June’s Striking Birthstones: Pearl and Alexandrite
People born in June are fortunate enough to have two stunning birthstones that represent their birth month, pearl and alexandrite. Both stones are rarer than you might think in their authentic forms, and have interesting histories that intertwine with their meanings.
The History and Meaning of Pearls
Pearls have been used as an element of jewelry pieces for centuries, and historians have traced them all the way back to ancient Greece. Greek royals believed that pearls were tears from the gods. The oldest jewelry piece that has been recovered from ancient times was found in the belongings of a Persian princess who passed away in 520 BC. Natural pearls are rare today, and they were also rare in decades past. As a result, pearls were traditionally owned by nobility and people with wealth.
Due to the precious nature of natural pearls, some societies also placed rules around who could purchase them and own them. In the Byzantine Empire, only the emperor could wear pearls. In ancient Egypt, typically only pharaohs and other rulers could own pearls and be buried with them. While these stones were popular in ancient times, the period known as The Pearl Age occurred in Tudor England in the 16th century. Royals had elaborate pearl jewelry that was often showcased in their official portraits. Over the years, pearls have become more accessible thanks to cultured pearls.
The History and Meaning of Alexandrite
Alexandrite is a very rare gemstone, and it is a variety of chrysoberyl, a mineral, that can appear to be many different colors depending on what the lighting is like. The stones were much more recently discovered, as they first were harvested in the 1800s in the Ural Mountains of Russia. The gems were subsequently named after the heir apparent to the throne, Alexander II, and they became very popular for Russian royals because they contained shades of red and green (the colors of imperial Russia). It grew in popularity elsewhere as more was harvested, and today it remains rare and is associated with good fortune and harmony.
Find Out the Value of Your Pearls and Alexandrite Jewelry Pieces
Whether you have a necklace you are interested in learning the value of or you’re looking to expand your collection, SAZ Gem & Jewelry Appraisal is here to help. For more information, give us a call at 425-785-1871.