June babies are lucky enough to get two very unique birthstones to choose from: pearl & alexandrite! You’ve probably seen a pearl before, but you may not have seen an alexandrite up close and personal. Let’s take a look at these gorgeous stones and see which one you would choose (or, why not choose both?)!
Unlike most gemstones, pearls actually grow within a living organism! When some type of irritant—like a piece of sand—enters the shell of an oyster, a pearl can begin to form. Layer by layer, the oyster covers this irritant with nacre, which is the iridescent material pearls are famous for. Since this is actually quite rare, pearls are now cultured on farms across the world to encourage this process.
While nacre is stunningly gorgeous, this special material is in need of extra care and protection. Pearls are only a 2.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness (for reference, a diamond is a 10), so they are very vulnerable to bumps and scratches which can permanently damage the nacre. It’s for that very reason that pearls are commonly fashioned into necklaces, bracelets or earrings, because these types of jewelry are less likely to result in wear & tear. Nonetheless, pearls can definitely be fashioned into rings as well—like the beautiful example above—they just need a little extra care!
Though it’s always a good idea to remove your rings when washing your hands or doing manual work, this is especially important for pearls. In fact, when it comes to cleaning your pearl jewelry, you won’t usually need to use water at all! Instead, wiping gently with an extra soft towel is typically sufficient. To learn more about care, cleaning and buying tips for pearls, check out our article here!
“Emerald by day, ruby by night” – that’s how the finest alexandrite has been described since its discovery in the 1800s. Why? Because alexandrite’s color actually changes based on the light! This awesome quality makes alexandrite quite rare and one of the more expensive colored gemstones available today, making its lab-created variety an attractive alternative. We have a few pieces of lab-created alexandrite at our Hendersonville showroom, but we can always order its natural variety too!
Alexandrite’s color-changing ability isn’t the only thing that makes it desirable, though—this stone is also very durable, coming in at 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. That makes it absolutely perfect for daily wear without having to worry too much about accidental damage. Plus, cleaning your alexandrite jewelry is a breeze—warm, soapy water can usually get the job done, but ultrasonic cleaners are safe too!
So, which of these beauties would you choose? Lustrous pearls or color-changing alexandrite? We’d love to show you both in person, so why not stop by our showrooms? Alexandrite is in stock at our Hendersonville store, but we have all kinds of pearls at both stores!
We hope to see you!