I’ve just not been able to write, but I’ve also been meaning to mention this pearl for ages, so I’ll use it to bid June adieu. (And in its current form, also to welcome in the month of rubies.)
In 2011 Christie’s auctioned off Elizabeth Taylor’s famous collection of jewelry. One piece was a natural saltwater pearl, diamond, ruby, and cultured pearl necklace designed by Cartier. So it belonged to a glamorous actress and is part of the story of a famous tempestuous romance. It’s an over the top gem encrusted necklace. Why care?
It’s as encrusted with history as it is with diamonds!
A somewhat belated note on the June birthstone you’re least likely to casually come across.
It’s an unusual and pretty rare stone called Alexandrite. Alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl, a more common form of chrysoberyl is cat’s eye.
The more common, though still striking, cat’s eye chrysoberyl.
Chrysoberyl are oxide minerals and despite the name, bear no relation to beryl gemstones like aquamarine and emerald.
What’s amazing is that alexandrite changes color depending on the type of lighting it is viewed in. This happens when chromium atoms replace some of the aluminum atoms in the chrysoberyl structure.