June’s Modern Birthstone: Moonstone

Selene, Goddess of the Moon

The unique and enchanting gemstone rightly names moonstone belongs to the large mineral group of the feldspars, constituting almost two thirds of all the rocks on Earth. The moonstone represents the feldspar variety of ‘adularia’, a potassium aluminu-silicate of gemstone quality, found in the European Alps near the Adula Group – hence the name ‘adularia’. Another name for moonstone is ‘selenite’, given to it by ancient Greeks who related the fascinating gem to the Goddess of the Moon Selene.

Adularescence and the Waning of the Moon
In their uncut state, moonstones exhibit little indication of what actually constitutes their mysterious shimmer of light, which is first revealed when cut by a skillful Gem-cutter. Moonstone is characterized by an almost magical play of light, constantly appearing different as the stone is moved, referred to as in which, earlier cultures claimed to recognize the crescent and waning phases of the moon. Classical moonstones are always cut en cabochons, the most important cutting aspect being the correct height of the stone. The cutter tries to align the axes of the crystal precisely into the zenith of the stone, which is the sole manner of unveiling the desired light effect.

Beige-brown, Green, Orange, White and Blue Moonstones
Moonstones from Sri Lanka, the gemstone’s classical country of origin, possess a shimmering pale blue color on an almost transparent background. Specimens from India feature a nebulous interplay of light and shadow on a background of beige-brown, green or orange while other varieties of moonstone are found in Brazil, Australia, Myanmar and Madagascar. The alluringly discreet colors in connection with the fine shimmer make the moonstone an ideal gemstone for jewelry with a sensual, feminine aura. Moonstone was extremely popular around the turn of the 20th century, coinciding with the Art Nouveau movement. It adorned a noticeably large number of the jewelry creations of the French master goldsmith RenĂ© Lalique and his contemporaries, whose valuable oeuvre-d’art are mainly to be seen in museums and private collections.

Moonstone, the Symbol of Fertility
Moonstone is surrounded by a great deal of mystique and magic. In India, moonstones are regarded as ‘dream stones’ which bring the wearer beautiful visions at night. In Arabic countries, women often wear moonstones sewn discreetly into their garments, as their cultures recognize the moonstone as symbol of fertility.
Do Moonstones Strengthen our Intuition?

For many peoples in the Orient, moonstone symbolizes human existence, strengthening emotional and subconscious aspects with its soft shimmer. In association with such virtues, moonstone is considered a ‘lovers’ stone’, evoking tender feelings and safeguarding the true joys of love. It is also said that wearing a moonstone strengthens one’s intuition and increase capacity to understand.

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