Happy third day of June!
Today we're talking about the last of the June birthstones: Moonstone.
Moonstone is one of my favorite stones (Do I say that too often? I can't help it!). Moonstone is considered a phenomenal gem- meaning one that has an extraordinary/unique optical quality. Moonstone has a milky blue sheen referred to in the trade as adularescence. When you rock the stone back and forth, the sheen moves throughout the stone and somewhat resembles the look of moonlight reflecting on the water.
Moonstone comes from a group of minerals called Feldspars. Feldspars are a silicate mineral that occurs often in many metamorphic and igneous rocks. Over 60% of the Earth's crust is made of feldspar. Other gems in this family include labradorite, sunstone, and amazonite.
Most moonstones come from Sri Lanka, although there are a handful of other sources out there.
Until the 16th century, it was widely believed that moonstone changed its appearance according to the phases of the moon. This notion was started by Roman natural historian, Pliny and is how moonstone got it's name.
Moonstone is used often in jewelry from India, where the stone is considered sacred and is believed to provide it's wearer with good fortune.
While top quality moonstones are not cheap, they are certainly reasonable! Especially when compared to a stone as rare as yesterdays focus: Alexandrite. Moonstones are much more abundant in nature and therefore affordable, so June babies on a budget will love this stone!
On the Mohs scale, Moonstone comes in at a 6-6.5 and has two cleavage directions, so some special care is required when wearing moonstone. A hard knock or hit can break or severely damage a moonstone. That being said, moonstones are more susceptible to being damaged when worn on our constantly moving extremities (arm, wrist, hand). Wearing the stones as a necklace or pair of earrings will keep the stones more protected.
I love working with moonstone in my jewelry. The subtlety of the blue sheen makes it pair beautifully with gold and with other gemstones.
That wraps up our series on June birthstones! I hope that all those born this month have a wonderful birthday. We certainly have some gorgeous and unique birthstones to chose from this month:)