June Birthstones: Moonstone, Pearl and Alexandrite
June is a great month for birthstones. Giving you a choice of no less than 3 stones! Moonstone, pearl and alexandrite are the 3 birthstones of this month. In this blog post we’ll look at the three different birthstones, learn about what makes them desirable and help you find out how to buy the best gemstones for your jewellery.
We’ll also look at some jewellery styling tips for men and women’s jewellery, and other ways to match your favourite birthstone jewellery with other accessories and outfits.
The headings are below and you can click on them to jump through the article.
Although June has 3 birthstones, it seems right to start this post with moonstone. The first thing you might notice about moonstone is its milky white colour. Moonstones are a fairly soft gemstone, meaning that faceted moonstones are rare. You will usually find cabochon moonstones which have a round smoothly polished dome and a flat back. We use faceted moonstones in our bike chain cufflinks with moonstone, and also use cabochons in our moonstone earrings and moonstone pendant necklaces. You can read more about our moonstone bike chain cufflinks here.
What Colour is Moonstone?
If you look at a moonstone for longer, you will notice that just beneath the surface of the stone it appears there is a gently moving blue light similar to moonlight floating on water. This iridescent effect is what gives moonstone its name. It is called ‘adularescence’ or ‘schiller’. Schiller happens when light passes between the microscopic layers inside the moonstone. A similar looking iridescent effect is also found in opal and labradorite.
UK Moonstone Jewellery
Moonstone jewellery in the UK is most commonly found in craft style jewellery. Unfortunately the much of the craft moonstone jewellery uses low quality bead style cabochon moonstones which may have been mined under harsh conditions, affecting the environment and local workers. These moonstone gemstones may also not have much or any adularescence, meaning they will just look like milky stones without the beautiful effect which gives moonstone its name. Similar problems are also found in high street moonstone jewellery. High end moonstone jewellery uses hand chosen moonstones, selected for their unique features, ensuing you have moonstones with plenty of schiller, and if there is more than one moonstone in the jewellery piece, they will that look matched to each other.
Styling Moonstone Jewellery
Moonstone jewellery complements many outfit styles. The iridescence can make a formal outfit look more personalised without disregarding loosing formality. To make your moonstone jewellery look its best avoid craft or high street styles, as they tend to overuse low quality moonstones in bracelets and charms. Instead it is best to distinguish your moonstone style choice with a more confident and unique jewellery piece. A more unique jewellery piece will naturally help distinguish your individual unique style.
When choosing materials, moonstone can complement chiffons and tulle, adding to the ethereal texture of the fabrics. Against a solid poplin shirt moonstone adds a new layer of interest, where the shirt appears as the flat background for the shimmering stone. Patterned blouses and dresses complement moonstone jewellery is easy if the pattern has an impressionist, mixed abstract, or animal print style. Generally hard-edged geometric patterns are more difficult to pair with moonstone jewellery, so if that is your only option try to complement the moonstone jewellery with a shimmering handbag, shoes or hair decoration.
Moonstone cufflinks are an unusual and excellent choice. The colours of the moonstone are a lot more interesting than the more common mother of pearl, and they are more likely to suit a wider range of cufflink shirts. Moonstone cufflinks look good against blue, pink and almost any dark coloured double cuff shirt, and their adularescence catches the light in formal meetings and casual events to make an interesting and unique accessory.
The familiar look of a string of pearls necklace is the ultimate vintage classical statement. For many it will be too classical, so if you are looking for pearls as a birthstone gift then you may need to looks for something different.
To begin to make choices it’s helpful to narrow the field. One way of doing this is to understand that not all pearls are the same. Firstly there are fake pearls made from plastic or plaster. These are so low quality not even a five-year-old princess wannabe would be fooled. Which leaves paste pearls and real or natural pearls.
Paste Pearl Jewellery
Paste pearls are made in lots of different ways. The most common is by coating a ball (usually made from glass) with layers of liquid. The liquid is usually made from a mixture of ground mother of pearl and fish scales. Using several layers gives the finished paste pearls a realistic depth and colour. The advantages is they are uniformly spherical in size, shape and weight.
Natural Pearl Jewellery
Natural pearls are formed in a mollusc such as an oyster when a parasite or bit of grit gets stuck in the shell. The mollusc secretes a liquid called “nacre” which layers the foreign object and creates a pearl. Because the object is unlikely to be a sphere, natural pearls are usually not spherical. Some natural pearls are quite strange shapes, and these can make for interesting and unique natural pearl jewellery. If you are looking for a natural pearl gift that also looks contemporary, then unusual shaped natural pearl jewellery may be to your tastes.
The third birthstone for June is alexandrite. The most interesting thing about alexandrite jewellery is that some alexandrite change colour depending on if you look at the gemstone in natural daylight or artificial light. In daylight alexandrite jewellery will look blue or green, and in incandescent light it will look purple or red. Higher quality stones have stronger colour and fewer inclusions. Lab grown alexandrite can also exhibit full colour changes.
So that rounds off the three June birthstones. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the post, if you have any questions please get in touch!
Happy jewellery shopping!