The Birthstone of June
Do you know your birthstone? If you were born in June, you may be somewhat confused. Why? Because while most months have just one birthstone, June is one of only two months in the year with three birthstones.
Why do we have birthstones? The concept of birthstones originates in Biblical times. In the book of Exodus, the ceremonial priest’s garment is described as having a breastplate with twelve different gemstones to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. In the first century, Romano-Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus made a connection between these twelve gemstones and the twelve signs of the zodiac. Later, they became connected to the twelve months of the Roman calendar. For hundreds of years, people wore all twelve gemstones, one each month. Customs change, however, and now it’s traditional to wear the gemstone of the month in which you were born throughout the year.
So, are we still using the birthstones detailed in the Bible? No. In fact, it’s rather difficult to interpret which stones were used in that first priestly breastplate. For many years, birthstones varied, and many combinations were used. Then, in 1912, the American National Jeweler’s Association put together an official list, which is now recognized as the most authoritative source of birthstone information. Of course, there have been updates since 1912, and June is one month that has changed slightly in terms of birthstone.
What is June’s birthstone? In 1912, there were two: pearl and moonstone. In 1952, though, alexandrite was added as the third June birthstone. Why so many? Over time, many ancient stones have become too rare to be practical as birthstones because they’re not readily available for consumers to purchase or may only be available in vintage jewelry. Then, too, people have different preferences and needs when it comes to jewelry. For instance, pearls and moonstone are soft and prone to scratches, so if someone has a demanding job or very active lifestyle, the harder alexandrite may be a better option. No matter the reason, it’s a bonus for people born in June, because it means they get three beautiful stones from which to choose for their birthstone jewelry. If someone you love was born in June, fine jewelry made with one of these stones makes a wonderful gift.
Birthstone jewelry is particularly special because birthstones carry meanings, detailing different symbolic powers and qualities. The three different June birthstones are quite different, with different meanings and origins. Moonstone is found in the United States, Brazil, and India, while pearls are generally from the waters of China, Japan, Australia, the Philippines, and French Polynesia. Alexandrite has always been found in the Russian mountains, until recently, when deposits were discovered in Brazil, Burma, and India. Pearls are the only gemstone to come from a living creature, and they range in color from white to black, with some pearls even being pink or golden in hue. Alexandrite is a rare stone, named after Alexander II, Tsar of Russia. Unlike other gemstones, Alexandrite changes color, appearing bluish-green to yellow-green in daylight and pink to red under incandescent light. Moonstone comes from the feldspar mineral group, and has been worn for thousands of years, having been prevalent in ancient Roman, Greek, and Hindu civilizations. They’re incredibly luminous and give the appearance of clouds illuminated by the moon, which is where they get the name. But what of the meanings of all of these stones?
- Pearls symbolize wisdom, integrity, purity, beauty, and love.
- Moonstone is said to have feminine energy that brings inner-peace, tranquility, and balance.
- Alexandrite sparks creativity and imagination, and symbolizes hope, good fortune, and optimism.
Some of the most interesting birthstone jewelry is consignment jewelry, and you’ll find some gorgeous pieces at Home Consignment Center. Established in 1994, Home Consignment Center is a two family owned and run business based on the concept of selling great stuff at exciting prices. It’s a fun place to shop, run by experienced, enthusiastic employees who treat the store as if it were their own business. In 1995, we started selling jewelry in our stores as well as home furnishings. Our community-focused business has expanded from its initial location in Danville, and now has 14 additional locations in California and Texas. If you’re looking for an enjoyable place to find high-quality, unique items, as well as a great place to consign furniture or fine jewelry, stop by one of our stores or contact us through our website.