A Brief Look at Moonstones

A Brief Look at Moonstones

Written by Gemma Hill on 17 August 2013

Moonstone otherwise known as an opalescent type of orthoclase, can have either a white or blue sheen to it and this is known as Schiller. This sheen results from the reflection of light inside the structure of the moonstone. Its composition is made up from albite, orthoclase and feldspar. If the moonstone has a blue colour to it they will be thin albite layers, if the colour is white then this is caused by thicker layers of orthoclase. It isn’t that hard, it has a hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale and as such, care should be taken if you choose to have a moonstone in your ring. When cleaning, moonstones should not go near ultrasonic or steam cleaners as this would not be good for the stone and potentially ruin the lovely sheen your stone has.

Moonstones can look beautiful and the most common cut for this lovely stone is a cabochon especially when used in an engagement ring where that particular cut brings the best out of the stone and produces a lovely sheen to it. This moonstone engagement ring here designed by Laurie McGrath (feature photo with this article) focuses on a beautiful cabochon cut moonstone in the centre of the design creating a lovely subtle effect with diamonds set around emphasising the moonstones beauty.

In other jewellery such as our beaded purple label ranges we use moonstone but it does look slightly different as it is cut into beads for this use. Moonstone suit being used in necklaces as the beads are not so susceptible to being knocked or scratched when sitting around the neck but we have made many rings using moonstone. Moonstones can be quite brittle if hit in the wrong way as they have something called perfect cleavage. This means that moonstones have parallel cracks caused by strain or pressure within them which makes them brittle.

Moonstones in the past were thought to be a good luck stone, a gift between lovers and an arouser of passions.

Moonstones are found in lots of countries and the best stones are found from Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Other countries include India, Madagascar, USA, Mexico and Tanzania. They come in a few different colours and these include pink, green, white, blue and rainbow with the most valuable being colourless, transparent and have a lovely clear strong blue sheen to them.