Welcome to the Rocks & Co. birthstone special starring the month of June! June babies and butterflies are free! So, it is really great that we have three birthstones in our birth month realm of magic. Only one other birth month has this privilege, but that story is for another column. This choice of three stones is perfect because Geminis, a dominant sign for the month, do not have a problem choosing. Well, actually we do have a problem choosing but this problem is rooted in the fact that we love life and want to enjoy all of the beauty that life has to offer! So, when offering a Gemini a choice of, Alexandrite, Moonstone or Pearl most of us will definitively say ‘yes please’ to all of them.
Alexandrite is one of the rarest of all coloured gemstones and is famous for its ability to change from emerald green in daylight to raspberry-red under incandescent light. Fine faceted Alexandrite over one carat is more valuable than Sapphire, Ruby, or Emerald. The colour change from red to green is due to strong absorption of light in the yellow and blue portions of the spectrum. Alexandrite is a variety of Chrysoberyl, with an excellent hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale. It is very rare because of its chemical composition. While it is a form of Chrysoberyl, it has an extra trace element in addition to iron and titanium. It is the presence of chromium that gives it the emerald-green shade in daylight.
Naturally tranquil, the quiet beauty of Rainbow Moonstone is unsurpassed by any other gemstone. An ice-white stone that appears to glow with a silvery-blue sheen, which shows all the colour of the rainbow when moved through the light. Adularescence, or ‘schiller’ as it is more commonly known, is the result of light passing through the gemstone body and reflecting upon multiple layers of the stone’s inner crystals before bursting back out and leaving a myriad coloured iridescence on top.
LEGENDS AND LORE
Moonstone is associated with the moon and was the stone of the Goddess Diana. Diana was the Roman Goddess of the hunt, nature and she had the ability to talk to animals. An independent beauty. The moonstone is said to perceive that which “is”. Placing it in the moonlight of a moon reaching its fullness can revitalise it. Moonstone is used by healers to stimulate the functioning of the pineal gland and balance internal hormone cycles with nature’s rhythms. It has been worn as an amulet to bring good emotions to the wearer while protecting those of a sensitive nature. It is said it can reunite lovers who have quarrelled. Moonstone is also considered a good luck stone.
The Pearl is long considered a symbol of purity and innocence.
For a long time, the pearl was one of the most precious jewels, and thus also a means of demonstrating power, prestige, social status and wealth. Over 2,000 years ago, pearls in ancient Rome were the most valuable. Julius Caesar, a pearl lover, once paid
60,000 pieces of gold for a single bead, and in the first century BC, there was a law which forbade lower classes from wearing pearls. Caesar’s failed British invasion was intended to secure access to the coveted British river pearls.
Queen Elizabeth I from England was called the pearl queen because of her passion for pearls!