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June Birthstones: What are they & What are they Worth?

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

Both of June’s birthstones are “Phenomenal”. This means that under different light sources they exhibit unusual optical or special effects, usually from the inclusions that are within the gemstone or on the surface of a gem.


The most abundant and Popular #Birthstone for #June Is the Beautiful Pearl. Pearls were thought to be gifts from the gods with its shimmering light radiating underneath the #sun & creating a soft glow underneath the #moon. They were believed to have magical powers that would heal the sick & bless the healthy.

cultured pearls--the beauty of the sea

“Birth of Venus”

What should you look for when buying Pearls? There are four major types of cultured whole pearls:

#Akoya (Most Common)

This type is most familiar to many jewelry customers. Japan and China both produce saltwater akoya cultured pearls. The more expensive Akoya Pearls will be between 8-11 mm with the average size being 6-8 mm, perfectly Round, white with a pink or rose overtone (glow), high luster (shine), clean (no blemishes), and a thick nacre (outside coating). The less in size, shape, color, luster, surface condition & nacre quality, the less the value.

#South Sea (Most Expensive)

The main sources of these cultured Pearls are from Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. South Sea Cultured Pearls are much more expensive & luxurious than the typical Akoya or Freshwater Pearl. They range in size from 8-20 mm with most of the pearls being oval, button or drop in shape. So the larger the size & the more round is the rarest & most expensive form. There are various colors to the South Sea—white, cream, silver, yellow, orangy yellow & blue—and can have a pink, green or blue overtone. Sometimes there can be two overtones at once—rose & green or blue & green. The best will have no pitting or blemishes, a high shiny luster & a good nacre thickness.

#Tahitian (Moderate to High Price)

The Tahitian Pearls are primarily cultivated around the islands of French Polynesia (the most familiar of these is Tahiti). These saltwater cultured pearls range in size from 9-14mm and are mostly round or baroque (freeform) in shape. The majority of the pearls are black, gray and brown with blue to green, purple, or yellowish green hues, and pink, green, or blue overtone. Some will display two overtone colors like blue & green or rose & green. The baroque or freeform shapes will display more of these overtones due to the light bouncing off of the irregular surface.

For Tahitian Pearl jewelry, the most expensive is when the colors are mixed, the luster is high, there are no blemishes & the nacre thickness is acceptable. The rarest form is the “Peacock” with its black body color & rose & green overtone.

#Freshwater (Least Expensive)

These pearls are usually cultured in freshwater lakes and ponds creating a wide range of sizes, Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. shapes, and colors and are mainly produced in China and the US. These are the most affordable pearls due to the fact that production is so large and each mollusk can produce a high quantity of cultured pearls, rather than just one. The sizes range from 4 to 14 mm and are mostly commonly baroque or irregular in shape. The colors range from white, cream, yellow, orange, pink and purple with pink, blue or green overtone. The most expensive of the Freshwater are large white baroque shaped with high luster and acceptable nacre quality. Be careful for pearls dyed bright & unusual colors!


The more rare and more expensive Birthstone of June is the Alexandrite. Due to the phenomena known as color change (one color under fluorescent light & another color under incandescent light), this unusual gemstone is described by as being “emerald by day, ruby by night,”. Originally discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830s, it can now be found in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil. But in current times, to find the finest material is exceptionally rare and valuable.

Top quality will have a “perfect” color change from green to Bluish green in fluorescent daylight and red to purplish red in incandescent light. This gemstone is typically available in sizes less than 1.00 carat and usually has many inclusions inside, so the larger and cleaner the stone, the more expensive. In order to save weight and capitalize on the best color change, the cut value category is of least importance. The main concern is color & the smooth color change transition. Be very careful, there are many imitations and synthetic stones to copy the beauty of this rare & unique gemstone.

If you have a June birthstone & have received a cultured Pearl or alexandrite gift and you would like to know the value, you should get it professionally appraised. To find out more about jewelry appraisals click here.



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