Though it has never been named ‘an inspiring’ gemstone, the Moonstone certainly qualifies for this distinction because the famous Louis Comfort Tiffany regarded it as as the inspiration for his custom jewellery in the Art Nouveau Period in the early 20th Century.
It was also popular during the hippie period of the 1960s and, in the 1990s, the Moonstone’s natural beauty made it a favourite gemstone of inspiration for the designers and artisans of the New Age Spiritual Movement.
But what is the Moonstone? It is, first and foremost a mineral of the feldspar mineral group that makes up more than 60% of the earth’s crust and rumour has it that you could pick up a rock anywhere on the planet and find yourself in possession of a mineral, even a gem quality mineral, from this feldspar group. The Moonstone, though, is not just a rock but rather is made up of two minerals – orthoclase and albite, both of which are gemstones in their own right – stacked together in flat alternating layers through which light can penetrate and flicker or scatter to give the impression of movement within the stone when it is viewed from different angles.
This optical illusion, known as adularescence (from the original name of the gem adularia and also Mt. Adular in Switzerland where the Moonstone was first discovered ) is responsible for the stone’s beauty and the mysterious light that seems to roll and glow across the gem’s surface, as well as being the identifier that a particular stone really is a Moonstone.
Moonstone Myths and Legends
The Moonstone is an ancient gem whose origins, history, and myths go all the way back to antiquity whose ancient Greek and Roman cultures associated it with the moon and their respective lunar deities: the goddess Artemis in Greek mythology and Diana in the Roman culture. It was also the belief of those two cultures that the Moonstone was created by moonbeams solidifying when they touched the earth.
This belief of solidified moonbeams is also found in Hindu mythology and easy to see why because the visual effect is reminiscent of the full moon shining through thin clouds. Also, in ancient times, the Moonstone was given the title, “Traveller’s Stone” for it was believed to have special magical powers that would protect travellers especially at night and therefore it is considered the perfect amulet or talisman for travellers. Again, this is easy to understand because the moon has long been a beacon of light for anyone on a dark path or road. And another title or designation you may not have heard of is “Stone of Security” because the Moonstone is believed to bring a sense of security, peace, and serenity to the wearer, soothe his/her mind of worries, drive away nightmares and instil a feeling of calm and healing.
Not surprisingly too, the Moonstone is the birthstone of Cancer whose ruling planet in the zodiac calendar is the moon.
Given its close association with the moon, you will not be surprised to learn that the most popular Moonstone colour is white or an opalescent white that is reminiscent of an Opal. As well, though, Moonstones also occur in numerous other colours including pink, yellow, and grey with rarer ones in peach, blue, red, and black, and from India cloudy orange, green, and brown Moonstones. You might also have heard of a Rainbow Moonstone but don’t be fooled into thinking it is a genuine Moonstone because it is not. Rather, the Rainbow Moonstone is a blue-sheen labradorite, quite beautiful but not a Moonstone.
For further information about this incredibly beautiful opalescent Moonstone or to see it for yourself you should contact Monika at LL Private Jewellers, and being the stone of inspiration for many designers, it might just inspire you too to create your own Moonstone masterpiece.
Please, for more information about the moonstones contact LL Private Jewellers at 604-683-3918.