(Last Updated on : 28/12/2012)
Moonstone owes its name to the white, almost magical shimmer that resembles moonshine. Blue-whitish light glides over the surface when the stone is cut cabochon. Incoming rays of light are refracted inside the stone and scattered. Thus, it is creating a unique play of light, which makes Moonstone so special and coveted. Moonstone is the most well known potassium feldspar of the orthoclase species. A combination of orthoclase and albite arranged in layers cause the lovely sheen. Moonstone is fairly soft. Its refractive index is 6-6.5 in Mohs scale and also it is sensitive to pressure.
Peace and tranquillity is associated with the moonstone along with the romanticism of night. This attractive and calm looking stone is said to have astrological properties of a pearl. The name moonstone or selenite was due to its electric blue transparent colour. It can also be the cause for the folklore attached to it, which goes that phases of moon's transition can be seen on this stone. The reflection of colour and light from three dimensions is a feature of a moonstone. The valuation depends on this property and the depth of the stone. Other than blue there are green, grey, peach and rainbow coloured moonstones. Before the moonstone is cut it lacked all shine and shimmer which is the main characteristics of the gemstone.
Rainbow Moonstone The clarity of Moonstone ranges from transparent to translucent. The best moonstone has a blue sheen, perfect clarity, and a colourless body colour. Blue Moonstones in fine qualities are becoming increasingly short in supply and push up the prices accordingly. Really top quality fine blue Moonstone show an incredible 'three-dimensional' depth of colour, which one will see clearly only when playfully tilting the stone and moving it. Moonstone along with alexandrite and pearls are birthstones of Gemini. The timeframe ranges from May 21 to June 21. Moonstone is the 13th anniversary stone.
Fine moonstone is quite rare and becoming rarer. It is mined in Sri Lanka and Southern India. The rainbow variety can be found in India and Madagascar as well. Moonstones are usually cut in a smooth-domed oval cabochon shape to maximize the effect. Sometimes they are carved to show a man-in-the-moon face. Moonstone has a hardness of 6 to 6.5. It should not be stored in contact with other gemstones to prevent scratching. The stone should be cleaned with mild dish soap. Also a toothbrush can be used to scrub behind the stone where dust usually is collected.
Moonstone is not excessively expensive and being moderately rare is a good investment. The finest stones are those of a slightly bluish tint, reminiscent of the colour of the moon planet. In India, it is regarded as a holy, magical gemstone.
Moonstone can be easily scratched. These should be stored carefully and should never allow touching two specimens together. Moonstone was very popular with the Romans, who thought it was formed out of moonlight, also used in Roman jewellery since 100 AD. In India moonstone is considered a sacred stone to this day. The moonstones that have a rainbow-like array of colours are the best to buy. The best moonstone is the one that has a blue sheen, perfect clarity, and a colourless body colour. Moonstone aligns vertebrae. It is a good digestive aid.