Lovely Agates and Moonstones are All Lovely Birthstones
While the pearl is usually thought of as the traditional birthstone for the month of June, there are also alternate birthstones that appear on modern, traditional, ancient and zodiac birthstone lists. These alternate birthstones for the month of June make it possible for a woman to enjoy a piece of lovely birthstone jewelry, while having some variety in her choices, as well. For the month of June, the birthstone alternates are agates and moonstones.
What is a Pearl?
The pearl is traditionally thought to be symbolic of purity, which may be one reason why so many brides love to wear them or have them sewn onto their wedding dresses. As a result, although the pearl is considered the birthstone for the month of June, many other women own a few items of pearl jewelry, regardless of when they were born.
Pearls have been appreciated for thousands of years, perhaps since the first perfectly shaped one was found inside an oyster shell. Natural pearls were long treasured and were often used in jewelry, sewn onto apparel, and ground up to make cosmetics. You can find them in the crown jewels of various European nations, and jewelry made from them has even been popular with many American First Ladies.
Natural pearls are actually created when a small amount of calcium carbonate becomes deposited in the shell of a mollusk, usually an oyster or mussel. Natural pearls come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, although the ideal one should be perfectly smooth and round. Unfortunately, natural pearls in the wild are actually quite rare. Because of the problems related to depending on divers, who sometimes destroyed thousands of wild oysters and mussels in order to find a few perfect pearls, farms have been established to make it possible to “encourage” oysters to produce a plentiful supply of cultured pearls. The advent of cultured pearls has made it possible for many ordinary women to be able to own a strand of genuine cultured pearls. Cultured pearls are grown inside living oysters and mussels, and are considered real pearls. While cultured pearls have dramatically reduced the cost of owning real pearls, it is possible to purchase synthetic pearls for an even greater savings.
Pearls are sensitive to mistreatment. They can be damaged by vinegar or weak acid solutions. If you purchase them, follow the instructions carefully. Do no spray them with perfume, hairspray or other chemicals.
Every woman with a June birthday is likely to want to own at least one item of pearl jewelry. However, she may also want to own a few items of jewelry made from her alternate birthstones, as well.
What are Agates?
Agates are actually crystalline silica that is often associated with volcanic rock. Agates have been enjoyed for their beauty for thousands of years, and have even been found in excavations in the ruins of ancientCrete. Small agates may appear to be solid colored. However, larger agates can be cut on the transverse to reveal bands or stripes in a variety of shades. This creates interesting patterns that can be delightful when used in jewelry.
Agates have often been found that are much larger than the typical piece of jewelry, and ancient artifacts often include agates that were carved to be used as small containers.
What are Moonstones?
Moonstones are a type of feldspar. They can come in a variety of colors, including grey, white, blue, pink, green and brown. Ancient Romans and Greeks associated moonstone with lunar goddesses and gods. The color is often almost pearly, which makes it a lovely alternative birthstone for the person who was born during the month of June.
Moonstones can be found around the world, in places as diverse asAustraliaand the Austrian Alps. They have been found inPoland,Burma,Sri Lanka,MexicoandMadagascar. If you live in the State ofFloridain theUnited States, you may also want to indulge yourself with a piece of moonstone jewelry, because the moonstone is the state gem forFlorida. I have seen moonstones used in everything from school rings to lovely earrings and strands of beads.
Choosing the Best Birthstone for Your Loved One
Is this a gift for a traditional woman or someone who loves the modest look of a strand of pearls? If so, you will definitely want to find a lovely pearl necklace for her. You may want to add a decorative clasp or a diamond pendant, if you want something a little more sparkly than a simple strand of pearls. You may even want to combine a moonstone with them, for an unique look. Whatever you choose, most women will definitely want to have a strand of elegant pearls at some time in their life, whether they were born during the month of June or not.
Where to Buy Birthstone Jewelry
Pearls are one of the easiest types of birthstone jewelry to find. Cultured ones are far less expensive than some of the gemstones, such as diamonds. At the same time, they are so popular that nearly every jewelry store will carry at least some items of pearl jewelry. You can also find this jewelry in virtually any department store that carries fine jewelry. Finally, you can always purchase virtually any type of jewelry online from the websites for many jewelry chains, or from Amazon.com. Since websites are able to specify very specifically the size and color of the pearls, you should receive exactly what you are expecting.
Buying Jewelry Online
Although it is easy to purchase pearl jewelry online, because of the consistency in the advertised color and size of the pearls, you may have a much more difficult time finding that kind of consistency in jewelry made of moonstones or agates, since they are multi-colored, natural stones. Be open to enjoying the variations in your personal piece of jewelry, comfortable in the knowledge that every piece is unique, and no one else will have an item exactly like yours.
Source for alternate birthstone selections: bernardine.com/birthstone
Source for meaning of various gemstones: www.zales.com
Source for information about specific stones: wikipedia.com
Source for photos of finished birthstone jewelry: amazon.com
A Charming Set of Mother and Daughter Pearls
Amazon Price: $135.00 $57.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 28, 2015)
Stunning Agate Earrings
Amazon Price: $41.00 $35.21 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 28, 2015)
Lovely Moonstone Earrings
Amazon Price: $120.00 $41.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 28, 2015)