June 13, 2021: Stories In The Stones-June Birthstones
The history of birthstones can be traced back to biblical times and the book of Exodus, where Aaron, the first high priest of the Israelites, wore a breastplate embellished with with 12 different stones, representing one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Legend has that these gemstones possessed powers and also had the ability to predict fate. https://www.gemsociety.org/article/history-of-birthstones/
In the fifth century, a historian named Joseph, created the connection between the 12 stones in Aaron’s breastplate, the 12 months of the year, and the 12 zodiac signs. This led to a tradition over the centuries where people collected all 12 stones and would feature them in jewelry to be worn one at a time, depending on the month or power the stone represented. The current tradition of wearing your birthstone did not actually begin until the 16th century in either Germany or Poland
But even though the wearing of birthstones was now being practiced for centuries, there wasn’t an actual consensus on what these stones were until 1912. The National Associations of Jewelers standardized the list of American birthstones. This list has evolved over time to include stones that were more practical in terms of availability and affordability. In 1952 Alexandrite was added to June along with the traditional Pearl and Moonstone.
June’s Birthstones: Pearl, Moonstone & Alexandrite
The Pearl is an organic gem and consists of three types:
1. Natural pearl-formed within the shell of a living mollusk
2. Cultured pearls (Most Common-)-initiated by humans. This practice involves inserting a “seed” into the mollusk to encourage it to deposit the layers of nacre which creates the pearl.
3. Imitation Pearls-Usually plastic beads that have a lustrous coating or like Swarovski, are made out of crystalized glass.
Alexandrite-is a color-shifting, variety of chrysoberyl which ranges from blue-green, to red -purple in the light. Natural Alexandrite is extremely expensive, and lab-created gems (exact chemical composition) are an affordable alternative.
Moonstone-is a feldspar mineral, renowned for its “pearly” luster when light enters the stones, yielding reflections from the mineral layers within the gem. https://geology.com/gemstones/birthstones/#june
With their rich history birthstones can provide meaningful, personalized gift whether it’s your own celebration for the month of your births custom piece that represents your family, or a gift to show a loved one you care.
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