1. An Introduction to Moonstone
2. Moonstone Through the Ages
3. Healing Properties of Moonstone
4. June Birthstone Moonstone
5. Moonstone | Explore Our Collection
6. Read More
An Introduction to Moonstone
Moonstone which is made up of the feldspar minerals orthoclase and albite comes in a variety of different colours. The stone can exhibit an opalescent lustre and is used exclusively for decorative purposes.
White moonstone is often referred to as rainbow moonstone because of the distinctive flash of blue colour that can be seen as it interacts with light. The stone comes in different grades and may be translucent to almost transparent. The fascinating flash of blue colour that can be seen in the finest grade rainbow moonstone can be quite impressive and is caused by the scattering or diffraction of light. This blue sheen or iridescence is correctly known either as schiller which comes from the German word for 'twinkle' or adularescence which comes from adularia which is a variety of the rock forming mineral orthoclase. The most common type of moonstone is adularia. The word labradorescence is used when the same optical phenomenon is seen in the mineral labradorite. In order to enhance schiller or adularescence gemstones tend to be cut and polished as cabochons.
In coloured varieties of moonstone a milky white glow can be seen which originates from below the surface of the stone. It was once described as having the appearance of lunar light floating on water which is how the name 'moon stone' came about. Although a milky white sheen is most commonly observed, hues of orange or blue can also sometimes be seen. Being translucent means that when coloured moonstone is held up towards the light much of the colour seems to drain away. With darker stones objects placed between the stone and the light can create an eerie shadow.
Moonstone Through the Ages
Moonstone has a long history and is known to have been used for thousands of years. In the high priest breastplate which is a religious garment worn during biblical times scholars believe white moonstone was the third stone in the second row. The Romans used it in jewellery and believed it was moonlight in a magical solid form. In Europe during the Middle Ages it was believed if you gazed at moonstone for long enough you would fall into a deep sleep that would predict the future.
In India moonstone has long been considered to be a sacred stone and continues to be widely used amongst the general population today. During the early part of the 20th century it was widely used in Art Nouveau jewellery.
Some of the world's finest moonstone comes from Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Sri Lanka but deposits can also be found in Brazil, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Tanzania and the USA.
Healing Properties of Moonstone
In crystal healing moonstone is used to protect those who travel and as a talisman to bring luck. It stimulates confidence and composure and is a reminder that everything is part of a cycle of change. Moonstone is a crystal for lucid dreaming which can enhance metaphysical abilities and the power of clairvoyance. Other properties associated with moonstone include calmness, hope, happiness, tranquility and new beginnings.
Moonstone Birthstone for June
Moonstone is the birthstone for the month of June along with pearl, alexandrite and emerald. It grades 5 to 6½ on Mohs scale of mineral hardness so can be scratched by any stone with the same or a higher number on the scale. It must also be handled carefullly because moonstone has a tendency to break easily along planes of weakness within its crystal structure. The term cleavage is used to describe how prone a mineral is to breaking in this way.