Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Birthstones- June

Alexandrites vs Pearls

Those born in the month of June have the privilege of choosing from one of two birthstones commonly associated with this month: the Alexandrite or the Pearl.

Alexandrite stones were discovered around 1830 in the Ural mountains of Russia and named after the czar of that period, Alexander II. What makes these gems so special, is there ability to change colors in different lighting situations. They range from an almost emerald green in natural sunlight, to a smouldering reddish-purple hue when hit by incandescent light. They are some of the rarest, most expensive gemstones and are quite fab in my opinion.

But more widely known as the birthstone for June babies are milky white Pearls.

Born of a less than attractive source, pearls are naturally grown inside of oysters. A protective substance inside their shells called "nacre" is produced when an irritant, like a grain of sand or pieces of tiny sea creatures gets lodged inside of them. Over time, the nacre covers the foreign object with many layers that eventually harden, and Voila'; You have a shiny new pearl.

The natural process can be assisted with the help of man to make what are called cultured pearls. About 90% of the worlds pearls are grown by someone actually placing a small piece of shell inside a mollusk. A large part of the cultured pearl industry is found in Japan and Australia where they are harvested in their coastal waters. They vary in color such as pinks, soft yellows, grey, black and pure white.

While pearls have their In and Out moments in fashion, it seems as though the second they appear to become dated and out of style, they are brought back to life. Sarah Jessica Parker revived the look in her role as Carrie in last summer's hit "Sex and the City- The Movie". She had everyone, running to Mikimoto for the $11,900 opera length string of pearls to add a touch of class to their outfits.

I swear she never took them off-- I'll never forget the scene where she wore them to bed in her underwear.

I mean really; who doesn't wear their baubles to bed? ~vK

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