Alexandrite is a birthstone for June, along with pearl and moonstone. Alexandrite is also the gem for the 55th wedding anniversary.
Alexandrite is a rare chrysoberyl variety with chameleon-like qualities. Its color is a lovely green in daylight or fluorescent light, but it changes to brownish or purplish-red in the incandescent light from a lamp or candle flame. Alexandrite's dramatic color change is sometimes described as "Emerald by day, ruby by night".
Abundant alexandrite deposits were first discovered in 1830, in Russia's Ural Mountains. Those first alexandrites were of very fine quality and displayed vivid hues and dramatic color changes. The gem was named after the young Czar Alexander II.
The spectacular Ural Mountain deposit didn't last forever, and now most alexandrite comes from Sri Lanka, Brazil, India, and East Africa.
Color: Bluish green in daylight, purplish red in incandescent light
Refractive Index: 1.746 to 1.755
Birefringence: 0.008 to 0.010
Specific Gravity: 3.73
Mohs Hardness: 8.5 on the Mohs scale
Stability: Alexandrite is stable under normal wearing conditions, which means it’s resistant to the effects of heat, light, and common chemicals.
Cleaning: Warm, soapy water is always safe for cleaning alexandrite. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe.
Treatment and durability considerations: Alexandrites are usually not treated, although they might have fractures. Fracture-filled gemstones should only be cleaned with warm, soapy water.
June Birthstone Moonstone
Moonstone is the birthstone for June and the gem of the 3rd wedding anniversary.
Moonstone is the most valuable stone from the feldspar group.
The best moonstones are found in deposits in India and Sri Lanka, though they’re found in deposits all over the world including the United States, Mexico, Australia, Germany, and Tanzania.
Despite its close relation, rainbow moonstone is actually a transparent version of a labradorite. Both moonstone and rainbow moonstone exhibit adularescence, though rainbow moonstone has blue or rainbow tones on a transparent stone. Regular moonstone has soft white or grey undertones on an opaque stone.
Grey Moonstone cabochon
Rainbow Moonstone for earrings
During the 1960s “flower child” movement, moonstone provided its wearers with the desired ethereal look, and designers of the 1990s New Age movement again turned to moonstone’s natural beauty for inspiration.
The finest moonstone is a gem of glassy purity with a mobile, electric blue shimmer.
Peach Moonstone Cabochon
Adularescent moonstone was once called “adularia.” The name originated with a city in Switzerland, Mt. Adular (now St. Gotthard), which was one of the first sources of fine-quality moonstones.