Moonstone, 5.79ct from the Austrian Habach valley, AAA grade very rare and

Item Information

Dimensions (mm) 13.8 x 9.46 x 7.9mm
Weight (carats) 5.79 carats
No Treatment

This gem is a high quality one you can only find in that quality here in Austria. There is no chance to get such a stone very often. Use your chance! 

Moonstone is a sodium potassium aluminium silicate ((Na,K)AlSi3O8) of the feldspar group that displays a pearly and opalescent schiller. An alternative name is hecatolite.

Its name is derived from a visual effect, sheen or schiller (adularescence), caused by light diffraction within a micro-structure consisting of regular exsolution layers (lamellae) of different alkali feldspars (orthoclase and sodium-rich plagioclase).

Moonstone has been used in jewelry for millennia, including ancient civilizations. The Romans admired moonstone, as they believed it was derived from solidified rays of the Moon. Both the Romans and Greeks associated moonstone with their lunar deities. In more recent history, moonstone became popular during the Art Nouveau period; French goldsmith René Lalique and many others created a large quantity of jewelry using this stone.

The most common moonstone is of the orthoclase feldspar mineral adularia, named for an early mining site near Mt. Adular in Switzerland, now the town of St. Gotthard. Solid solution of the plagioclase feldspar oligoclase +/- the potassium feldspar orthoclase also produces moonstone specimens.

Deposits of moonstone occur in Armenia (mainly from Lake Sevan), Australia, the Austrian Alps, Mexico, Madagascar, Myanmar, Norway, Poland, India, Sri Lanka and the United States.

The moonstone is the Florida State Gemstone; it was designated as such in 1970 to commemorate the Moon landings, which took off from Kennedy Space Center. Despite it being the Florida State Gemstone, it does not naturally occur in the state.

 

This group of minerals consists of tectosilicates, silicate minerals in which silicon ions are linked by shared oxygen ions to form a three-dimensional network. Compositions of major elements in common feldspars can be expressed in terms of three endmembers:

  • potassium feldspar (K-spar) endmember KAlSi3O8,
  • albite endmember NaAlSi3O8,
  • anorthite endmember CaAl2Si2O8.

Solid solutions between K-feldspar and albite are called alkali feldspar. Solid solutions between albite and anorthite are called plagioclase, or, more properly, plagioclase feldspar. Only limited solid solution occurs between K-feldspar and anorthite, and in the two other solid solutions, immiscibility occurs at temperatures common in the crust of the Earth. Albite is considered both a plagioclase and alkali feldspar.

Alkali feldspars are grouped into two types: those containing potassium in combination with sodium, aluminum, or silicon; and those where potassium is replaced by barium. The first of these include:

  • orthoclase (monoclinic) KAlSi3O8,
  • sanidine (monoclinic) (K,Na)AlSi3O8,
  • microcline (triclinic) KAlSi3O8,
  • anorthoclase (triclinic) (Na,K)AlSi3O8.

Potassium and sodium feldspars are not perfectly miscible in the melt at low temperatures, therefore intermediate compositions of the alkali feldspars occur only in higher temperature environments. Sanidine is stable at the highest temperatures, and microcline at the lowest. Perthite is a typical texture in alkali feldspar, due to exsolution of contrasting alkali feldspar compositions during cooling of an intermediate composition. The perthitic textures in the alkali feldspars of many granites can be seen with the naked eye. Microperthitic textures in crystals are visible using a light microscope, whereas cryptoperthitic textures can be seen only with an electron microscope.

In addition, peristerite is the name given to feldspar containing approximately equal amounts of intergrown alkali feldspar and plagioclase.

Barium feldspars are also considered alkali feldspars. Barium feldspars form as the result of the substitution of barium for potassium in the mineral structure.

The barium feldspars are monoclinic and include the following:

  • celsian BaAl2Si2O8,
  • hyalophane (K,Ba)(Al,Si)4O8.

The plagioclase feldspars are triclinic. The plagioclase series follows (with percent anorthite in parentheses):

  • albite (0 to 10) NaAlSi3O8,
  • oligoclase (10 to 30) (Na,Ca)(Al,Si)AlSi2O8,
  • andesine (30 to 50) NaAlSi3O8–CaAl2Si2O8,
  • labradorite (50 to 70) (Ca,Na)Al(Al,Si)Si2O8,
  • bytownite (70 to 90) (NaSi,CaAl)AlSi2O8,
  • anorthite (90 to 100) CaAl2Si2O8.

Intermediate compositions of plagioclase feldspar also may exsolve to two feldspars of contrasting composition during cooling, but diffusion is much slower than in alkali feldspar, and the resulting two-feldspar intergrowths typically are too fine-grained to be visible with optical microscopes. The immiscibility gaps in the plagioclase solid solutions are complex compared to the gap in the alkali feldspars. The play of colors visible in some feldspar of labradorite composition is due to very fine-grained exsolution lamellae known as Bøggild intergrowth. The specific gravity in the plagioclase series increases from albite (2.62) to anorthite (2.72–2.75).

The name feldspar derives from the German Feldspat, a compound of the words Feld ("field") and Spat ("flake"). Spat had long been used as the word for "a rock easily cleaved into flakes"; Feldspat was introduced in the 18th century as a more specific term, referring perhaps to its common occurrence in rocks found in fields (Urban Brückmann, 1783) or to its occurrence as "fields" within granite and other minerals (René-Just Haüy, 1804). The change from Spat to -spar was influenced by the English word spar, meaning a non-opaque mineral with good cleavage. Feldspathic refers to materials that contain feldspar. The alternate spelling, felspar, has fallen out of use. The term 'felsic', meaning light colored minerals such as quartz and feldspars, is an acronymic word derived from feldspar and silica, unrelated to the redundant spelling 'felspar'.

Chemical weathering of feldspars results in the formation of clay minerals such as illite and kaolinite.

About 20 million tonnes of feldspar were produced in 2010, mostly by three countries: Italy (4.7 Mt), Turkey (4.5 Mt), and China (2 Mt).

Feldspar is a common raw material used in glassmaking, ceramics, and to some extent as a filler and extender in paint, plastics, and rubber. In glassmaking, alumina from feldspar improves product hardness, durability, and resistance to chemical corrosion. In ceramics, the alkalis in feldspar (calcium oxide, potassium oxide, and sodium oxide) act as a flux, lowering the melting temperature of a mixture. Fluxes melt at an early stage in the firing process, forming a glassy matrix that bonds the other components of the system together. In the US, about 66% of feldspar is consumed in glassmaking, including glass containers and glass fiber. Ceramics (including electrical insulators, sanitaryware, pottery, tableware, and tile) and other uses, such as fillers, accounted for the remainder.

Bon Ami, which had a mine near Little Switzerland, North Carolina, used feldspar as an abrasive in its cleaners. The Little Switzerland Business Association says the McKinney Mine was the largest feldspar mine in the world, and North Carolina was the largest producer. Feldspar had been discarded in the process of mining mica until William Dibbell sent a premium quality product to the Ohio company Golding and Sons around 1910.

In earth sciences and archaeology, feldspars are used for potassium-argon dating, argon-argon dating, and luminescence dating.

In October 2012, the Mars Curiosity rover analyzed a rock that turned out to have a high feldspar content.

  

Shipping: For special requests such as express delivery please contact me. For lost stones the seller is not liable, therefore an additional insurance is recommended. Right of return within two weeks after receiving the shipment. Payment via PayPal, Credit Card, or Bank transfer is possible. For the shipping I generally perfer: Austrian Post or FedEx. Unfortunately from Austria only DHL "express" is possible.  

Please pay your stones in between five days or contact me. Otherwise I need to cancel the deal.

If there is anything you shouldn't be satisfied with please just let me now and we will find a way to solve every problem. My aim is to make you happy with beautiful stones of good quality, good communication is the easiest way to understand the others´ needs.

$1,500.00 USD

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Pricing & Details

Auction ID 1302325
Watchers 3 watching
Viewed 217 times
Starts 3rd Oct 2020 11:08am PDT

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