Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Alexandrite & Pearl, June Birthstones

Alexandrite is the fusion of Garnet, and, by extension, Ruby and Sapphire, Amethyst, and Pearl. If you love magic, especially the magic of science, you’ll love Alexandrite, the color-change gem. Outside in daylight, it is a cool bluish mossy green. Inside in lamplight, it is a red gem with a warm raspberry tone. People say, “emerald by day, ruby by night.” It flicks back and forth by switching from fluorescent to incandescent light. The value of the gemstone increases as the color change becomes more distinct. It is truly spellbinding to see the spectacular changing colors in this wonderful gemstone; someone might feel some of the mysterious magic and lore ascribed to it such as to strengthen intuition, aid in creativity, and inspire the imagination.

Originally, Alexandrite discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830s. Those first gems were of very fine quality and displayed vivid hues and dramatic color change. The gem was named after the young Alexander II, heir apparent to the throne. It caught the country’s attention because its red and green colors mirrored the national military colors of imperial Russia. It’s now found in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil; but this gem is exceptionally rare and valuable. Most cut gems weigh less than one carat. Larger, higher-quality gems rise in price dramatically.

“Green in sunlight.
Red in lamplight.
Color-changing Alexandrite
is nature’s magic trick.”

Pearls are also the June birthstone. In all of human history, mankind has admired, even worshipped, pearls. Persian mythology called them “the tears of the gods.”

 Ancient Chinese legend claims the moon holds the power to create pearls, instilling them with its celestial glow and mystery. Pearls are unique because they are the only gemstone formed within a living creature. Since natural pearls are rare and difficult to recover from the ocean’s depths, man invented the technique of culturing salt and freshwater pearls from mollusks carefully seeded with irritants similar to those produced by nature. Cultured pearls come in many beautiful colors, from pale cream and white to rose, lilac, green, gold, gray, and black. There are four main types of cultured pearls: Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian, and freshwater each having unique qualities.

Today, pearls are both classic and contemporary; a strand of white pearls can be timeless, but a bracelet of chocolate pearls is more modern. One thing to keep in mind with pearls, no matter the color or size, they can be worn every day or they can complement the most formal attire.


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