Pearls are the only gems found within living creatures, both salt and freshwater mollusks. However, most pearls on the market today are cultivated or cultured, since they now occur extremely rarely in nature. While pearls require special care, they have an enduring appeal for jewelry, particularly as the traditional June birthstone.
Color: Pearl color is the result of a body color and an overtone color or orient present as a lustrous sheen. The orient is the color seen as reflected by a diffuse light source. The rest of the color is due to the body color.
Crystallography: Amorphous. The aragonite in the nacre of a pearl is orthorhombic, with minute crystals radially oriented and a concentric structure.
Sources: Occurs naturally worldwide (but rarely); most pearls are cultivated.
Modern List – Alexandrite
“Emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is well-known for displaying one of the most remarkable color changes in the gem world — green in sunlight and red in incandescent light. However, this modern June birthstone is so rare and expensive few people have even seen a natural alexandrite.
What's the Birthstone for June?
Alexandrite is the modern birthstone for June. Pearl is the traditional birthstone. Cultivated pearls are far more attainable than alexandrites, so consumers frequently choose pearls for birthstone jewelry. In contrast, even lab-created alexandrite is expensive!