If you were born, in June, you also have three birthstones — pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone. You can opt for creamy colored, opalescent pearls and moonstones, or the extremely rare color-changing alexandrite, which is one of the most valuable gems in the world. Pearls are the only gemstone which is made by living creatures, mollusks (clams)–which produce pearls by depositing layers of calcium carbonite, around microscopic irritants, that get stuck in their shells. Natural pearls are the rarest, while the majority of pearls are cultured or “farmed.” Pearls are very soft, ranging from 2.5 – 4.5 on the Mohs scale. They also symbolize purity and innocence and are the most popular choice for brides on their wedding day. Alexandrite is a relatively modern gem, which was discovered in 1834, in a Russian emerald mine. This gemstone, which changes colors from green to red, is a rare variety of the mineral Chrysoberyl. With a hardness of 8.5, on the Mohs scale, this scarce gemstone is more valuable than most other stones. It is believed to inspire imagination, aid creativity, and strengthen intuition, while bringing good omens to the wearer. The moonstone is named for the Roman natural historian, Pliny, who wrote that the moonstone’s shimmery appearance changed along with the phases of the moon. This stone has a milky glow, which resembles moonlight reflecting on the water. Composed of microscopic layers of feldspar, that scatter the light, it comes in a variety of colors such as yellow, grey,
green, blue, peach, and pink. Moonstone rates a 6, on the Mohs scale, so it is best for brooches and pendants. Moonstone is associated with lunar magic and mystery, and imparts a calming and balancing energy to the wearer. It is also thought to be a fertility crystal, sparking passion; a protector for travelers; and an aid for insomnia and sleepwalking.