Wear Your Moonbeams: June’s “Other” Birthstone, the Moonstone
June actually has several birthstones; we’ve discussed pearls and alexandrite in previous articles. This month I want to spotlight the luminous moonstone gem, both affordable and beautiful. In Hindu mythology, that moonstone was said to be created from moonbeams, which explained the beautiful “moonlight” that shimmers across the stone. It’s affordable, mysterious, and beautiful.
Moonstone facts and history
- Moonstone’s play of light is called “adularescence,” which means that light appears to billow across the stone. It’s a form of feldspar; similar feldspar minerals, like labradorite, also show it. According to the GIA, the effect is “reminiscent of the full moon shining through a veil of thin, high clouds.”
- In appearance, the stone can be semitransparent to opaque and colorless to white. The play of light can range from colorless to pink, peach, green, gray, yellow, and blue.
- It’s popular for carved jewelry, especially the man-in-the-moon motif that plays on its name.
- The moonstone’s gauzy beauty made it a natural for Art Nouveau (1890s-1910s) designers, like Lalique and Tiffany.
- Some call labradorite in a white matrix “rainbow moonstone.”
Moonstone healing properties
- Many believe that moonstone brings its wearer good fortune and promotes inner growth and strength while stabilizing emotions.
- The gem is recommended for new beginnings, promoting success and good luck in romance and business.
- There’s often a connection between the moonstone and feminine energy (most likely tied to its relationship with the moon).
Caring for your moonstone jewels
- It has a medium hardness (6-6.5 on the Mohs Scale) which means that moonstone is not a very rugged gem.
- It shouldn’t be in water for a long time, nor should it be exposed to high heat, which might make it crack. That’s why you should avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaners; warm soapy water is best.
How to buy moonstone jewelry
- According to the GIA, you should look carefully at the stone’s background color, and color and orientation of its adularescence or “sheen.” The most prized specimens range from colorless to nearly transparent backgrounds, with no visible inclusions, and a vivid blue adularescence—a glassy look with an electric blue shimmer.
- Other popular sheen colors today include yellow, orange, and peach.
- The most popular cut for moonstones is the cabochon, usually oval. This shows off its play of colors.
This is a perfect companion to June’s long evenings and brilliant moons. You can get lost with its shimmering hints of color that float across its surface. Don’t forget to insure your moonstone jewels, along with all of your precious pieces, including heirloom jewelry, clocks/watches, silver, and gold. That begins with an updated appraisal. Contact me and we’ll make it happen—call me at (617) 304-0174 or by email (email@example.com).
Wishing you moonlit June evenings forever, Aimee
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