Moonstone

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    Moonstone

    Moonstone is the preferred June birthstone over pearl and alexandrite. It can be found in many places across the globe but the largest exporter of the gem is currently Sri Lanka. Other popular exporters include Australia and India. Florida actually adopted the moonstone as its official state gemstone in 1970 to commemorate the Apollo 11 moon landing and other spaceflights that launched from Florida—even though moonstone is not naturally found in Florida or on the moon.

    The history of moonstone goes all the way back to the ancient Roman Empire. Its use as a talisman was strongly tied to the worship of Diana, the moon goddess. They believed that the stone itself would dim and brighten with the waning and waxing of the moon. It was even named by the Roman natural historian, Pliny, who wrote that the white and blue shifting of colors were reminiscent of the phases of the moon. (This effect is actually due to the two types of feldspar that make this stone, orthoclase and albite. The minerals grow together in alternating layers, and a phenomenon named adularescence happens whenever light hits it.) Due to Roman influence, the moonstone is still a popular gift between romantic partners for its reputation as the "lover's stone". There is a myth that says on the night of a full moon, two people wearing moonstones will meet and fall into a deep and passionate love affair. Very saucy stuff.

    Through the years the gem fell out of the limelight, until the Art Nouveau period (1890-1910).  Popular French designers began incorporating the moonstone into their pieces and it influenced jewelers all throughout Europe, even hopping across the pond to make an appearance in the US!

    While the stone is beautiful, it is delicate. It has a hardness level of 6 on the Mohs Hardness Scale so, unfortunately, it is more susceptible to chipping and cleaving than, say, a diamond or a sapphire. But that doesn't mean it isn't wearable, it just means you want to stick with a more protective setting, like a bezel setting, especially for a ring. Make sure you are taking it off before doing any activities that could cause it to get scratched or banged and keep your setting well-maintained. Also, moonstones cannot take heat, so don't take it for a dip in the hot springs, and advise any jeweler doing repair work on it to use a laser welder. With the right care, your lovely moonstone jewelry should stay safe and sound!


    25 products

    25 products