Articles

Events

Web Links

Archive

About Minerals

Moonstone

Moonstone is an ideal gemstone for jewelry with a sensual feminine aura. This gemstone was very popular around 100 years ago at the time of Art Nouveau. It adorns many of the jewelry creations by the French master goldsmith Rene Lalique and his contemporaries.

This gemstone is surrounded by a good deal of mystique and magic. Especially in India it is regarded as holy and magical, and regarded as a “dream stone” which brings the wearer beautiful visions at night. In Arabic countries, women often wear moonstones sewn out of sight into their garments as a symbol of fertility.

This gemstone belongs to the large mineral group known as feldspars of which almost 2/3 of all the rocks on earth consist. The moonstone is feldspar variety known as “adularia”, a potassium aluminosilicate of gemstone quality which is also found near the Adula group in the European Alps—hence the name.

Until they are properly cut and finished moonstones don’t look like much! Classical moonstones are always cut as cabochons — the most important thing being the correct height of the stone. The cutter must align the axes of the crystal precisely into the zenith of the stone to get the desired light effect.

Traditionally, the almost transparent moonstones with their bluish shimmer come from Sri Lanka, but are Also found in the USA, Brazil, Australia, Myanmar and Madagascar. Much more scarce than before, the price has gone up sharply. Colored moonstones have been on the market also, some with cat’s eye or four ray star as well as the shimmer of light. The cause of this “adularisation” is the lamellar inner construction of the gemstone. Incident light rays are refracted and scattered in the stone. The weak point of the moonstone is the relatively low hardness of only 6 on the Mohs scale. They should be handled with care. When worn for sometime they may show minor flaws and can be repolished to restore the shimmer like new.