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Encyclopaedia of stones

Moonstone

Moonstone or hecatolite, is world famous in the world of Gemology. It was recently identified (Jean Claude Delamétherie, 1801) but recognized as magical and precious, sought for ornament and adornment, for millennia. Moonstone is the birthstone of June. It is cut in cabochons. To obtain the most beautiful shine, the silvery or bluish glow seeming to touch the surface at the same time as it seems to be hidden in the stone, its base must be parallel to the planes of alternating layers, otherwise the reflection may go unnoticed what takes away any value from the gem. In jewellery, it is also associated with rubies. See all jewels with moonstone...

Colors
White, colourless, blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, pink, purple, grey

Family
Feldspar group

Origin

The exploited deposits are mainly in India and Sri Lanka, but they are also found in the United States, Madagascar, Burma, Australia and Brazil, as well as in Tanzania.

Virtues

Moon stone has been associated in all cultures with the feminine principle, called Yin in Chinese medicine, as the Moon is the female star, while the Sun symbolizes the male principle. It represents the light that reassures in the darkness.
In lithotherapy, it would have healing properties against female disorders (inconvenience of menopause, infertility, menstrual pain ...). It would promote eroticism and marital happiness. It would increase intuition, essentially feminine quality, as well as softness and tenderness, and develop tolerance. It would promote the full development of maternal love and soften the temperament of people a little too severe ...
The Moon Stone would bring happiness and reduce the risk of accident. It would be for that the asset of the travelers.

Specifications

The name moonstone is used as a trade name, to designate a mineral from the group of silicates and the family of feldspars. It comes in crystals, pieces or aggregates grained, mostly coarse. Its luminescence is variable according to the colour (bluish or orange) but remains weak. It sometimes presents effects of adularescence (phenomenon of refraction of the light which creates nice reflections) and sometimes of asterism (reflections in star): they are due to the internal structure in superposed lamellae of this mineral.
Moonstone is usually colourless, but it can be white or have bluish shades. It is characterized by the famous reflection of a silvery blue, which gives the impression of sliding on the surface of the stone according to the movements that are printed to it. It is this optical phenomenon that is called adularescence. Beware, the gemstone called "Rainbow Moon Stone" is actually a variety of labradorite, another mineral. The Royal Blue Moon Stone has a beautiful transparency and bright blue reflections. The variety of Sri Lanka is pale blue, that of India shows a cloudy texture on a beige-brown to orange background.
Moonstone is formed in plutonic and alkaline rocks, particularly in granitic pegmatites, as well as in metamorphic rocks, and sometimes in hydrothermal veins.

History

The Moonstone, so named because of its colour, a milky white dyed blue, like the nocturnal star, is sometimes called hecatolite: it refers to the Greek goddess Hecate, one of the three lunar goddesses. His companions are Artemis and Selene: the latter gave the name to another rock, selenite, which is a variety of translucent gypsum colorless to whitish. The Sanskrit name of Moon Stone, "chandrakant", means "loved by the moon" ...
In the Middle East, women wore moonstone to increase their fertility. In the West, in the Middle Ages, some thought that couples of lovers could have a vision of their future if they placed a moonstone in their mouth ...
The Moon stones that adorn the threshold of Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka have nothing to do with our mineral, contrary to what we can sometimes read: they are carved friezes arranged in semicircles which symbolize the gradual access to knowledge and nirvana.
A legend tells that Pope Leo X had a Moon Stone that changed colour, going from white to blue following the phases of the Moon!
Moonstone was often used at the time of the emergence of Art Nouveau, for decorative objects, including Lalique, which still makes jewellery with this gem.
See all jewels with moonstone
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