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Moonstone: History, Meaning, Properties, Uses & More

Moonstone informationWhile all gemstones are out of this world, moonstone stones are actual celestial gems! Moonstones have been celebrated for thousands of years, and it’s easy to see why. Whether they’re used as eye-catching jewelry or soothing healing crystals, moonstones possess many amazing properties and uses. 

True to its name, this shimmering jewel captures the moon’s graceful beauty and gentle spirit. Above all, they radiate pure peace and love.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be launching into moonstone’s magnificent specifications and qualities. Join us as we soar through everything that you need to know about this sublime stone!

Moonstone GemstoneWhat is a Moonstone?

Moonstones are orthoclase feldspar gemstones that shimmer like lunar beams. Other stunning varieties of feldspar are adularia and sanidine.

What is moonstone good for? It’s no surprise that moonstone jewelry is popular among both men and women. Moonstones are often set with sterling silver, gold, titanium, and mixed metals. Here are just a few popular moonstone jewelry options:

  • Pendants. Consider moonstone pendants with blue moonstones set in gold – they’re absolutely divine!

  • Earrings. Moonstone earrings add a celestial sparkle to any outfit.

  • Bracelets. Whether they carry a moonstone centerpiece or a string of moonstone beads, moonstone bracelets are perfect for any occasion.

  • Engagement rings. Tired of diamond rings? Spice up your engagement with a moonstone ring instead!

Whether you’re interested in jewelry or gemstones, moonstone is sure to brighten up your wardrobe and life. 

This is especially true for June babies; moonstone is your perfect match! June is actually known as the bridal month and is represented by Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. As a symbol of love and passion, moonstone fits the month of June to a T.

So, what’s the 411 behind moonstone’s geological properties? Keep reading to find out!

Moonstone Specifications and Characteristics

Moonstone stones are made up of sodium potassium aluminium silicate. Simply put, they’re a type of feldspar filled with alternating layers of orthoclase and albite. Feldspar itself is an abundant mineral that makes up 41 percent of the Earth’s continental crust.

When it comes to the Mohs Hardness Scale, moonstone hovers between 6-6.5, right below quartz and topaz. Rest assured, moonstone’s got some thick skin!

  • Color: colorless, yellow, gray, green, pink, orange, brown, red

  • Crystal structure: monoclinic

  • Luster: vitreous

  • Transparency: transparent to opaque

  • Refractive index: 1.518-1.525

  • Density: 2.61

  • Cleavage: perfect and easy in two directions

  • Optical phenomenon: adularescence

What do these specifications mean in the context of buying jewelry?

Rough moonstones

Moonstone Properties

Earlier, we discussed different varieties of popular moonstone jewelry. What makes certain jewelry more valuable than others? 

The answer to that mystery lies in gemstone grading. Gemstone grading assesses the quality of gemstones based on properties like color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.

First, let’s delve into moonstone stone colors.

Color

Pure moonstone stones are colorless and already stunning by themselves. Once traces of iron enter the scene, however, moonstones burst into a rainbow of colors. Think warm peach, light green, bold orange, serene blue, and more. Red moonstones are caused by iron oxide inclusions called goethite.

You may have heard of rainbow moonstones, which carry gorgeous green and orange tones. A little warning – these are technically classified as labradorite, not moonstone.

When light kisses moonstone, you’ll witness an amazing optical quality called adularescence. As light intersects with the moonstone’s various feldspar layers, the gemstone will emit a pearly bluish-white glow. Imagine wisps of moonlight brushing against a perfectly still pond – that’s adularescence. And moonstones with pure blue adularescence are considered to be the most valuable.

Let’s now see how clarity weighs into gemstone grading.

Clarity

Earlier, we mentioned that red moonstones are the result of certain inclusions. So, what exactly are inclusions and how do they tie into clarity?

Gemstones with visible inclusions have tiny pockets of gas, dust, liquid, and other particles that came about during formation. 

Moonstone stones, in particular, are well known for their inclusions. In fact, how can you tell if a moonstone is real? All you have to do is keep an eye out for centipede inclusions. True to their namesake, centipede inclusions are thin intersecting lines that resemble tiny creatures with legs. 

If you ever do come across an inclusion-free moonstone, you’ll likely end up paying more for it. That’s because inclusions tend to lower gemstone value.

Let’s now pivot to moonstone cuts.

Cut

Most moonstone cuts fall into four categories: 

  • Cabochons

  • Faceted 

  • Intricate jewelry carvings

  • Beads

Cabochons are by far the most popular moonstone cuts. With such smooth, round, and polished forms, cabochons really allow moonstone colors to shine. Most moonstones are fashioned into oval cabochons. However, other varieties like tapered sugarloaf – i.e. square and angular cabochons – are sold as well. 

You should take a closer look at faceted gem-quality moonstone stones, too! A clever facet cut can hide moonstone inclusions and bring out a brilliant sparkle.

If you’re into beads and intricate jewelry carvings like cameos, moonstones are a sure bet with their lovely shimmer!

Loose moonstone gemstones

Now, what about carat weight?

Carat Weight

Moonstone sizes and weight are just as diverse as their jewelry cuts. So, how do we break them down?

Large high-quality gemstones may be difficult to come by. Moonstones with blue adularescence rarely exceed 15-20 carats. In contrast, moonstones with silvery or white adularescence can weigh hundreds of carats!

With that said, we’ve now wrapped up moonstone’s unique gemstone properties. So, how has this lunar jewel stood up against time? 

Moonstone Stone History

Moonstone stones were just as popular during ancient times as they are today. 

The ancient Romans saw moonstone as a gift from their lunar goddess Diana. They carried moonstone around to attract love, wisdom, fortune, mental clarity, and foresight.

The ancient Indians associated moonstones with their own lunar deity, Chandra. According to ancient religion, Chandra had a stone in his forehead that glowed or dimmed whenever the moon waxed or waned. 

The ancient Indians saw moonstones as symbols of love and presented them as traditional wedding presents. They believed that wearing moonstones during the full moon could help them find everlasting love.

Meanwhile, travelers wore moonstones to ensure a safe journey, particularly if they were traveling at night or by sea. As such, moonstone became known as the “traveler’s stone.”

Moonstones made a comeback during the Art Nouveau period when famed French goldsmith Rene Lalique designed some dazzling moonstone jewelry. 

To this day, moonstones continue to enchant people all over the world. However, has moonstone meaning changed over time? What does moonstone signify today?

Moonstone Meaning

“I always look up to the moon and see it as the single most romantic place within the cosmos.” 

American actor Tom Hanks’ words ring equally as true for moonstones.

Earlier, we pointed out that moonstone is the birthstone of June, aka the bridal month. Just like the ancient Indians, modern society views moonstones as jewels of love and passion. Looking to find that special someone to share your life with? Moonstone can help you channel your desires to the universe!

Moonstone stones don’t invite just romance into your life, however. You can achieve peace and compassion as well. For those in leadership positions such as managers and coaches, moonstones can help you flourish as powerful nurturers.

What other moonstone benefits are there? The possibilities are endless: hope, harmony, inspiration, personal fulfillment...the list goes on!

For now, though, let’s jump into some amazing moonstone healing properties.

tumbled moonstone healing crystals

Moonstone Spiritual and Healing Properties

First off, what is the spiritual meaning of moonstone? 

For those who regularly encounter grief and emotional labor in their line of work, moonstones can help you release negativity. Therapists and rescue workers are just two professionals at the top of the list.

When it comes to spiritual healing, moonstone stones can power up the chakras. Chakras tie your overall health and wellbeing to certain sacred energy centers along your body.

Which chakra is moonstone good for? Moonstones can open the sacral and third eye chakras. The sacral chakra balances your sexual energy and promotes reproductive health. The third eye chakra restores your connectivity to your higher self.

Of course, moonstone stones can have physical healing powers as well! For example, moonstones can aid digestion and absorb rich nutrients. Moreover, they can help with menstrual cramps, pregnancy, and childbirth. If you’re looking to increase your fertility, try wearing a moonstone during the next full moon.

With so many excellent qualities and benefits, just how are moonstones formed anyway?

Moonstone Stone Origins and Sources

As we discussed earlier, moonstones are made up of orthoclase and albite layers. During early formation, these two feldspar minerals mix together. As moonstone begins to crystallize, however, they separate into the alternating layers that we see in moonstone gems.

Where does moonstone come from? Historically, Sri Lanka and southern India produced moonstone stones. Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) was known for its high-quality moonstones.

Today, other moonstone deposits exist in Australia, Finland, Austria, Norway, Mexico, and parts of Africa. Over in the United States, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia are the main suppliers of moonstone.

No matter where they come from, all moonstones are polished and ready to go by the time they hit the market. So, how can you make sure your moonstone jewelry stays just as flawless as it did on day one?

Moonstone Care and Maintenance

While they have a respectable rating on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, moonstones are prone to chipping and cleaving. That’s why it’s crucial to take good care of your moonstones. Treat your gems right, and they’ll last you ‘til the end of time!

Here are our top moonstone care and maintenance tips:

  • Be gentle with your moonstone jewelry. Avoid knocking it around and store it carefully in a fabric-lined container.

  • Buy moonstones with protective settings. Protective settings are pieces of metal that securely cradle a gemstone to avoid scratching and other damage. Bezel settings, which wrap entirely around stones, are the best option. However, you can always consult a jeweler to explore your options.

  • Avoid mechanical cleaners like steamers and ultrasonic cleaners. Cleansing moonstones is cheap and simple – just use warm water, mild soap, and a soft brush. Be sure to thoroughly scrub and rinse your jewels, and clean as needed. You can even have your moonstones professionally cleaned by a jeweler.

Thankfully, taking care of your moonstone stones won’t hurt your wallet. However, is moonstone expensive in general?

Trillian cut moonstone gemstone

Moonstone Prices and Value

Like everything else we’ve covered so far, moonstone prices are diverse and can appeal to many styles and budgets. Moonstone stones can cost anywhere from $10-1,000 per carat. However, the typical price range falls within $10-30 per carat. 

Why does moonstone have such a wide spectrum of prices? Let’s quickly recap some key pricing factors:

  • Clarity. Moonstones with no visible inclusions are more valuable.

  • Color. Moonstones with blue adularescence are rare and highly sought after.

  • Carat weight. Larger and heavier moonstones will cost more.

Overall, moonstone stones are affordable compared to gemstones like diamonds and emeralds, which can cost thousands of dollars per carat. Moonstones are both beautiful and budget-friendly jewels that can help you build up your gemstone collection.

Reach for the Moonstones Today!

At last, we’ve reached the end of our moonstone exploration together. Of course, your journey with moonstone stones need not end there! The world is full of possibilities when it comes to moonstones.

Like the ancient Indians, you can manifest love and romance with moonstones. Like so many others around the world, you can tap into moonstone’s transcendent psychic powers. Of course, you can always simply admire the way a glittering moonstone ring looks on your finger!

Ultimately, you can fly through life free and full of joy with a moonstone by your side. After all, why settle for the stars when the moon is within your grasp?

In the market for moonstones? Browse our top-quality moonstone collection today!

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