Do you know the Moonstone? Have you ever seen a Moonstone? And did you know that the Moonstone, along with the pearl and the alexandrite, is a birthstone for June? To say I was surprised by the inclusion of the alexandrite would be a huge understatement but I was not at all surprised about the Moonstone because it and the pearl share common bonds: the moon association and that exquisite and uniquely delicate translucence to set them apart from all other gems.
But the Moonstone differs from the pearl because of its main and most important characteristic, namely, that mysterious, mesmerizing shimmer that seems to change when the stone is moved in different lights.
This shimmer that closely resembles the moon’s ethereal silvery light makes the Moonstone one of Nature’s masterpieces and one of the most remarkable gems available today. And, in case you’re wondering, that shimmer and mysterious inner light or glow, is the result of the chemical process by which the Moonstone was created millions of years ago.
History, Myth and Lore associated with the Moonstone
The Moonstone is no newcomer to the gem world; rather, it was known in antiquity by the ancient Greeks, the ancient Egyptians, and the ancient Romans where it was prized for its seemingly magical and/or mystical powers and its strong resemblance to the moon. This moon connection is significant because both the ancient Egyptians and the ancient Romans had a moon goddess in their religion: Isis in Egypt and Diana in Rome. The Romans also believed that the moon embodied the image of Diana, and Pliny, the eminent Roman natural historian, held the belief that – incidentally, persisted until the 16th century – the Moonstone changed its appearance in accordance with the moon’s phases. The Romans must also have been a romantic lot because they believed the Moonstone had been formed by moonlight and thus it was valued as a stone of love and sensitivity and as a talisman for lovers that could evoke true love and also convey knowledge of future events. And it was the ancient Greeks, in recognition of its resemblance to the moon and its wondrous shimmer, who gave the stone its name.
Moonstone colours and cut
Really fine or classical Moonstones are blue though not a true solid blue but rather a bluish transparent shimmer that creates an almost ‘three dimensional’ colour. The best and most abundant sources for Moonstones are Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and India though others have also been found in Australia, Brazil, the U.S. and Madagascar in colours ranging from colourless to white, grey, yellow, brown, orange, green and even peach but the real beauty of the Moonstone is its sheen that can be white to deep blue to create that shimmering colour effect. The Indian Moonstones are not blue but rather green, brown, orange, champagne, black, smoky, and even reddish tones but with the same shimmer effect. These Moonstones are particularly suitable for carving cameos or faces and like the other more expensive Moonstones are always cut as cabochons because only this shape at the correct height and the cutter’s art will bring about the desired light effect.
You really have to see a shimmering Moonstone up close and personal to fully appreciate its beauty so I suggest you treat yourself with a visit to LL Private Jewellers where, guaranteed, you won’t be disappointed when you see their fabulous collection of Moonstones.
For more information about Moonstones please contact LL Private Jewellers at 604-683-3918.