February 02, 2019
You can’t take your eyes off that ring on your finger, the color, the luster, the flashing inner beauty of this stone draws you in, slight movement in the light makes the gemstone come alive. Her secret comes out of hiding, delicately, as the first rays of light hit her smooth, sinewy surface in a glimmer of etherial blue. Flooded with light, this beauty illuminates from within, making magic with her dancing glow.
Imagine the swirling and twirling of a flowing dress made of fine blue satin chiffon as a woman dances elegantly, with long graceful movements, or the light of the full moon as it casts its divine night’s light onto the quiet ocean at midnight, a satin sheet thrown up in the air that seems to float onto a plush fairytale bed in slow motion. How would you describe the shimmering effect of the magical moonstone?
Moonstone is a mysterious and seductive gem, possessing feminine qualities and being thought to connect the wearer to the powers of the moon. This powerful mineral (a variety of feldspar) is a very personal and reflective stone which is often used in meditation. It is said to promote calm, balance and serenity while also enhancing “feminine energies” such as intuition, creativity and inspiration.
In history, moonstone gems were thought to have been solidified moonbeams that had fallen down to the earth and were used in a lot of antique and vintage jewelry designs. For centuries, people have been drawn to, and mesmerized by, moonstone for its unique and mysterious visual properties.
Moonstone is literally a phenomenal gemstone! The term “phenomenal” in gemstones refers to a stone that reacts to different light conditions. The same light effects that make the sky blue also makes moonstone phenomenal! Looking like a luminous layer of billowing, blue silk that dances just beneath the surface of moonstone when turned in the light, this effect is called adularescence.
An orthoclase feldspar, with most high quality gems coming from India and Sri Lanka, moonstone occurs naturally in several colors including white, grey and pink. Rainbow moonstone, one of the most popular and recognized varieties, is actually not moonstone at all! Rainbow moonstone is actually white labradorite, another feldspar and close relative to moonstone. Labradorite (including rainbow moonstone) exhibits a lustrous, dancing phenomena of color sheen similar to that seen in moonstone, but appropriately called, “labradorescence”.
Moonstone is most often seen cut as a cabochon - which is a smoothly polished, domed gemstone cut, these can be any shape, such as oval, round, pear or square, but are identified by the dome and usually the absence of facets (cuts). The cabochon cut allows the gemstone’s flash to be best displayed. Some moonstones are faceted, or cut like a traditional round brilliant diamond, or other faceted shapes and moonstones can also be found in gemstone beads and briolettes.
Moonstone Cabochon Photo via the Gemological Institute of America
Moonstone is not a soft gemstone, but it does require a bit of extra care, as with any gemstone, a little care goes a long way! It is not recommended to wear moonstone everyday, or at least not around the clock, 24 hours a day. A 6 on the gemstone and mineral hardness scale, this gem can acquire surface abrasions over time if worn constantly, but can be re-polished by a lapidary (gem cutter) if needed. Special gems deserve special treatment! Moonstone rings should not be worn for household tasks and jobs that are very “hands on”. Certain chemicals and an accidental whack to your stone can cause damage, some that cannot be undone. Take care of your beautiful moonstone gifts and they will share their beauty with you for years to come!
I fell in love with moonstone myself about 15 years ago, when I was traveling and the most beautiful moonstone ring I had ever seen caught my eye in a jewelry store. This designer specialized in high quality jewelry with fabulous gemstones, many of which were not commonly seen. I was immediately in my element. The ring was platinum and 22kt gold, the elongated oval moonstone cabochon was close to one inch long, in its perfect, smooth, heavy bezel setting. This fabulous stone was crystal clear and the blue silk that danced over this perfect gem was absolutely what dreams are made of. I could not put this ring down, I felt the weight of it on my finger, and stared deep into this magical moonstone, moving it side to side to admire the perfect shimmer of this gem. Even though I was designing jewelry at that time, I was tempted to purchase this ring, which was certainly an investment piece.
I still wear a moonstone ring almost daily, and I own many pieces of this fabulous, magical mineral. When I design moonstone pieces, I hand select each moonstone I use for fabulous quality and color flash. I want everyone who wears a piece of my moonstone jewelry to enjoy it just as much as I enjoyed trying on that ring I saw over 15 year ago, a ring I still think of from time to time. I still admire my moonstone pieces with just as much wonder and excitement - and I hope when you wear your FantaSea moonstones you feel the same way!
Do you have a question about moonstone, or any other gemstone used in our jewelry? Send me an email and I will be happy to answer them for you!
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"When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance!"
Small Business Saturday gives me the opportunity to look back on the year, and this has been a big year for my business! Moving into a new, larger space and expanding my offerings from jewelry to art has been a wonderful evolution. I can't wait to see what the next year has in store!