Shining bright in the celestial realm of gems, we’re gazing toward a mesmerising lunar treasure for the next installment in our meet the gemstone series — the moonstone.
Prepare to embark on a captivating journey into the mysterious world of this radiant stone. We’ll unveil the secrets and mysteries hidden within the moonstone’s planetary depths, from its ethereal allure to its captivating play of light.
Brace yourselves for an out-of-this-world expedition as we ‘moonwalk’ through the captivating tale of the moonstone.
What is moonstone?
Moonstone is renowned for its blazing beauty. The gem belongs to the feldspar mineral family and is mainly composed of orthoclase and albite.
The two minerals begin life mixed before separating into stacked, alternating layers as the new mineral cools and forms. This process gives the moonstone its unique adularescence appearance — a stunning shimmering effect resembling moonlight floating on water and the source of the gem’s name.
Moonstone’s milky-white to translucent look showcases a captivating sheen that shifts and dances with movement. Wearers are enchanted by the gem’s optical effect, caused by light interacting with microscopic layers of feldspar minerals within the stone.
Types of moonstone
There are many varieties of moonstone, each with unique characteristics and allure.
The most popular moonstone types are rainbow, peach, black, blue, grey, white, and green. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Rainbow moonstone is the most well-known and sought-out moonstone variety. It displays a captivating play of colours, with iridescent flashes of blue, purple, and occasionally other hues that make it resemble a rainbow.
As the name would suggest, this variety of moonstone features a lovely peach or orange hue, adding warmth and softness to its appearance. It has a gentle adularescent glow, creating a sense of tranquillity and emotional healing.
Black moonstone is a striking variety of deep black or dark grey gem. It typically showcases a mesmerising silvery or bluish adularescence, creating dramatic contrast against its backdrop.
Grey moonstone has a sophisticated and understated beauty. Its neutral grey colour, often with hints of blue or silver, gives it a subtle elegance that pairs well with many jewellery designs.
Characterised by its milky white or translucent appearance, white moonstone is the most commonly found variety of moonstone and demonstrates the classic adularescent shimmer the gem is known for.
Green moonstone is a rarer moonstone type that exhibits a soothing green hue. When hit gently with light, the stone is infused with a calming and refreshing energy.
Where does moonstone come from?
The most significant moonstone mining locations are Sri Lanka and India.
Sri Lanka is known for producing high-quality gems and is often referred to as the traditional source of the stone. The country’s moonstones are renowned for their blue-sheen transparency.
Another primary moonstone source is India, particularly the south and centre of the country. Fine-quality moonstones are found here, including blue, peach, and white.
Black moonstones are typically sourced from the Mogok region of Myanmar. This area is known for producing stones with a silvery adularescent sheen.
You can also find moonstones in some areas of the United States, particularly in the states of New Mexico and Oregon, where rainbow moonstones are mined.
Madagascar is a relatively recent source of moonstone. The country began production in the late 20th century, mining gems known for their peach and pink hues.
Australia, Brazil, Armenia, and Mexico are other countries where you can find moonstones.
The moonstone crystal holds several meanings and associations across different cultures and beliefs. Its symbolism and significance often resonate with its enchanting appearance, connection to the moon, and ethereal qualities.
It’s commonly associated with femininity, regarded as a stone of the goddess or divine feminine energy. Some wearers believe moonstone promotes emotional balance, soothing stress and encouraging inner peace. It’s also thought to assist in attuning to one’s feelings and fostering emotional intelligence.
Moonstone is also considered a stone of transformation and is often linked to new beginnings. Many people use moonstone crystals to help support personal growth, encourage self-discovery, and assist in navigating life changes.
Protection and guidance are some of the benefits of the early moonstone beliefs. Traditionally, travellers would use the gem as a talisman to help guide them, mainly through night-time journeys. The stone is thought to help enhance intuition and provide more profound insight and wisdom — beneficial during treacherous trips.
Of course, moonstone is also closely linked to the moon and lunar cycles. The stone’s name and appearance connect it to the moon’s energy, symbolising life’s ebb and flow and the cyclical nature of being.
History of moonstone
The history of moonstone stretches back thousands of years. Diving into the stone’s timeline also sheds light on its symbolic origins.
Ancient civilisations believed moonstone was formed by the moon’s rays, solidifying the gems’ connection to lunar energy. The Romans and Greeks associated moonstone with their lunar deities, such as Selene and Luna. The stone was believed to have the power to bring dreams, enhance clairvoyance, and promote fertility.
In India, moonstone is considered a sacred gem. It’s highly regarded in Vedic astrology and connected to the moon deity Chandra. Here, moonstone is believed to bring good fortune, balance emotions, and enhance intuition.
Moonstone later became widely popular thanks to its unique, otherworldly appearance. Interest surged during the Art Nouveau movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The stone’s luminous qualities suited the artistic style of the time, and many jewellery pieces and decorative objects featured moonstone as a central element.
Queen Victoria was said to have a deep love for moonstone and incorporated it into her jewellery collection. Moonstone jewellery gained popularity as a symbol of romance, femininity, and spirituality.
Nowadays, moonstone is highly valued and sought after. It’s used in various jewellery designs, from delicate and bohemian styles to more intricate and high-end pieces. The gem’s timeless beauty and mystic allure have ensured enduring admiration from gemstone enthusiasts and jewellery lovers.
Moonstone’s ethereal glow and shimmer make it a versatile jewellery gemstone that enhances casual and formal ensembles, adding a touch of enchantment to any look.
Moonstone rings are a popular choice, featuring the gem as the centrepiece. You can find them in various styles, such as solitaire rings, statement rings, or rings adorned with additional gemstones or intricate metalwork.
Choose from several designs of moonstone necklaces, from delicate pendants to bold statement pieces. A moonstone pendant on a chain is a classic and elegant option, while multi-stone or layered necklaces featuring moonstone can create a striking look.
Moonstone earrings add a touch of luminous beauty. They come in several styles, including studs, drop, dangle, or hoop earrings. Moonstone earrings can feature single stones or be combined with other gemstones for a more elaborate design.