Moonstones come in a variety of colours, ranging from colourless to white, grey, brown, yellow, orange, green, or even pink. Clarity ranges from transparent to translucent and the traditional place of origin is Sri Lanka, where the Moonstones tend to be almost transparent with a bluish flicker.
This gem owes its name to its mysterious adularescence shimmer that bears resemblance in colour to the moon. This silvery to bluish iridescence is caused by the intergrowth of two different types of Feldspar which have different refractive indexes. This always looks different when the stone is moved, and is known in the trade as ‘adularescence’.
Surrounded by mystery and magic, this gemstone has featured in different cultures for thousands of years. In India it is regarded as a magical and holy gemstone and is often used as a ‘dream stone’ bringing the wearer beautiful visions at night. In Arabian cultures Moonstone was often worn on female garments as they were viewed as a sign of fertility.
Moonstone was also extremely popular in Roman times, as they thought the gemstone was formed out of moonlight. Romans were setting the gemstone in their jewellery as early as 100AD, and in more recent times the gem was popular in the Art Nouveau period.
Many gemstone collectors find the most pleasing Moonstones have a blue sheen and a colourless body. Due to there being more demand than supply, today good quality blue Moonstones are becoming more and more of a rarity and have therefore risen sharply in price.
The gem is usually set in rings, pendants and earrings, with lesser-graded Moonstone used in beaded necklaces. Its healing ability is said to align your vertebrae, be a good digestive aid and also soothes and balances emotions. Moonstone’s mystical powers are said to protect women and babies. It’s also associated with the oceans and planting cycles. The gemstone is said to balance yin and yang as well as bringing good fortune to the wearer. Legend says that Moonstone is a highly prized gift for lovers as it arouses tender passion.
Along with Alexandrite and Pearls, Moonstone is one of the birthstones for June.