Moonstone - June Featured Gemstone


Moonstone is one of the birthstones for June. Moonstones are believed to be named for the bluish white spots within them, that when held up to light project a silvery play of color very much like moonlight. When the stone is moved back and forth, the brilliant silvery rays appear to move about, like moonbeams playing over water.

The ancient Roman natural historian, Pliny, said that the moonstone changed in appearance with the phases of the moon, a belief that persisted until the sixteenth century. The ancient Romans also believed that the image of Diana, goddess of the moon, was enclosed within the stone. Moonstones were believed to have the power to bring victory, health, and wisdom to those who wore it. In India, the moonstone is considered a sacred stone and often displayed on a yellow cloth - yellow being considered a sacred color. The stone is believed to bring good fortune, brought on by a spirit that lives within the stone.

Astrologically, Moonstone is associated with the zodiac sign of Gemini.

The most well known inclusions found in this stone are known as centipede-like inclusions, it is the tiny tension cracks which resemble the many-legged creature. Of all the gemstones, only the moonstone is known to have centipede-like inclusions.

A good Moonstone is spectacular, and even moderate quality stones are very beautiful.

Moonstone is only moderately durable, but is tough enough for ring wear. While it would not be a good candidate for an engagement ring or other everyday wear ring subject to hard use, it should be fine for most other applications. Your moonstone ring should be removed for sports, gardening, going to the gym, and other potentially damaging activities.

History

Moonstone was used in Roman jewelry almost two thousand years ago and even longer ago in the Orient. In India, Moonstone has always been a sacred stone where it has appeared in jewelry for centuries as well. It has a special significance for lovers. It was believed that placing Moonstone in their mouths when the moon was full would allow them to see their future. Moonstone was also a traditional wedding gift there, for bringing harmony to the marriage. The gem is also the traditional gift for the 13th wedding anniversary. In Europe, Moonstone was said to reconcile estranged lovers, and to cure sleeplessness.

Colors of Moonstone

Moonstones come in a variety of colors, ranging from colorless to white, yellow, gray, brown, pink, peach, orange and green. Clarity ranges from transparent to translucent.

Blue Moonstone and rainbow Moonstone both have a whitish base color (clear in particularly high grades) with electric flashes of color that become visible when the stone is rotated in the light.

The most sought-after moonstone is the blue Moonstone which has a haunting blue sheen, an effect produced by orthoclase feldspar, which is found almost exclusively in stones from Sri Lanka.

One of the most beautiful and adorable kind of moonstone is the one known as rainbow moonstone. Its color is usually gray or white. Light passing over the surface of the stone creates a characteristic bluish iridescent flash. The special sheen of rainbow moonstone results from a combination of two similar types of feldspar that separate slightly while the magma is cooling and reflect light differently.

The variety of Moonstones which come in white, peach, and various shades of gray don't show the electric flash of the others; instead it is replaced with an ethereal internal glow that shimmers and moves with the light.

Healing Properties of Moonstone

Moonstone is beneficial for hyperactive children, deep emotional healing, disorders of upper digestive tract related to emotional stress, anxiety, the female reproductve cycle, menstrual related disease and tension, conception, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, PMS, digestive and reproductive systems, the pineal gland, hormonal balance, fluid imbalances, the biorythmic clock, shock, assimilation of nutrients, detoxification, fluid retention, degenerative conditions, skin, hair, eyes, fleshy organs, insomnia, sleepwalking.

Moonstone is more potent during a waxing moon and less so during the waning.

It is believed Moonstone have special properties:

Sources of Moonstone

The Moonstone belongs to the family of minerals called feldspars, an important group of silicate minerals commonly formed in rocks. About 60% of the Earth's crust is composed of feldspar. This mineral occurs in many igneous and metamorphic rocks, and also constitutes a large percentage of soils and marine clays.

Rare geologic conditions produce gem varieties of feldspar such as moonstone, labradorite, amazonite, and sunstone. They appear as large clean mineral grains, found in pegmatites (coarse-grained igneous rock) and ancient deep crustal rocks. Feldspars of gem quality are aluminosilicates (minerals containing aluminum, silicon and oxygen), that are mixed with sodium and potassium.

Moonstone is composed of potassium aluminium silicate and it is regarded as the most expensive stone of that sort of the mineral family. Moonstones are found in areas of volcanic and hydrothermic activity, it is these conditions that is needed to allow the chemical and physical processes to form the stone. Feldspars are like other igneous stones, they form when magma, the molten core under the solid crust of the earth, cools and solidifies.

Moonstone is composed of two feldspar species; orthoclase and albite. Those two are intermingled, then as the newly formed mineral cools, the intergrowth of albite and orthoclase separate into stacked, alternating layers. When light falls between these thin, flat layers, it scatters in many directions producing the phenomenon called adularescense. The word adularescence is derived from the word 'adularia', the name used for stone before it came to be known as Moonstone.

Mined from the earth, the stones can be found in irregular shapes among other gems, clay debris and gravel. When found in the rough, moonstone is not an impressive sight. Typically, moonstones are cut in the form of cabochon and if cut properly the stone will shimmer and flow. The best moonstones are from Sri Lanka. They are also found in the Alps, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), and India.

References

  1. The Great Encyclopaedia of Healing Stones, Fragrances and Herbs, published by Methusalem, 2008.
  2. The Encyclopedia of Crystals, Judy Hall, Hamlyn, 2006.
  3. The Book of Stones Who They Are and What They Teach, Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian, Heaven and Earth Publishing, 2005.
  4. http://earthsky.org/earth/june-birthstone-pearl-moonstone-alexandrite
  5. http://distinctionjewelry.com/info/gemstones/choosing-the-right-june-birthstone/
  6. http://www.list-of-birthstones.com/Moonstone%20Birthstones.html