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Birthstones


#1

Ok. So what is the birthstone for June? Pearl, alexandrite, moonstone
Seems to be a very confused month.

LL Fowler Designs
Fort Collins, CO 80526

Check out:

There Is More Than One Way to Choose A Birthstone


#2

LisaF

Birthstones were originally to do with the zodiac symbols, e.g.
Aries - Carnelian, Taurus - emerald. When zodiac things fell out of
favour they changed them to correspond with the months of the year.
Later gemstone dealers and jewellery stores changed them to more
expensive stones, e.g. Diamond, Alexandrite. That is why most months
have at least 2 birthstones, expensive and more affordable. June
birthstones are “Moonstone” the favorite, Pearl, and Alexandrite
(color change corresponds to the duality of Gemini - the twins, which
covers most of June ) Gemini - generally May 22 to June 21 (though
this can vary from year to year)

Karen Bahr
Karen’s Artworx
@Karen_Bahr
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


#3
Ok. So what is the birthstone for June? Pearl, alexandrite,
moonstone Seems to be a very confused month. 

Hey- speaking as a Gemini ( june) we need lots of choices :-)…

Christine in Sth Australia


#4

Lisa F,

I have always gone with Kunz’ The Curious Lore of Precious Stones. He
based the development of birthstones on the Jewish High Priests
breastplate which bore the 12 gemstone representatives of the 12 sons
of Isaac which became the 12 tribes of Israel. These stones where
eventually ascribed to the months of the year.

My own investigations support the migration of the Jewish
birthstones to Europe But Kunz’ text supports the selections of the
birthstones with similar pagan lore too. So the migration of the
Jewish tradition dovetailed with pagan tradition making the
birthstones acceptable to most Europeans. I remember June is a Pearl
for a girl and agate for a boy. My son is a June baby. Although
because of his late June birth emerald would be appropriate.

Then of course there is the National Assoc. of Jewelers who
established a birthstone marketing campaign in the US around the turn
of the 20th century. Primarily to try and sell more colored
which backfired and resulted in the sale of more synthetic
spinel since it was cheaper and could mimic almost any gemstone
color.

Alexandrite would be a 19th century addition but moonstone (which is
an agate) would hold the same mystic properties and associations as a
pearl making it a proper substitute.

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228


#5

Hi Nanz…

Alexandrite would be a 19th century addition but moonstone (which
is an agate) would hold the same mystic properties and associations
as a pearl making it a proper substitute. 

Moonstone is not an agate (part of the quartz group)…

Moonstone (of which there are a number of varieties) is of the
feldspar group…

Sometimes a chalcedony (part of the quartz group) might look kinda
like a moonie, though…

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)


#6
but moonstone (which is an agate) would hold the same mystic
properties and associations as a pearl making it a proper
substitute. 

I’m sorry Nanz, but moonstone is definitely NOT an agate. Moonstone
is actually an intergrowth of two types of feldspar, while agate is
the term for translucent to transparent cryptocrystalline quartz…
They are two entirely different minerals, with much different
properties.

Wayne Emery


#7

Hi Nanz,

moonstone (which is an agate) 

Agates are a form of quartz, which is silicon dioxide. Moonstones
are a different species altogether – actually a couple different
varieties of feldspar, NOT quartz.

Beth


#8
moonstone (which is an agate) 

Sorry, but moonstone is orthoclase feldspar, not agate (which is
chalcedony, an entirely different material. True, some chalcedonies
have an appearance similar to moonstone, but they are not.

Jerry in Kodiak


#9
Sometimes a chalcedony (part of the quartz group) might look kinda
like a moonie, though 

As long as we’re getting technical, quartz is not a group, although
Feldspar is, as is Garnet.

Gemstones are classified in groups, species and varieties. For
example, moonstone is the variety, orthoclase is the species and
Feldspar is the group. Typically, only the group is capitalized.

Another example would be demantoid (variety), andradite (species),
Garnet (Group).

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL


#10
Gemstones are classified in groups, species and varieties. For
example, moonstone is the variety, orthoclase is the species and
Feldspar is the group. Typically, only the group is capitalized. 

The Doctor is correct…I misused the word group…in gemological
terminology…

DUH!

Which bings up one question that’s always kind of hovered back in my
mind…

What is a term for the quartz grouping (group in the generic sense
of the word)…that encompasses both the macrocystalline and the
cryptocrystalline species…?

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)


#11

The birthstone babble is all about ascribing properties to rocks in
the sense that there is a mystical connection of a particular mineral
to a group of people who were born in a particular month.
Hypothetically this means that a particular stone is reserved for
only those people who are born during a given time period.
Therefore, if all the people on earth were born during a particular
calendar year and that calendar year is unevenly segmented, it means
that in thirty one day months there are an increased number of people
who are imbued with that birthstone, while in a 28 day month a lesser
number of people were assigned to that month. However, since there
are differences in time lapses, while ovulation is more or less tied
into 28 day periods, the number of people who are born in a given
month varies considerably. Therefore, I suggest that it is very
discriminatory that some of the lesser months have fewer members and
I also suggest that those months which have more valuable birthstones
are really not playing fair. Then, of course, there is the cabin
fever syndrome in the northern climes wherein, during the winter
months, people have little else to do but keep each other warm and
the the net result is that birth rates are chronologically biased.
Therefore, the ninth month has the advantage, and all those September
babies get to have sapphires. It just isn’t fair ! O well, I was born
in May, therefore I get the cracked green gemstone which is valuable,
but shouldn’t be. On a more serious note, isn’t it tragic that we
humans should obsess on trivia to the extent that the slightest
deviation in “beliefs” should be taken as an excuse for mutual
extermination ? America has now been invaded by the Argentinian ant
which colonizes on the basis of identifiying its’ members by
smell…and, if you are not the right smell you are decapitated. Eee
gad…are we not ants ?..how do you deal with this analogy ?

Ron Mills, Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.


#12

Well, Gary,

Which bings up one question that's always kind of hovered back in
my mind.... What *is* a term for the quartz grouping (group in the
generic sense of the word)...that encompasses both the
macrocystalline and the cryptocrystalline species...? 

To the best of my knowledge, the only two that have been used with
any regularity are “silicates”, and “the quartz family”. Since quartz
isn’t literally a group, the term “family” seems most appropos.
After all, they are all related, and often intermingled. Then again,
given that, I suppose you could call it an “incestuous mineral
category”, but what would the neighbors say?

Douglas Turet, G.J.,
Turet Design, LLC
P.O. Box 242
Avon, MA 02322-0242
Tel: (508) 586-5690
Fax: (508) 586-5677


#13
[snip...] Eee gad....are we not ants ? 

Thanks, Ron, for breathing some thought-provoking humour into this
thread. We try but we are sometimes like those ants. Back on topic I
think the birthstone idea has become a false construct, with little
consistency, promoted in order to introduce new buyers into the
jewellery market.

Cheers
Brian

B r i a n A d a m a n d R u t h B a i r d
Auckland New Zealand
www.adam.co.nz www.ruthbaird.com