Moonstone: The Gemstone With Out of The World Beauty
When it comes to precious stones, the most common and popular choices remain diamonds, emerald, rubies, and sapphires. They all give a gorgeous, polished brilliance that tends to dazzle anyone who looks at them.
Be that as it may if you are looking for a gemstone that doesn’t only look exceptionally eye-catching because of its rare and unique sheen, but also has an otherworldly beauty, moonstones are something that you should check out.
Moonstone, in contrast to their name, is not a moonstone, i.e. stones from the Moon. They are excavated from the earth and have an exquisite appeal to them. They appear almost magical and mystical. Their beautiful gleam and polished fine texture make it an elegant and unique choice for a precious gemstone.
Usually associated with boho and hippie trends, moonstone crystal looks wonder in a wide array of jewelry, settings, and themes. Their unique sheen makes it versatile to go with everything.
History of Moonstone
Moonstone has a very vibrant history and folklore attached to it. Throughout the ages, it has been highly associated with the Moon, love, protection, good fortune, and love.
In ancient times, moonstone was believed to be made by the beams of the moon, hence associated with lunar deities like Roman Goddess Diana and Indian God Chandra.
People believed that donning a moonstone would grant the wearer love, wisdom, and good fortune. It also helps the wearer keep a clear mind so smart and wise choices could be made in life. It was even believed to grant the ability of second sight or prophecy.
This precious gemstone used to be a symbol of love and was used as a traditional wedding gift in India and Europe, and was thought to have the ability to restore harmony between estranged lovers.
Also known as ‘Traveler’s Stone’, it was also believed to protect and aid travelers, especially at night. The moonstone was especially treasured during the full moon when it was said to be at the peak of its special properties.
Moonstone gained popularity in the mainstream gemstone market around the Art Nouveau period when a French jeweler and goldsmith Rene Lalique made remarkable pieces of jewelry with moonstone.
In this time, the preference for natural stones with mystical appearances and rare properties as accent stones rose and overshadowed the traditional sparkles like sapphire and emerald.
Its popularity decreased heavily when the Art Deco period took over Art Nouveau and the spotlight was shifted back onto the classical dazzles. It was in the 1960s that moonstone once again rose in popularity and became fashionable. It is since then that moonstone slowly started getting popular and remains quite popular even today.
The Uniqueness of Moonstone
The moonstone crystal not only has a unique appearance but also has unique composition and properties.
Moonstone is an amalgamation of orthoclase and albite. These minerals form different layers and refract and reflect light in a different way which gives the moonstone its overall pearly effect.
The light is refracted and reflected between these layers which results in a special property of adularescence. This is the property that makes the gemstone special. Adularescence results in a special shine that appears to hover just under the surface of the stone due to the inner tricks of light. Sometimes, these rays are refracted in a way that they result in a delicate, wispy, and cloudy appearance.
Another special property of moonstone is chatoyancy, also known as the cat’s eye effect. This is the phenomenon where a bright and profound bad of light is present at the middle of the stone, from one end to another in a straight line. This phenomenon gives the stone the appearance of a cat’s eye, hence the name.
Determining The Quality of Moonstone
A moonstone’s quality can be determined by color, clarity, cut, and carat. Though these are not the defining factors of the moonstone, they do help in assessing the quality and brilliance of the moonstone.
Moonstone is available in a wide variety of colors. The most popular moonstone color is colorless, followed by blue. The other colors include pink, peach, green, opaque white, brown, gray, and black.
Colored moonstones are less favored compared to colorless and blue moonstones. Colorless moonstone has a soft milky appearance that is almost transparent with a light blue sheen to it. Blue moonstone has a gorgeous blue color with a light neon blue chatoyancy.
White moonstone has a milky white appearance this moonstone color has a glimmer pearly sheen and a cloudy appearance.
Rainbow moonstone, is perhaps, the most popular moonstone variant. This is not a true moonstone and is a cross between a moonstone and labradorite. Due to this complexity, the moonstone is able to scatter light into various colors of the rainbow which gives an alluring appearance to the stone.
When it comes to moonstone, the color that shows greater adularescence, the more popular it is.
Moonstones are soft. Therefore they have greater inclusion compared to other precious stones. The inclusions in moonstones are thin and long with fraying on their edges. These inclusions are called centipedes.
The larger amount of centipedes makes the moonstone unattractive. The centipedes also affect the adularescence directly. The more is the amount of centipedes, the lesser is the adularescence.
Moonstones might also have dark rectangular inclusions that are cracks and cavities caused by stress. These cavities differ in size. Bigger cavities make the stone look unappealing and of poor quality.
The higher is the clarity of a moonstone the more precious and expensive it becomes. While the cheapest moonstones can be worth $10, the moonstones which are almost free of centipedes and any other colored tint become very popular and cost a lot.
Moonstones are generally cut in beads, cabochons, and faceted cuts. Faceted cuts work best with hiding inclusions and highlight the stone’s natural adularescence in the best way.
When to be used in jewelry, moonstone is generally cut in a rose cut. Rose-cut is an old traditional cut that highlights and enhances the moonstone’s natural phenomenons to their maximum capacity.
Not only does the rose cut highlight the color and texture of the stone, but it also gives a beautiful depth and dimension to the stone which makes it highly attractive.
Moonstones are available in a wide variety of carat weight. The most commonly used carat is a jewelry range of one to five. Carats ranging from 15 to 20 are rare and heavily priced. Natural moonstones can go up to even 300 to 450 carats.
Also Read: Why Are Pink Diamond So Rare And Exclusive?
Moonstone in jewelry
Moonstone jewelry is aesthetically pleasing, ethereal, and exquisite. They can be used in jewelry meant for both men, women, and other genders as well. Moonstone is a June birthstone.
It works best with sterling silver, mixed metals like rose gold, titanium, and classic gold. These metals revamp the authentic natural shine of the stone and enhance the cat-eye effect. Other than that, these stones can be used great with the accent setting of other stones like diamonds.
More and more people, lately, have been opting for contemporary and unorthodox designs and styles for engagement rings. Its properties of adularescence and chatoyancy make the ring stand out and extremely unique
The popularity of moonstone rings is escalating. Compared to the traditional and classic diamond, moonstone offers a nice change and an alluring appeal to the ring.
Though the uniqueness of moonstone rings can be easily enhanced with a diamond halo or diamond as a side stone in a three-stone setting.
Rainbow moonstones remain a popular choice for engagement rings. After all, who would say not to an engagement ring with a rainbow within?
Since moonstones have been used for a very long time, they are best suited with either simple basic designs or vintage styles and they are not hard to find. Moonstone rings can double as a statement ring with unparalleled beauty and elegance to them
No matter the setting, moonstone makes up an ethereal choice for an engagement ring.
Pendants are another popular choice of jewelry when it comes to featuring moonstones. Be it a blue moonstone or milky white moonstone with white gold or yellow setting, they will make up for a gorgeous eye-catching and awe-inspiring piece of jewelry.
Just like rings, moonstone pendants are best suited for vintage styles with timeless metals and settings.
Moonstone earrings are not only versatile but they can be daily worn as well. Colorless, milky white and rainbow moonstone will not clash with whatever personality of fashion style you have and suit a wide variety of themes and occasions.
Be it studs or dangles, moonstone earrings make an exquisite piece of jewelry that gives a pearly finish to whatever outfit you are wearing.
Pairing a gorgeous moonstone pendant with a pair of moonstone earrings will just look spectacular and a match made in the skies.
Moonstones bracelets, while not a popular choice, is an excellent piece of jewelry that goes exceptionally well with every person’s style.
These bracelets can feature a big center moonstone or have a cluster setting of moonstones. Either way, they will look gorgeous and eye-catching with the movement of your wrists.
Moonstone works the best with white gold and sterling silver settings. This kind of setting is the best with colorless and blue moonstones. Colored moonstones can be set in yellow gold or rose gold and this will give the jewelry a timeless and vintage vibe.
Since moonstones are a token of love, rose gold remains a popular choice for moonstones along with sterling silver and white gold. Rose gold also tends to contribute a little hue of its o the stone and makes it even more gorgeous
Caring For A Moonstone
Despite their ethereal appeal and exquisite looks, moonstones are not as strong as other gemstones like diamonds and emeralds. Moonstones are relatively soft and can easily suffer damage with a lot of force.
Moonstones are also susceptible to higher temperatures. The high temperatures can affect the beauty of the stone and make it appear dull among other things.
Due to the softness, moonstones require great regular care. If not done properly or in regular time intervals, these stones can easily suffer scratches and chippings and get ruined over time.
If the need of cleaning a piece of moonstone jewelry arises, it should be done with a mild, non-abrasive soap rather than strong ultrasonic cleaners. The water should be lukewarm and not hot.
Other gemstones like diamonds can easily scratch the surface of the moonstone so they are best stored separately, in boxes to keep them safe, clean and make sure they retain their eternal sheen for a long, long time.
Moonstones are famous for the adularescence, the hovering sheen that appears to be just under the surface, and the cat-eye effect it produces.
These properties make the moonstone appear magical, mysterious and mystical, and simply ethereal and out of this world.
Moonstones are available in a large range of colors ranging from colorless and milky white to gray and black with tons of colors in between.
Rainbow moonstones are hybrid moonstones made by mixing the traditional moonstone with labradorite. Colorless moonstone and rainbow moonstone remain the most popular and expensive choices for moonstone jewelry.
An ideal moonstone and less number of inclusions, an uniform color, a cut that emphasizes the adularescence and texture, and has a decent carat weight. A moonstone that ticks all these checkboxes not only would look beautiful but would be expensive as well.
Moonstone jewelry has an ethereal, vintage vibe and hence is best-suited with metals that enhance it, like silver and gold.
Moonstone is also softer than most of the other stones and needs proper care.
Moonstones are a rare and unique choice for jewelry. While they have been around for quite a long time, they’ve been going in and out of popularity. Recently they’ve been getting more and more popular with people who want to try something unique and different and are looking for an unorthodox option for jewelry.