Moonstone: The Mystical Gem of Lunar Beauty
Moonstone, as its name suggests, evokes the ethereal beauty of the moon. When expertly cut into a cabochon, the stone seems to capture the moon’s phases within its shimmering surface. This captivating phenomenon, known as adularescence, arises from the gem’s internal lamellar structure. Moonstone’s unique allure, stemming from this effect, has made it a treasured gemstone for centuries. A member of the feldspar mineral family, moonstone exhibits a range of colors, with the most vibrant ones hailing from India and the most exquisite from Sri Lanka.
Over time, high-quality moonstone has become increasingly scarce, making it a rare find for collectors. The rainbow moonstone variety, characterized by its milky white hue and iridescent sheen, is primarily sourced from India and Madagascar. To maximize its mesmerizing effect, moonstone is often shaped into high-domed oval cabochons, and occasionally, it’s carved to depict the iconic ‘man in the moon.’
Moonstone’s significance extends beyond its beauty. It was designated as Florida’s state stone in 1970, commemorating the monumental moon landing by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Throughout history, moonstone has been enveloped in spiritual and mystical tales from cultures worldwide.
Moonstone can be found in various global locations, including:
- Sri Lanka
- United States
Properties and Enhancements
With a hardness of 6 – 6.5 on the Mohs scale, moonstone is moderately durable.
Currently, there are no known treatments to augment moonstone’s appearance. While genuine lab-created moonstone doesn’t exist, many costume jewelry pieces and affordable items might feature simulated moonstone to capture its essence.