The Beauty and Magic of Moonstones

As ancient as the moon itself, this beautiful gemstone should be in your collection.  This remarkable gemstone exhibits distinctive visual effects that seem to make the stone glow and dance in your hand as you turn it.  This ethereal glow has been described as “ghostly” as it appears that moonbeams themselves are trapped within the surface of the stone.

 

Moonstone Gemstones

Moonstone is one of the June birthstones and is also the state gemstone of Florida, although you won’t find any moonstones in Florida.  Moonstone was selected as the state gemstone due to Florida’s association with the Apollo 11 moon landing which launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

 

THE HISTORY

Ancient cultures prized moonstone believing the stone itself was created from moonbeams.  Although moonstone has been used throughout history in jewelry making, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that the stone became popular as a focal point gemstone, gaining its largest popularity during the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements.

Art Nouveau Moonstone Necklace

 

HEALING AND MYSTICAL PROPERTIES

Moonstone is believed to be a healing stone and is connected to Zodiac water signs.  It is linked to the moon, femininity and fertility and connected to change, cycles and renewal.  Wearing moonstone is associated with enhancing intuition.

* Helping the wearer become more accepting of change and easing fear of change.

* Balancing emotions.

* Promoting calmness in moods.

* Encouraging balance, peace and harmony.

* Improving confidence.

 

THE SCIENCE

Moonstones belong in the mineral family of Feldspars and are composed of potassium aluminum silicate.  One of the most beautiful features of Moonstone is the presence of adularescence, which is what gives this gemstone its transparent and almost hypnotic glowing effects.  As light moves across the stone, much like moonlight gliding across a body of calm water, light reflects off thin layers of feldspar minerals within the stone.  These layers act as diffusers by softening the light and allowing it to bounce around within the stone.

 

Natural and Polished Moonstones

 

MINERAL:    Feldspar

CHEMISTRY:    KAlSi3O8

COLOR:  Colorless to White, Gray, Green, Peach, Brown, Blue, Yellow

REFRACTIVE INDEX:  1.518 to 1.526

MOHS HARDNESS: 6.0 to 6.5

 

Colored Moonstones

 

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS

Moonstones can be found worldwide including here in the United States.  New Mexico is known for their moonstones.   In the late 1800s, storms had deposited moonstones along the beaches of Hermosa Beach to Redondo Beach in California and hunting moonstones along the shoreline became a popular tourist activity until the early 1920s. 

 

Hunting for Moonstones at the beach

Additionally, moonstone can be found in Brazil, India, Germany, Sri Lanka and Mexico.

 

CARE AND CLEANING

As moonstone rates at 6 on the Mohs scale, this makes this gemstone a little on the soft side and care must be taken in the way it is worn and stored.  Due to the multi cleavage layers within the stone, this can make the stone prone to breakage and why it’s not often made into rings that one could wear as an everyday ring.  Moonstones are most commonly set in earrings and pendants.

Moonstones should be cleaned gently using warm water and a mild dish soap.  Hand wash and gently clean with a soft baby toothbrush if needed.  Keep your moonstone jewelry pieces away from high heat and light as both can cause it to fracture.  Store in a cool, dark place away from other jewelry pieces with harder gemstones or metals, which might scratch the stone.

 

EXAMPLES OF MOONSTONE JEWELRY

Moonstone Jewelry Set

 

Antique Moonstone Ring

 

Antique Moonstone Necklace

 

Red Carpet Antique Moonstone Jewelry

 

Moonstone Earrings

 

 

Photo Reference:  Lang Antiques, Pinterest, American Gem Trade Association, GIA

 

 

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