News

Romantic Moonstone

Originally posted on June 15th, 2017

Updated on April 13th, 2020

June has phenomenal gemstones, and I am speaking in the literal sense. Some gemstones display phenomena, where the gem has a unique visual quality besides color. Pearls have the phenomenons iridescence and orient, which are responsible for their gorgeous color and shimmer. Alexandrite can change colors under different types of light. I'll talk more about that next week. And moonstone is the only mineral that displays a phenomenon called adularescence.


Adularescence is the light that is responsible for moonstone's ethereal glow. Move it in any direction, and moonstone will display that reputable billowy light. Moonstone's adularescence occurs when light scatters between multiple layers of feldspar and albite in the crystal structure. The most exquisite moonstone is colorless with blue adularescence, like these stones from the Smithsonian. Aren't they gorgeous?

 

Moonstone is different from rainbow moonstone because they're two different types of feldspar. Rainbow moonstone is technically labradorite feldspar, while our article topic is orthoclase feldspar.



Orthoclase feldspar and labradorite feldspar have two different types of phenomena. Moonstone has adularescence, which gets its name for Mt. Adularia in Switzerland, that's one of the first moonstone deposits. Labradorite feldspar has labradorescence. When you move the stone in the right light at the right angle, it displays flashes of brilliant blue and green colors, beautiful and ethereal labradorescence.



Rainbow moonstone labradorite feldspar is different from the labradorite picture above. Unlike labradorite, rainbow moonstone has multicolored adularescence. And to be honest, calling the gem rainbow moonstone is a lot easier to say and remember than rainbow moonstone labradorite feldspar.

The most beautiful moonstones are in Sri Lanka, and commercial grade moonstones are in Myanmar and India. Labradorite feldspar originates in the Labrador Canada, where the name originated, and rainbow moonstone comes from Madagascar.



Moonstone is one of my favorite gemstones, and I can go on and on about how wonderful it is. What is not to love about moonstone? Hindu culture believes that moonstones are moonbeams that solidified, and there are stories about how moonstone can keep you safe on journeys, hence the title of "The Traveller's Stone."

But alas, for now, I have to conclude on moonstones and focus on next week's article. We will dive into the glories and charms of alexandrite, which will be just as delightful as moonstone's qualities. I look forward to seeing all of you again here at Moijey.