MOONSTONE: June Birthstone
ROMANCE, HISTORY & LORE
Moonstone is a mystical gem known for its opalescent shimmer. The ancient Romans believed that moonstone was formed from frozen moonlight. For centuries, this gem has been regarded as a symbol of growth and fertility, making it an elegant and affordable addition to any collection.
Moonstone is formed from the mineral feldspar. The intergrowth of different types of feldspar during gem formation are the source of the moonstone’s shimmer, also known as adularescence.
The finest moonstones are found mainly in Sri Lanka and Southern India. Other varieties occur Australia, Armenia, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States. The rainbow variety of moonstone can be found in India and Madagascar.
SELECTING A STONE
Moonstone occurs in a small spectrum of colors and clarities, and are usually cut in a cabochon shape to maximize their shimmering effect. The finest moonstones have a blue sheen, colorless body, and perfect clarity. Other stones feature hues of brown, yellow, green or pink, and clarities ranging from transparent to translucent.
Labradorite feldspar produces a special variety known as rainbow moonstone. True to its name, rainbow moonstone can feature many colors at once, including pink, yellow, peach, purple, and blue. Rarely, moonstones can feature a cat’s eye.
Moonstone has a hardness of 6 to 6.5, and should not be stored in contact with harder gemstones to prevent scratching. For gentle cleaning, use a soft brush to scrub behind the stone, where dust and debris can collect.