite (Love) and Selene (Moon). The more current name, “Moonstone” was coined by ancient Roman natural historian, Pliny, who wrote that the moonstone’s shimmery appearance shifted with the phases of the moon, and the name stuck.
Interestingly, Florida, the Sunshine Sate (my home state), adopted moonstone as it’s official gem in 1970 to commemorate the Apollo 11 moon landing and other Florida spaceflights. However, Moonstone is not found in Florida (or on the moon, for that matter).
While Pearl and Moonstone have been known for centuries, Alexandrite, a relatively modern gem, is the most recently discovered among the three June birthstones. In 1834, Alexandrite was found in Emerald mines in Russia, and according to legend, this gemstone was discovered on the future Czar Alexander II’s coming of age birthday, hence the name in his honor, ‘Alexandrite’. Often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” this chameleon stone is a symbol for change and transitioning, that changes color from exotic bluish green in daylight to purple/red when under incandescent light. Soon after its discovery, Alexandrite became the official gemstone of Imperial Russian Tsardom, likely, because it was found in Russia, and its red and green hues matched Russia’s military colors. Russia was a highly superstitious society at the time, and the magic of Alexandrite’s changing colors directly reflected the court culture, where every word had a second meaning. People at the time found the green to symbolize hope for the reign of Czar Alexander II, whereas the red came to symbolize the blood that came from riots and assassinations later during his reign, and from this ‘truth’ it became a stone of prophecy.
Despite it’s rather dark history, Alexandrite was regarded as a symbol of hope, later associated with good luck, omens an prophecy. Thought to heighten the intuitive capacity and creativity of its wearer, Alexandrite is believed to create a balance between the realms of the physical and spiritual.
Due to its scarcity, and the unlikelihood of the elements required combining under the right conditions to create a color changing gemstone like Alexandrite, it one of the rarest, costliest gems, more valuable than even rubies and diamonds.
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Lore and Lotus curates handmade global artifacts, jewelry and home decor from sustainable sources. Our products are handpicked by Founder, Jackie, and are either made new by eco-conscious, ethical artisans, or are one-of-a-kind market finds. Everything has a story. #whatsyourlore