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Wednesday 6 June 2018

The Moonstone: alternative birthstone for June

A moonstone, birthstone for June, more valuable if it is high in adularescence
If you were born in June, you have the choice of no less than three birthstones: Pearl, which I wrote about here;  Alexandrite and Moonstone. This month we're going to  focus on the moonstone.
I never actually thought moonstones were an actual gem. I'd cast them as a fake stone found in shops that sell crystals and healing. Looking at some of the moonstone jewellery (jewelry to my US readers) online, I was astonished at the beauty of some of the pieces.

What is a moonstone prized for?

We're going to learn a new word folks, and it's adularescence. This is what moonstones are prized for, and it's an optical phenomenon that creates the appearance of billowy clouds of blue to white light with a moonlight sheen. 

Moonstone are feldspar gems found all over the world. Typically, they're orthoclase feldspars composed of alternating layers of orthoclase and albite. They have a fairly low hardness and a tendency to chip but they are a popular choice for jewellery. In protective settings, its beauty can shine forth. Cabochons and carvings are the most common cuts for moonstone, though on rare occasions some transparent stones are faceted.

Romantic lore

Like its namesake the moon, moonstone has some legends behind it. It is a highly prized gift for lovers as it is thought to arouse tender passion. Lovers who possess a moonstone are said to be able to foretell their future life together. According to one legend, two people wearing moonstone will fall passionately in love when the moon is high.

In India, the moonstone was considered very sacred. Merchants couldn’t display this gem for sale unless it rested on a yellow cloth. Yellow was a most sacred colour.

Mystics the world over have used moonstone for meditation purposes. The moving inner light made a good focus for meditation. Some believed the stone had a calming influence and could assist those wishing to enter a trance.

The Value of Moonstone

The International Gem Society tells us that the more transparent and colourless the body and more blue the adularescence, the higher the moonstone value.

Historically, the most valuable colorless, transparent moonstones with strong blue sheen came from Myanmar. Unfortunately, this material is essentially mined out. Most of the top-grade, blue sheen gems available today are being passed from one dealer or collector to another, which escalates the prices.

Celebrities and Moonstone

Moonstone is one of the birthstones for June. Actor Julia Roberts dazzles in blue moonstone rings
Julia Roberts - Pretty Woman - in blue moonstone rings  
Paula Patton in white diamond and moonstone earrings from David Yurman High Jewelry
Paula Patton's white diamond and moonstone earrings from David Yurman High Jewelry were a perfect match for her creamy white gown.

Discover the stories behind your birthstone 

Is This Mutton? has a series of articles on each of the birthstones: Garnet, January;  Amethyst, February; Aquamarine, March; Diamond or Bloodstone; April; Emerald, May; Pearl, June; Ruby, July; Peridot, August; Sapphire, August; Opal, October; Topaz, November;  Tanzanite, December;

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1 comment

  1. I'm loving the moonstone. I don't think I ever realized the name before. The jewelry caught my eye, and I wanted to see more about moonstone. This post definitely taught me about the moonstone.

    Natalie @ Cindy's FTD Journey


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