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Moonstone has captivated the hearts of jewelry lovers for centuries. The stone’s seemingly bland appearance is made spectacular with the presence of light and movement. The glowing sheen and soft color are luring. Learn about common and not so common moonstone facts and uncover the unique history and meaning of the stone. This is helpful if you already own moonstone jewelry or are planning on purchasing it.

Moonstone is a mineral of the orthoclase feldspar group and is composed of potassium aluminum silicate. It is distinguished from other similar stones by the presence of adularescence. Though the stone has optical qualities similar to some labradorite stones, labradorite is a plagioclase feldspar whereas moonstone is orthoclase feldspar. Plagioclase feldspar is composed of calcium and sodium and orthoclase feldspar is composed of potassium. 

On a romantic note, the moonstone is a gemstone that brings to mind mystery, light and the image of moonlight falling on water.

What makes a moonstone special and sets it apart from other stones is the unique sheen that it displays on its surface. This occurs due to moonstones physical composition. Moonstones are the combination of two feldspar minerals known as orthoclase and albite, which are separated into different layers. When light falls on the moonstone, it scatters between the different layers of the feldspar and causes what is known as adularescence.

Moonstone Characteristics

  • Hardness: 6 -6.5
  • Color: Colorless to White, Gray, Green, Peach, Brown
  • Chemical composition: KAlSi3O8
  • Refractive index: 1.518 to 1.526

Birthstone – Moonstone

Together with Pearl and Alexandrite, Moonstone is crowned as the June birthstone, and designated for the zodiac sign of Gemini. It’s a modern June stone that is gifted to the 13th year of marriage and every succeeding 13 years after that.

Moonstone brings prosperity, amplifies passion, and balances the negative and positive sides of the mind. It’s also been dubbed as a traveler’s stone and a gem that can help predict the future if it is put in the mouth on a full moon. The Moonstone birthstone heals by cleansing the digestive system, renewing blood cells, calming emotions, and opening the heart to new horizons.

Moonstone History

A Roman natural historian named Pliny wrote about Moonstone’s changing looks and connected it to the waning and waxing of the moon. Thus, the gem earned its name “Moon Stone”. Ancient Romans also believed that moonstones – today’s birthstone for June – depicted the image of the Moon Goddess Diana. They used it in their jewelry, and became more and more valued up to Europe’s medieval period.

In India, the stone is said to possess a spirit within that brings good fortune that it became one of the most sacred stones. It is only displayed when put on a yellow cloth, as yellow is also a sacred color. Moonstone encourages concentration during meditation and is not allowed to be brought outside unless it is carried by a holy man.

Ancient cultures coveted moonstone and created origins for the stone as spectacular as the stone itself. Many believed the stone was created from moonbeams. Others strongly associated the stone’s powers with the moon. The stone was especially prized during a full moon. Moonstone is thought to bring its wearer good fortune and feelings of love and affection. 

Moonstone found its way into jewelry throughout history, but it wasn’t until the early 1900s that the stone became an iconic and important focal point. In the years preceding the Art Nouveau Era, moonstone was often used as a small accent stone. Some man in the moon pieces existed, but these were rare and less common. 

Artisans like René Lalique brought on a powerful change with the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts Movement. Natural, mystical stones with unique properties were favored over traditional glitzy stones. The Art Nouveau period was short-lived and the Art Deco movement was soon to follow with a heavy emphasis on diamonds and precious gemstones. It wasn’t until the 1960s that moonstone came back into fashion. 

Meaning of Moonstone

The moon, in feng shui and many other spiritual traditions, represents the divine feminine. Women’s fertility cycles connect with the waxing and waning of the moon. The moonstone is known for balancing hormonal and reproductive issues as well as emotions. 

As the moon cycles connect us to nature, the moonstone also reminds us that our lives also ebb and flow. Moonstone cultivates compassion and empathy. It helps us to tap into our intuition and enhances psychic abilities and clairvoyance. 

The creative and intuitive power of feminine energy is activated by the moonstone. It can help us balance and cool down emotions and stress. It can also put us in tune with our feminine and feeling side. Moonstone energy is yin, introspective, receptive, and connected to our subconscious.

The serene and tranquil energy of the moonstone also invites creativity, healing, and motherly protection. It also acts like a mirror so we can see clearly our reflection.

Benefits of Moonstone

A stone for “new beginnings”, Moonstone is a stone of inner growth and strength.  It soothes emotional instability and stress, and stabilises the emotions, providing calmness.  Moonstone enhances intuition, promotes inspiration, success and good fortune in love and business matters.

Moonstone aids the digestive system, assimilates nutrients, eliminates toxins and fluid retention, and alleviates degenerative conditions of skin, hair, eyes, and fleshy organs such as the liver and pancreas.  It stimulates the pineal gland and balances hormonal cycles, being excellent for PMS, conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and breast-feeding.  Moonstone is also beneficial to men in opening the emotional self.

Moonstone Cutting

One of the most magical gemstones out there, moonstone is known for its beautiful sheen and smooth texture. Moonstones can be worked into various styles of jewelry, and are a favorite gemstone for boho and hippie styles of jewelry.

Moonstones are commonly cut into beads, cabochons or faceted. The best cut for moonstone is cabochons which show the natural phenomena of adularescence within the stone. However, faceted moonstones are increasing in popularity due to its ability of hiding inclusions within the stone.

One of the most popular cuts for moonstone is rose cut as it highlights the color and texture of the stone, adding depth and angles.

Moonstones can also be carved and were sometimes used for cameos or intaglios in the past.

Moonstone Imitations

Moonstones can be color-enhanced. This is where a natural moonstone is treated to display a more appealing color. This is an industry standard and not something to be too worried about. However, the retailer should inform you if any treatments have been done on the moonstone.

In terms of imitation, a substance called opalite is sometimes passed off as moonstones. It is a man-made type of glass, that can be found in opaque or clear form and gives off a blue glow when seen under light.

Opalite can be indistinguishable to the untrained eye and fraudulent vendors often try to pass it off as moonstone. If you are going to buy a moonstone, make sure you check that the stone is not an imitation.

Here are two main tips to help you identify opalite:

  • Opalite often has tiny bubbles within it which moonstones do not have
  • Opalite gives off different shades based on whether it is placed on a dark or bright background. Try to place the stone first on a light background and then dark; if it changes shades from milky white to blue, it is highly likely that you are holding an opalite.

Care Instruction

or moonstone, we recommend charging this crystal under the moonlight. It’s especially effective to charge moonstone on the full moon or new moon.

There are many ways to cleanse a crystal, here are some recommendations:

  • Soak the crystal in water with sea salt at least overnight. Use approximately 3 tablespoons of salt for every cup of water.
  • Visualize white moonlight surrounding the crystal, with the intention that the moonstone will be cleared of any negative energy.
  • Smudge the moonstone with sage, palo santo, or other smudge stick.