Sunny days in the forecast and transitioning from one season to the next, June is here and so are the birthstones of the month. Yes, you read that correctly as ‘birthstones’ plural. June is a unique month in the gemstone calendar and one of just three months that crown a trifecta of gems; the other two months being August and December. With Pearl arguably serving as the most popular birthstone linked to June, people born in this month also get to flaunt their ties to the mystical Moonstone as well as the lesser-known but hard to come by Alexandrite.
Perfectly coinciding with the first month of summer in the northern hemisphere — the season in which we see beaches start to fill up and bikinis get broken out for the first occasion of the year — is pearl. A symbol of the ocean and the beauty it possesses, what truly separates pearl from the rest of the birthstones we cherish is that it’s the only stone formed from a living being. When an irritant infiltrates the soft body of a mollusk, it triggers the production of nacre, a crystalline substance that forms around the irritant. This then results in the tiny treasures Gabrielle Coco Chanel loved to flaunt around her neck in the bunches.
History: The origins of human interaction with pearls go way back and may always remain undetermined by gemologists. Although some believe the earliest record was somewhere off the coast of India where fishermen tribes would stumble across the stone's captivating allure. Still, we do know that they’ve been appreciated as jewellery since 420 BC after evidence was discovered in a Persian princesses sarcophagus. Across civilizations and cultures the pearl has been held in mighty-high regard as a precious stone; so high actually that at a certain point they were legally reserved for the noble classes in European countries up until the 18th century. Stories have been told that to convince Mark Anthony that Egypt was too valuable to be conquered, Cleopatra promised him the most expensive dinner in history. When the two sat down to dine and to Anthony’s astonishment, the queen proceeded to dissolve a pearl into her drink. The rest is, well, history as Anthony refused his pearl and the queen won that bet.
Symbols of Purity and Fertility:
Staying in line with the round perfection of saltwater pearls and the depth of their eggshell-white hue, they are held as symbols of purity, incorruptibility, and feminine spirit. This makes sense when considering how hidden pearls remain within the tough confines of oysters' protective shells. They’re even said to symbolize wisdom and ‘hidden’ knowledge for that very reason.
The gem that keeps on healing:
Pearls are known for their healing properties; and if not for the fact that they’re the result of a sea-creature self-nurturing, it’s because pearl powder is indeed an actual skincare product. Linked to the sacral and heart chakras, the metaphysical healing properties of pearls range from increasing one’s peacefulness to cleansing the damage done to their ability to love. In addition, the calming feminine energy of pearls is also said to assist in relaxing mothers during childbirth. Should you find yourself in a loveless state, a set of pearl earrings or a necklace may help you reclaim that youthful ability to love openly.
For the lovers and intellectuals:
While it’s the case that many gems are a great way to show love and devotion, pearls are unique as their timelessness and classic look exudes a particular maturity. This is tied to their symbolic representation of wisdom and hidden knowledge. Don’t just give pearls to show appreciation to any partner, but to someone whose intellect or profoundness for worldly discussions truly resonates with you. It doesn’t get more classic than pearls: It may very well be true that pearls are the preferred gemstone by grandmas the world over, and reasonably so. Their ability to elevate even the most relaxed looks into classy outfits proves that the obsession the noble classes of previous civilizations had with them wasn’t for nothing. When considering the number of moments pearls have had in fashion history the list goes on. From icons of the middle ages like Mary I or Queen Elizabeth I who wore pearls in her hair, to Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe in the 50s and 60s. The level of iconicism doesn’t get any higher. Currently, we’re even experiencing an embrace of pearls on male fashion icons such as Harry Styles and the man that never ages: Pharrell Williams (Could it be that pearls really do help with skincare?) When styling pearls, it helps to stay true to their classic and intellectual appeal, adorning them as subtly chic earrings for everyday wear. But if a statement is what you’re after, then turn that mature elegance into camp and by all means let your inner Harry Styles flourish.
Moonstone, The Lunar Gem:
While many people born in June turn to Pearl, Moonstone is also a popular gem amongst the Geminis and Cancers born in this month. Alexandrite remains relatively unpopular and that’s not because of its appearance (it's quite stunning) but due to its rarity. History & Formation: Like many gemstones, moonstone comes from the Earth’s crust.
Unlike many gemstones, moonstone is the only one that possesses adularescence: the natural phenomenon in which the stone emits a glow across its surface when hit with light. In ancient Rome, it was believed that the shiny layer atop moonstone was made of solid moonlight. While not as popular in jewellery prior, it wasn’t until the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movement that people began to embrace moonstone aesthetically for its unusual properties. Once again, in the ’60s and ‘70s, the mystical gemstone had another fashion resurgence with the ‘flower child’ movement. Life changes like the phases of the moon: Similar to that which it’s named after, moonstone serves as a reminder that things come and go in life. You know, like the phases of the moon? One night it’s there lighting up the sky and before we know it it’s disappeared. Then it’s there again but shaped differently. This has given moonstone the reputation of being symbolic with new beginnings and its light is there to help guide us through life’s cycles.
Keeping our universes flowing:
Moonstone is known to be a healer of the crown chakra and like pearl, the heart chakra as well. When the crown chakra is in balance, our universe tends to be. This is because it's the chakra located at the top of our heads and is the source for all things spiritual and true to us. Like moving with the phases of the moon, when our spiritual lives are in check, going through the motions comes much more fluidly. From subtle to spectacle: There are numerous ways to style moonstone: whether carrying it as a pocket gem, a charm, or wearing it as a piece of jewellery, it brings about a level of funkiness and depth. This gemstone is for those looking for something alternative and to a certain degree mystifying with its adularescence. Like the moon that shines one night and not the next, or people and their surprising capabilities, moonstone can go from a subtle staleness to an otherworldly glow.