The Lunary Beauty and Ethereal Glow of Milky Moonstone
Moonstone is a gemstone that has captivated people’s hearts for centuries. Its shimmering beauty is otherworldly, and its luminescence is reminiscent of a full moonlit sky. This gemstone’s enchanting play-of-light creates an ethereal glow that leaves onlookers mesmerized. It’s no wonder why moonstone has been used in jewelry since ancient times.
Moonstone’s color ranges from a pure, milky-white to a peachy, pink-orange, and even blue. However, it’s the adularescence effect, a blue or white glow that appears to float within the stone, that gives moonstone its unique beauty. This effect is caused by the reflection of light from layers of feldspar that make up the gemstone.
Moonstone is a member of the feldspar mineral family, which is a group of rock-forming minerals that make up approximately 60% of the Earth’s crust. The chemical composition of moonstone is a potassium aluminum silicate with a hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale.
Moonstone is formed through the slow cooling of magma or lava that creates a mineral deposit known as a pegmatite. As the magma or lava cools, feldspar minerals crystallize and grow into large masses, which then break down into smaller pieces over time. During this process, layers of feldspar minerals form, creating the adularescence effect that gives moonstone its unique beauty.
Moonstone was first discovered in ancient Rome and Greece, where it was believed to have been formed from the rays of the moon. It was later found in Sri Lanka, where the finest-quality moonstones are still sourced today. Other notable sources of moonstone include India, Madagascar, Myanmar, Tanzania and the United States.
Moonstone has been used for centuries for its mystical and spiritual properties. In ancient times, it was believed to bring good luck and protect travelers. It was also used to enhance intuition and psychic abilities.
In some cultures, moonstone is associated with love and fertility. It’s believed to help balance emotions and promote empathy and compassion. Moonstone is also a birthstone for the month of June and is said to bring good fortune to those born in this month.
One of the most significant moonstone pieces is the Eye of Shiva, which is a sacred Hindu amulet made from moonstone. It’s believed to represent the third eye of the god Shiva and is often worn for protection and spiritual enlightenment.
Moonstone is usually cut into cabochons, which are smooth, polished stones with a flat bottom and a domed top. These cuts enhance the adularescence effect and give the gemstone its unique beauty. Moonstone is typically available in a range of sizes and shapes, with most stones weighing less than two carats.
Moonstone is an affordable gemstone, with prices ranging from around $10 to $200 per carat depending on the quality, size and source of the stone. Fine-quality moonstones with a strong adularescence effect and a deep color are the most valuable.
Moonstone is typically not treated or enhanced in any way, as its natural beauty is highly valued. However, some lower-quality stones may be treated with oils or other substances to enhance their color or sheen.
Many jewelry designers incorporate moonstone into their collections, and the gemstone is a popular choice for custom-made jewelry pieces. Its delicate appearance makes it a popular choice for more dainty designs, especially those with an antique or vintage feel. Moonstone’s beauty is especially appreciated in bohemian and minimalist styles. It’s also a popular gemstone for bridal jewelry due to its romantic and mystical qualities. Moonstone and moonstone jewelry can be found in jewelry stores, online retailers and at gem shows around the world.
In conclusion, moonstone’s unique beauty, mystical properties and affordability make it a popular choice for jewelry designers and gemstone enthusiasts. Its shimmering glow and delicate appearance create a sense of enchantment and mystery that captures the imagination. Whether you’re drawn to moonstone for its spiritual properties or its ethereal beauty, it’s a gemstone that continues to inspire and enchant.
Photo of moonstone courtesy of the International Gemological Institute