What is a Moonstone?
Moonstone, a natural crystal mineral, is believed to harness the energy of the moon. It embodies yin’s passive energy and relaxation energy. This stone also promotes balance and positive well-being and improves your intuition.
- Colors: Opalescent, milky whites in a variety of colors, such as blue, gray, or pink
- Chakra: Soma. The third eye, Solar Plexus.
- Number: Vibrates up to 4
- Planet: Moon
- Zodiac: Rabbits, Libra, Scorpio, and Cancer
- Bagua areas: Relationships (Kun), Completion/Children (Dui)
- Elements: Water, Metal, and Earth
- Origin: Sri Lanka, India, and Australia
In Feng Shui and other spiritual traditions, the moon represents divine femininity. Moonstone reminds us that life is fluid and ebbs and flows, just as the moon cycles link us to nature. Moonstone encourages compassion and empathy. Moonstone helps us tap into our intuition.
Moonstone activates the creative and intuitive feminine energy. Moonstone can be used to calm and balance emotions and tension. Moonstone energy can help us connect with our feminine and emotional side. Moonstone energy is yin. It’s introspective, receptive, and connects to our subconscious.
Moonstone’s calm and peaceful energy encourages creativity, restoration, protection, and motherly love. It acts as a mirror, allowing us to see clearly our reflection.
What is Moonstone? Facts, information, and answers
Moonstones are feldspar stones with varying compositions. They typically have alternating layers of albite.
What do Moonstones symbolize?
Moonstones, like their poetic name, the Moon have inspired a lot of romantic legends. Moonstones have been associated with love, fertility, protection, and, obviously, the Moon.
These gems have been treasured by jewelry lovers for centuries, particularly royalty. They are most commonly found in Germany and Scandinavia, where they are preferred over pearls or alexandrites, as well as June Birthstones.
What causes a blue moonstone sheen?
Sometimes moonstones are called “adularia”, after Mt. Adular, Switzerland is a well-known source of these gems. The mountain’s name is also responsible for the extraordinary effect moonstone has.
Adularescence occurs when light hits thin layers of albite and orthoclase within the gem. This creates a cloud-like appearance inside the gem. If the albite crystals have very fine particles, a blue sheen will be produced. Fine orthoclase or albite plates can be dispersed in each other due to unmixing upon cooling. The sheen of albite plates that are thick is white.
Lapidaries typically cab moonstones with high domes in order to emphasize adularescence. When cabbed this way, specimens with strong displays often show cat’s eyes. Rarely, an asterism can produce four-legged stars.
An orthoclase moonstone’s body color is usually determined by its iron content. It can be white, brown, red-brown, or orange. Red coloration can be caused by iron oxide (goethite) inclusions.
Grant County, New Mexico, United States, has a moonstone variety that contains orthoclase-feldspar and sanidine.
What is a “Rainbow Moonstone?”
Thin layers of albite are also found in some transparent plagioclase-feldspars like labradorite. If thin, these also create a blue schiller effect and a white effect when thick.
A multicolored schiller can display blue and/or orange colors in rare cases. This phenomenon is called labradorescence. These stones are sometimes called “rainbow-moonstones”, but they are actually a type of labradorite and not moonstone. Labradorescence differs from adularescence. Gem trade generally accepts the use of “rainbow moonstone” as the name.
Moonstone Identification Characteristics
Moonstones are one gem that has inclusions that are so distinctive that they can be identified. They have fissures and incipient cleavages within the material’s body that are caused by exsolution pressures. These fissure systems consist of short pairs of cracks that run parallel to the vertical axis. Shorter cracks radiate perpendicularly along each length of the parallel fissures. These fissures look like many-legged insects and are called “centipedes.”
Because of stress cracking, or cavities, moonstones can also have rectangular darkened areas. Sometimes, a cavity can extend from a rectangular dark area to create a comma-shaped addition.
Myanmar moonstones are known for having oriented needle inclusions.
Refractive Index and Specific Gravity
Material from Sri Lanka is more likely to have special gravity values at the low end, 2.56. Material from India tends to be at the high end of the scale, 2.59.
Most moonstones have refractive indexes (RI), of 1.520-1.525, with a Birefringence value of 0.005. Material from Virginia, however, has an RI between 1.518 and 1.524 and a birefringence value of 0.006.
Moonstones: India, Sri Lanka (5 each). Photo (c) Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA. Permission granted
Simulated and synthetic moonstones
Moonstone can be simulated with milky-chalcedony or certain types of synthetic spinel. However, these substitutes often look inferior and are easy to spot. Lab-created Moonstones have not yet entered the market.
Moonstones are available here.