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What is a moonstone?

September 3, 2021


Moonstone refers to the group of feldspars and got its title from the extraordinary silvery-blue glow. It is the only stone in the world which iridescent color is reminiscent of the moon. Another name for the stone is adularia, which the gem received in honor of Mount Adula (the Alps in Switzerland). Here the mineral was first discovered and studied. Since then, the unique properties of the gem have been studied, which is why moonstones have become widespread throughout the world.

In this article, we have collected the most important of them, a detailed description of which will help to reliably get a detailed answer to the question "what is a moonstone?". You can also learn about the most popular jewelry with this amazing stone. Moreover, you will be provided with important information on how to care for them so that they remain with their primeval radiance.

If you are interested in this gem, you can visit our catalog. In it, you will find authentic exemplars of this stone, a detailed description, price, as well as photos and video materials that will help you get a complete impression of the purchase.

Physicochemical features of the moonstones

The moonstone adularia is a potassium aluminosilicate belonging to soda-lime feldspar. It is a transparent type of orthoclase. Most often, specimens of bluish and silvery-bluish color are used in jewelry, although purple, milky-white, and yellowish specimens are widespread in nature.

Physicochemical features of the moonstones

  • Color: colorless, yellow, light gray with a pale blue tint
  • Refraction: 1.520-1.537
  • Birefringence: 0.004-0.010
  • Dispersion: 0.12
  • Luster: Glass
  • Transparency: Translucent
  • Hardness: 6-6.5
  • Density: 2.56 - 2.62 g / cm³

The magnificent shine of feldspar has not yet been recreated in any artificial stone. Some varieties of chalcedony and quartz have similar optical effects, but despite this, they are just imitations and only mislead those who have never seen a real adularia. The unique iridescence in this mineral is due to its unique internal structure. Glitter creates a reflection of light from the inner structural layers. Thin layers of albite reflect an attractive blue color, while thicker layers of feldspar are white.

To get the most beautiful shine, silver or blue light, which seems to touch the surface barely and at the same time hides in the stone, its base must be parallel to the plane of alternating layers. Because of this, the gem is processed with a cabochon. Otherwise, the irisation can go unnoticed, which deprives the stone of all value. The most prized specimens with a strong blue glow, while without turbidity, inclusions and cracks, so are used for jewelry cutting. Also rare is rainbow moonstone iridescence, which exhibits other colors in the spectrum besides blue.

Moonstone jewelry

This crystal is not very hard but has been used in jewelry since ancient times. Necklaces, pendants, rings, earrings are made of it. In high jewelry, moonstone gets many prestigious incarnations and is also set in association with the ruby. It must be considered some care should be taken when wearing moonstone rings. They are not constantly worn to avoid mechanical damage.

This mineral was extremely popular about a hundred years ago, during the Art Nouveau era. It was used to decorate a huge amount of jewelry designed by the famous French goldsmith Rene Lalique and his contemporaries. This jewelry can be found in museums or private collections today.

Moonstone jewelry

Caring for jewelry with moonstones include the following rules:

  • Due to the increased sensitivity of the moonstone to pressure, it is advisable to remove jewelry with it before you start doing household chores or exercise.
  • The mineral should be stored separately from other jewelry, wrapped in a soft cloth in a lined box.
  • Since the mineral does not differ in increased hardness, mechanical cleaning methods are inapplicable to it - you can scratch the surface.
  • Ultrasonic cleaners are also banned. It cannot be cleaned with any detergent or chemicals.
  • It is better to make a soapy solution and clean the moonstone with a soft cloth, then rinse it thoroughly with warm water to remove the soapy residue.

We hope that our article was useful to you and that you received an answer to the question “What is a moonstone?“. We are sure that this stone will become the highlight of any collection of precious jewelry.


What is the symbolism of the moonstone?

Moonstones have long been revered and, at almost all times, have been associated in one way or another with good luck in love and relationships. However, it has always been the stone of a tender and reverent relationship, and it could curb and calm excessive passion.

Is moonstone a real gem?

Today, moonstone is considered a real gemstone, a member of the orthoclase feldspar family that also includes Labradorite and Sunstone, as well as Rainbow Moonstone and Amazonite.

Where does moonstone come from?

The richest and most famous moonstone mining site is located on the Indian island of Sri Lanka. It also includes such gem deposits as the USA, Brazil, Australia, Myanmar, and Madagascar.

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