If you were lucky enough to be born in June, you have not one, but four gemstone options to commemorate your birthday. Perhaps it’s perfect that Geminis, the chameleons of the zodiac, have classic pearls, rare alexandrite, ethereal moonstones and bold tiger eye to choose from. Equally beautiful and unique, moonstone and tiger’s eye make very different visual statements.
The zodiac stone for June, tiger’s eye is in the quartz family. It is what’s known as a chatoyant gemstone, notable for their brilliant optical effect due to strains or layers of quartz running through the stone. These warm-hued, silky stones have been highly-prized for centuries.
Intrinsically linked to the eyes and to “seeing” and “observing,” many cultures around the world believe tiger’s eye wards off evil spirits. Ancient Egyptians used tiger’s eye to adorn the eyes of their statuary, symbolizing divine vision.
A talisman for courage and integrity, Roman soldiers wore it into battle for protection and bravery. Throughout history, tiger eye has been thought to offer protection of resources and continuing prosperity.
An alternative birthstone for June, moonstone is part of the feldspar family. Feldspar stones are rock-forming minerals that produce a sheen or luster through light-diffracting layers. The result is a stone that seems to glow from within with opalescence.
The name comes from its metaphorical connection to the moon. Prized through the centuries in many different cultures all over the world, ancient cultures believed it was comprised of moonlight. Asian cultures believed it was filled with good spirits. For the ancient Romans and Greeks, moonstone was a physical manifestation of their lunar deities. A sacred stone that holds significance for lovers in India, moonstone is a traditional wedding gift. In the turn of the 20th century, moonstone was a central element in the Art Nouveau artistic movement. Rene Lalique, a notable artist of this period, is well-known for his use of moonstone in his intricate jewelry designs. Moonstone was designated as Florida’s state gemstone in 1970, not surprisingly because of the Kennedy Space Center’s central role in the moon landings.
Just as the moon controls the natural rhythm of life, moonstone is thought to be calming and reassuring. It’s also known as a talisman for travelers, because it is thought to offer protection, particularly at night.