A translucent variety of feldspar, moonstone is a highly reflective semiprecious stone. Rich in history and tradition, moonstone is associated with mystery, magic, dreams and fertility. Most moonstones come from Sri Lanka, but they can also be found in the United States, India, Brazil, Australia, Myanmar and Madagascar.
On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, moonstone only scores a six out of ten. Although moonstone may be placed into ring settings or made into necklaces, care should be taken not to bump or scratch the stone. Should the stone become scratched or lose its luster, a jeweler simply needs to polish it and it will look as good as new.
The shimmering quality of moonstone becomes visible as it is rotated in the light. This characteristic is known as adularescence. Pearly reflections appear from within, flashing pale tints of blue, red or green on a gray background. However, moonstone that is left uncut will not display this characteristic.
Moonstones that come from Sri Lanka, known as adularia moonstones, have a pale blue shimmer. Albite moonstones have a translucent white color with a white "moon" which rolls over the stone when it is rotated. They may also be dull yellow or greenish gray. Those that are found in India have a brown, green or orange background, which may bear resemblance to a tiger's eye stone. Albite moonstones are more dense than adularia moonstones.
Healing with Moonstone
Crystal healers use moonstone to bring the body into harmony with nature's rhythms and balance the hormones. Moonstone may also be helpful in opening up the emotional self, and when used in meditation, it is believed to raise self-awareness. In India, moonstones are worn at night to bring the sleeper beautiful dreams.
Some believe that moonstone brings good fortune and success in love. A good luck stone, moonstone may also enhance intuition, promote inspiration and protect the wearer. It is said that the most powerful time to wear moonstone is during a full moon. Folklore says that if a lover is given a moonstone necklace during a full moon, the relationship will always have passion. In times of old, some believed that moonstone would cure epilepsy. In Arabic countries, some women sew a moonstone into their clothing as it is believed to bring fertility.
- Moonstone, photo courtesy of PBS.org