Scene: Spice market, Marrakech, Morocco. Springtime. Ten o’clock on Thursday morning.
You hold up your right hand to catch the spice vendor’s attention.
The bright, Moroccan sun shines on your ring finger, where you wear a single gold ring.
Suddenly, through the sea of red, yellow, and green spices, he sees you.
You smile, order a bit of saffron (you heard that this Marrakech market was the best place to buy the world’s most expensive spice), and slip the purchase into your cloth bag along with the argon oil you bought earlier this morning.
You hand the vendor his money – with your right hand, of course. He smiles, grabs his wooden spoon, and scoops up an extra dose of saffron for you, free of charge.
As you walk back to your Vespa, you realize just how deeply in love you’ve fallen with the golden, Moroccan sun.
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Pearls begin to form in oysters when a foreign substance gets inside the oyster’s shell – so they differ from all other gemstones & minerals due to their organic origin (vs being embedded in rock).
Just like our own bodies mounting a repair/attack on invading substances, the oyster starts its own attack on this foreign matter that has become an unwelcome guest inside of the oyster’s shell. The oyster begins its attack by covering the unwelcome guest with layers of the same substance used to create its own hard shell – a substance called nacre. Over time, layer after layer of nacre, a lustrous pearl is formed.
In ancient times, pearls were thought to come down from heaven into the sea. Early Chinese myths told of pearls falling from the sky when dragons fought (who knew?!?).
Pearls symbolize wealth, power, and longevity as well as purity, generosity, love, and integrity.
The next stone up is Alexandrite – it is a more modern stone and also very rare. (PS if someone tries to sell you one, it is very likely a lab-created, synthetic stone !)
Alexandrite has chameleon-like personality. In daylight, it appears as a beautiful green color, possibly with a bluish cast or a brownish tint.
However, under artificial lighting, the stone turns reddish-violet or violet.
Alexandrite was discovered in 1839 on the birthday of Prince Alexander of Russia – in an emerald mine in the Ural Mountains of Russia – and the stone was subsequently named after him.
A dream of alexandrite was once thought to signify the approach of hard times.
It is believed that when an Alexandrite gemstone is worn close to the heart, it will bring love, energy, and harmony. Alexandrite is also thought to impart wisdom and creativity, as well as strengthen an individual’s insight.
Next up – Moonstone!
The moonstone is believed to bring good fortune, victory, health, and wisdom to those who wear it. These stones show off an array of colorful light – a bluish-white sheen – when under different light sources.
Moonstone is also thought to enhance intuition, and is associated with mystery, magic, and dreams.
Many believe the moonstone to be associated with the moon. During a full moon, the moonstone’s power reaches its peak – so it is said to be especially powerful at this time to reunite lovers, heal the wearer, and promote inner emotional healing.
And now, for the grand finale – Agate.
Agate is shown in one of my books to be the birthstone for June, although its mention in other birthstone lists for this month is missing.
Formed from layers of quartz which usually show varicolored bands, agate usually occurs as rounded nodules or veins. It is a more common stone and has many varieties of color/striations – some more common names include moss agate, lace agate; and plume agate.
Agate is thought to improve memory, perception, and concentration, and encourage honesty. It is also thought to provide a calming influence, and will also enhance creativity, strengthen the intellect, and offer protection from harm.
So there you have it for this month’s big party of birthstones – whew – I need some chocolate after that!
Aside from charts and articles I have collected over the years, the majority of the information for this post (and future posts) comes from a wonderful used book I found on gemstones by George Frederick Kunz. My favorite section of this book contains the most charming short poems for each month – ‘Sentiments of The Months’:
Who comes with summer to this earth,
And owes to June her hour of birth,
With ring of agate on her hand
can health, long life, and wealth command.
Thro’ the moss-agate’s charm, the happy years
Ne’er see June’s sunshine turn to tears.
So we went through more stones than normal this month – did you find a favorite? Let me know in the comments below!