Over the Moon for Moonstones

Moonstone is one of the alternate birthstones for June, it is also commonly given as a 13th wedding anniversary present.  This hypnotizing, mesmerizing stone has been admired for ages, going all the way back to the Greeks and the Romans.  In Ancient Rome, they believed that the stone was actually formed from solidified beams of moonlight. They also believed that if one looked at the stone they would see Roman moon goddess, Diana, who would bestow love, wisdom, and good luck to the person who possessed it.  

IMG_273714k yellow gold drop earring with one 4-prong set lapis and one round moonstone.  Priced at $1900

Moonstone has been a sacred stone in India for ages.  It was traditionally given as a wedding present because they believed the stone contained the power of love.  Because of this, it was also thought to be instrumental in reconciling estranged lovers. In both India and Europe, they believed that if two people wore moonstones during a full moon, they would fall deeply and passionately in love.  It has been a long time belief in India, that since the beginning of time, a moonstone has been set in Chandra, India’s moon god’s forehead.

moonstone-and-saphire-earrings-e152737223432214k yellow gold drop earring with one bezel set round blue ceylon over diamond shape and one 4-prong set moonstone.  Priced at $2600.

Chandra’s full name is Chandra Shekara, which means “Person who wears the moon.” The stone is said to brighten and dim with the waning and waxing of the moon, which is why they call it a moon stone.  Many other cultures associate the stone with moonlight as well, the internal structure of a moonstone scatters the light that strikes it, creating a phenomenon called adularescence. The visual effect resembles that of a full moon, shining through a veil of thin clouds.  

IMG_282418k yellow gold bar pin with one 4-prong set moonstone.  Priced at $400.

Moonstones have also been called a “Traveler’s Stone.”  When worn as an amulet, it is said to be protection for travelers, especially at night when the moon is shining.  Mariners of the past kept the stone on them because they believed it would protect them when traveling over water.  Today it is said to keep drivers protected while driving at night if it is in their car or on their person.

moonstone-ring-and-necklace1Left: 14k white gold necklace with lobster clasp suspending one bezel set moonstone. Priced at $1025.  Right: Sterling Silver bezel set moonstone ring.  Priced at $850.

Many designers of the romantic Art Nouveau period (1890-1910) used the beautifully mystic stone in their custom jewelry, making it very popular.  It’s popularity once again resurfaced in the 60’s during the “flower child” era, providing its wearers with the desired ethereal look. Then again in the 1990’s during the New Age movement.  The stone has been used in jewelry in many ways for many years, but it is often seen carved with a face, representing the “man in the moon.”

IMG_276014k yellow gold fishhook drop earring with one 4-prong set princess cut blue sapphire and one 4-prong set moonstone.  Priced at $2300.

Moonstones are part of the feldspar mineral group.  Feldspar makes up about 60 percent of the earth’s crust, making it a very common mineral.  Moonstones are part of the orthoclase variety within the feldspar group. It is composed of two feldspar minerals, orthoclase and albite.  When first formed the two minerals are intertwined, but then as the mineral cools, the two minerals start to seperate into stacked alternating layers.  As mentioned before, when light hits these layers it gets scattered, this is where adularescence happens.  Moonstones are found in a wide variety of places, Brazil, Germany, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Tanzania, and here in the United States.

IMG_284814k white gold fishhook drop earring with one 4-prong set pear shaped moonstone and one 4-prong set rose cut light pink vortex amethyst.  Priced at $575.

Moonstones rate between a 6 and a 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, with that being said, they are still fairly fragile.  The stone is fragile due to its cleavage.  Cleavage is the stones tendency to break along its planes or layers.  This is why moonstones are often found in earrings and necklaces as opposed to rings which come into a lot more contact with hard surfaces.  When it comes to moonstone rings, the stone should be set deep into the setting so that it is secure.  Moonstone jewelry can be cleaned with a toothbrush and warm soapy water, or a non acid-based jewelry cleaner.  Because of its sensitivity the stone should not be cleaned using an ultrasonic or a steamer.  Moonstone jewelry should be kept in a felt-lined jewelry box with multiple compartments to keep from rubbing up against other jewelry.

IMG_196314k yellow gold drop earring with one 4-prong set emerald cut blue topaz and one 4-prong set pear shaped moonstone suspending one bezel set 0.03ct round diamond.  Priced at $1050.

IMG_287314k yellow gold lever-back drop earring with one 4-prong set pear shaped moonstone suspending one 6-prong set pear shaped purple sugilite.  Priced at $2400.

 

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