Alexandrite was named after the Russian czar Alexander II, it’s discovery supposedly occurring in the Ural Mountains of Russia on either the day of his birth, or his coming of age. Alexandrite is a variety of the mineral Chrysoberyl, a very hard and rare gemstone. So rare, in fact, that genuine Alexandrite is very scarce and hardly ever used in modern jewelry making.
Consequently, either synthetic Alexandrite or alternate genuine gemstones such as Smokey Quartz, which resemble Alexandrite, are typically used as the birthstone for the month of June.
Smokey Quartz is a translucent brown quartz that, because of its peculiar faceted cuts, is often found in rock shops and used in the creation of ornamental figurines and jewelry. One of the sources of natural Smokey Quartz happens to be nearby in the Pikes Peak area of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
Throughout history, the abundance of quartz has led to its use as alternate for more expensive gemstones. Because of its wide variety of colors and types, quartz has become a favorite of jewelry designers. Rose Quartz, Tiger Eye, Rock Crystal and Smokey Quartz are but a few of the varieties commonly selected for their affordable price. Bearing a Mohs’ Hardness of 7 and a unique trigonal crystal system, quartz is a spectacular stone. Alexandrite, and therefore Smokey Quartz is used to celebrate the 55th wedding anniversary and is used as an alternate for the 15th wedding anniversary, while Smokey Quartz itself is used as an alternate for the 70th wedding anniversary.
With the recent popularity of tri color jewelry, especially in the Black Hills Gold style, many people with birthdays in June consider a Black Hills Gold birthstone ring with Smokey Quartz for the month of June. And with Father’s Day coming in June, a Black Hills Gold Fathers ring with Smokey Quartz or Alexandrite also makes a wonderful Father’s Day gift.
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Read the original article here: Smokey Quartz – June’s Birthstone