June babies are lucky enough to call two gorgeous gemstones their birthstone. The first is the pearl; a timeless gem that’s been worn in jewellery for centuries. The second is the more modern stone Alexandrite which has a mesmerising ability to change colour in different lighting. In this blog, we explore the history and significance of both gems as well as giving our top picks of the perfect birthstone jewellery whether it’s for yourself or as a gift for someone special. Let’s start with the pearl first.
Where Do Pearls Come From?
Pearls are unique as they’re the only gemstones produced by a living creature rather than mined from the earth. Molluscs such as oysters produce pearls when irritants like a parasite or sand get inside their shells and onto their soft tissue. To protect itself, the mollusc secretes a substance called nacre which hardens with a smooth coat to form a pearl. This process can occur naturally or be manufactured in pearl farms.
Are Pearls Ethical?
Sadly, there are multiple reasons why real pearls cannot be considered completely ethical. Overfishing means that natural pearls are incredibly rare so most are created through human intervention in pearl farms. This involves opening the shell of the living animal to insert an irritant inside, a process which less than half of the molluscs survive.
Are Pearls Vegan?
According to Peta, real pearls are not vegan as their formation requires a living thing to go through a stressful experience. And even naturally occurring pearls are collected by killing the mollusc.
What Are Faux Pearls?
Synthetic pearls are a fabulous alternative to expensive and problematic real pearls. They are often made from high quality beads which are expertly crafted to look almost identical to the real thing. Even the ancient Romans would make their own pearl replicas by coating beads with silver and glass as only the very wealthiest could afford the real thing. Later, the high-class workshops of Murano in Italy would become the center for dazzling yet affordable faux pearls.
You can follow on this trend with our timeless white pearl bead stud earrings or single pearl pendant which is available on it’s own or as a silver pendant necklace.
What Do Pearls Symbolise?
Whether real or faux, pearls hold strong symbolic meaning when given as a gift. They have long been regarded as an emblem of innocence, serenity and protection and are said to bestow the wearer with a positive mind and good luck. They’re also linked to the idea of longevity which is why they’re a popular gift between partners.
Where Can You Buy Ethical Peal Birthstone Jewellery?
As well as our classic pearl stud earrings and pearl pendant combo, our range also contains the stylish pearl huggie hoop earrings that are guaranteed to take any outfit from desk to drinks instantly. We’ve also got you covered if you’re in the market for something even more glam. Our showstopping pearl set huggies contain multiple beads to compliment your favourite special occasion outfit. Or if playful is more your thing, look no further than our matching pearl beaded gold anklet and pearl beaded gold choker.
What is the Alternative June Birthstone?
Whilst pearls are undeniably a timeless beauty, they don’t suit everyone’s taste. Particularly if you have more of a quirky or alternative style. But luckily there’s another option. June babies can also opt for the showstopping Alexandrite as their alternative birthstone since it was added to the official birthstone list in 1952.
What Colour is Alexandrite?
Part of Alexandrite’s allure is it’s captivating ability to change colour in different lights thanks to the fact that it contains the mineral chrysoberyl. In natural daylight, the stone will reflect greeny-blue and yellow hues. But under artificial or candle light it will change to become a deep colour of raspberry. Which is why Alexandrite is popularly described as being an “emerald by day, ruby by night.”
What is the History of Alexandrite and Where is Alexandrite Found?
Alexandrite stones were first discovered in 1830 in the emerald mines of Russia’s Ural Mountains. It takes its name from Tsar Alexander II who is said to have turned 18 on the day that the first deposits were found.
The original Ural Mountain deposits were eventually depleted so that true, fine-quality Alexandrite stones are now exceptionally rare to come by. In fact, you’re much more likely to find it in expensive antique jewellery than you are in a modern piece. That said, some stones can still be found in Brazil, Sri Lanka and East Africa but they are not of the same quality and come with a very hefty price tag.
Luckily, you can find affordable alternatives which look just as gorgeous as the real thing. Our blue Alexandrite birthstone necklace is made from a stunning light blue crystal and has just as much wow factor as the natural version. Opt for the silver chain necklace style if you want to ooze modern glam or there’s also the gold chain option if you want a more retro yet on-trend look.
What Does Alexandrite Symbolise?
Being a relatively new gemstone, there isn’t quite as many legends attached to Alexandrite as other stones. But it has still developed many positive connotations due to its seemingly magical colour properties. It’s said that wearing the stone can help expand the imagination and inspire creativity as well as helping the wearer adapt more easily to change.
Where can you buy Alexandrite birthstone jewellery?
Sadly, natural Alexandrite is incredibly rare but luckily we have some stunning yet affordable crystal alternatives for you to choose from. Alongside our Alexandrite birthstone necklace, we also have matching blue Alexandrite gold stud earrings and silver stud earrings. Both of which are available as part of our money saving birthstone giftset. Simply choose the month and your preferred colour of metal and you’ll receive both your birthstone pendant necklace and birthstone earrings in a handy gift package ready to give to the lucky recipient.
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Blue Alexandrite Bezel Set Hypoallergenic Stud Earrings - June
Alexandrite Bezel Set Hypoallergenic Necklace - June