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The Month of the Moonstone

Lyle Sopel -

Dear Collector Friend,

Of all the magnificent gemstones to date and many that display rare optical phenomena, the moontstone was a particular favourite of the Victorian and Art Nouveau jewellers, which experienced a comeback in the 1960’s.

Moonstones are beautiful gems that have a history of spirituality, the name alone suggests magic and exclusive connection to the moon. Mystics of the world used moonstone for meditation purposes. The shifting of the inner light made an excellent focus for the meditation process. Some believed the stone had a calming influence and could assist those wishing to enter a trance. This curious gem with it’s distinctive silver milk shimmer has been known for thousands of years, and has been cherished by many cultures.

The classical country of origin of the moonstone is Sri Lanka. Although this stone can also be found in other areas of the world such as Burma, Madagascar, Australia, Brazil, India  (and formerly in the St. Gotthard district of Switzerland to name a few. In India, rainbow moonstone is mined in the southwest and blue is mined at Bihar in the center of the country. Back in 1970, the year after American astronauts took off from Florida and landed on the moon, the state of Florida adopted the moonstone as the official state gemstone. Absurdly, moonstone is not mined at all in Florida and moonstone is not found anywhere on the moon.

 

All About MoonStone

“A billowy or floating blue light becomes visible when the stone is rotated in front of a light source. This effect, called “adularescence”, is caused by the intergrowth of another feldspar in oriented positions within the main mass of the moonstone.” Classical moonstones are always cut as cabochons, the most important thing being the correct height of the stone.

Moonstones come in two varieties: plagioclase feldspar (which contains calcium or sodium) and orthoclase feldspar (which contains potassium). This is what gives moonstone its mystical and eerie, celestial body glow – the interesting crystal formation within the stone.

Generally, the more transparent and colorless the body and more blue the adularescence, the higher the moonstone’s value. Large quantities of almost opaque material with various body colors, carved into simple “moon faces” and other figures, are available for next to nothing. Cabochons of translucent material, either white or with sought after body color and adularescence, are fairly common on the market and command a more modest prices. The more rare blue moonstones are almost never clean and stones over 2 carats can be over $100 per stone. The more intense the color, and the larger and more transparent the stone, the higher the price.

Overall the most valuable moonstones are the rainbow stones or those that are colorless and transparent but still keep a strong bluish sheen. Since bluish moonstones of  color and transparency continuously become more of a rarity, their prices have risen sharply in recent years. Basically the more transparent and the more blue the adularescence, the higher the value.

 

Although Moonstone is not as expensive as the traditional gemstones it maintains a quality of lure that no other gemstone possesses. Magicians would plan to use the stone according to the phases of the Moon. For spells of increase, they used it as the Moon waxed in the night. ( In the Northern Hemisphere, if the left side of the Moon is dark then the light part is growing, and the Moon is referred to as waxing (moving toward a full moon).

For spells of decrease, they waited until the moon waned at. (If the right side of the Moon is dark then the light part is shrinking, and the Moon is referred to as waning (past full and moving toward a new moon). If planted in a garden under the full moon, some believed moonstone would increase the garden’s yield and fertility. Some would place the stone outside to absorb the moon’s light and sleep with underneath the pillow to obtain dreams and activate the third eye.

According to Hindu legend, moonstone was formed from moonbeams. At one time it was believed that if you held one in your mouth during a full moon, you would see your future. In India, moonstone is still regarded as a sacred stone and is widely believed to bring good fortune.

These bewitching gems are opulent treasures of nature and the night have a soft sensual side to them. Not only are they meant to be admired they also thrive on being worn and the wearer of the moonstone receives great pleasure from bearing it on their flesh, whether you are looking to fulfill your dreams, meditate, or playfully cast spells look no further than the gemstone of the silver orb of the night and enjoy the journey it may take you on…

Tilmorrow,
Art, Nature, and Beauty Always,

LYLE

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