By Elizabeth Hart
Pearls have been a popular adornment for centuries - dating back to the Roman Empire. The 1500s in Tudor England is considered the "Pearl Age."
Pearls are unique in the sense that they are the only gem obtained from living sea creatures. No polishing or faceting is required - the natural beauty is instantly revealed straight from the producing mollusk - such as an oyster or clam.
The ideal pearl is perfectly spherical, but Baroque pearls (those of irregular shape) can be just a fashionable.
Pearl Fun Fact: The pearl is made of calcium carbonate, and can be dissolved by vinegar!
Unlike the pearl, alexandrite is a fairly modern gem discovered in Russia during the reign of Czar Alexander II (in the early 1800s). Alexandrite is a very unique gem. It has the property to change colors, depending on the light source, from a greenish-blue to deep purplish-red.
Alexandrite became widely popular due to the American Tiffany Company. Tiffany's gemologist, George Kunz, fell in love with the gem and traveled to Russia. The Tiffany Company controlled the alexandrite market for decades.
This special chemical combination requires very specific geologic formations and because of this, alexandrite is very rare.
Alexandrite Fun Fact:
Since it shows both red and green, the principal colors of old Imperial Russia, Alexandrite inevitably became the national stone of tsarist Russia!
In addition to being one of the birthstones for June, Alexandrite is also the 55th wedding anniversary stone!
Alexandrite Ring Shown: Custom Alexandrite & Diamond Ring #9707
Moonstone was a favorite of Victorian and Art Nouveau jewelers. The charm of the moonstone is revealed in the mysterious shimmer of light. Classical moonstones are cut in the cabochon shape as it best reveals the moonstone's magical shimmer.
Considered sacred in many cultures, the shimmer of the moonstone is said to be a spirit who brings good fortune to the owner of the gem.
The moonstone exists in multiple colors: green, blue, peach, and champagne. The most prized moonstones come from Sri Lanka. Other sources are India, Australia, the United States, Mayanmar, and Madagascar.
Moonstone Fun Fact: In 1970, Moonstone was adopted by the Florida State legislature as the official state stone to memorialize the lunar landing the year before - the mission launched from Florida's Kennedy Space Center!
Moonstone Ring Shown: Moonstone Filigree Ring #8072