MOONSTONE- THE JUNE BIRTHSTONE
The month of June is crowned with not one, not two, but three distinctively wonderful gemstones. Along with Pearl and Alexandrite, Moonstone is the June birthstone that adds to the wonder!
This exquisite birthstone of the Geminis is also believed to be a healing gem and a piece to be added into one’s ravishing jewelry collection, as it captivates the eye by its playful lighting. Moonstone’s seemingly bland appearance is made spectacular with the presence of light and movement.
The stone is a prized possession because of its bewitching phenomenon called Sheen / adularescence. Or shall we say ‘the floating dance of light’? The moonstone sometimes shows the cat’s eye or a stirring asterism. The gem usually shows bluish-white streaks but when held against light it glows up, as though it has blended with pearl. On moving this beauty, the iridescence plays like the moonlight beneath a thin veil of clouds.
This matchless gem has an imposter! It’s called the Labradorite and it belongs to the same feldspar family as the Moonstone. Although they’re related, Labradorite isn’t a true Moonstone. In fact, it is referred to as ‘The Rainbow Moonstone’.
That’s not all. You can be deceived by Opalite- which is a man-made simulated stone made of glass. It carries fancy names like Opalite Moonstone and Opalite Crystal, when it’s neither moonstone nor crystal. Be careful and aware, so that you’re not bamboozled by sellers when you go hunting for the desired Moonstone.
This June birthstone is dubbed as the traveler’s stone and they say that it helps predict the future when put in the mouth during a full moon. In olden days, this stone was supposedly believed to arouse tender passion among lovers and give them the power to read their future.
Formation and chemical composition:
The Moonstone is made up of Albite and OrthoclaseAnd both of these elements belong to the feldspar mineral category. Moonstone is mainly a variety of Orthoclase feldspar. Among this feldspar family, Moonstone is considered as the most valuable member in existence today.
The June birthstone, Moonstone, is distinguished from other similar stones by the presence of adularescence which causes the unearthly glow in the stone by scattering light.
Chemical Composition is potassium aluminium silicate
The Hindu Mythology holds a belief that moonstone is made up of solidified moonbeams. Similarly, many other cultures associate this gem with Moonlight. And we know why. The visual effect is reminiscent of the full moon, shining through a veil of clouds.
This gemstone of the Geminis is highly valued by monks, shamans, spiritualists and devotees from various religions. Apart from religious beliefs, this stone possesses some health benefits too.
Moonstone is known to have properties that cleanse the digestive system, renews blood cells and calms emotions. It is also believed that the stone brings prosperity, amplifies passion, and balances the negative and positive sides of the mind.
Where on earth are these beauties found?
This gemstone is found in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Madagascar, Brazil, Australia and India. Coloured moonstones only come from India and the other sources yield white moonstone. In India, rainbow moonstone is mined in the southwest and blue is mined at Bihar in the center of the country.
|Hardness||6 – 6.5|
|Specific Gravity||2.520-2.750 Range:+/-0.05 Typical:2.690|
|Cleavage||Perfect, in two directions|
|Transparency||Transparent – Translucent|
|Polariscope Reaction||Doubly Refractive (DR)|
Valuation and Price:
Moonstone is prized for the optical phenomenon that creates the appearance of billowy clouds of blue to white light with a moonlight sheen called adularescence.
The moonstone value is higher when the transparency of the stone is greater, the body colorless and stronger adularescence.
Large quantities of near opaque material with various body colors, carved into simple ‘moon faces’ and other figures, are available for pennies. Cabochons of translucent material, either white or with pleasing body color and adularescence, are fairly common on the market and command relatively modest prices.
The clarity of the stone determines its worth. Clearer the stone, the more valuable it is. Moonstones that are clear and free of inclusions such as centipedes or unappealing greenish tints command the highest prices.
This June Birthstone can be color-enhanced. This is where a natural moonstone is treated to display a more appealing color. But this isn’t a worrisome deal. It’s an industry standard. However, the retailer you’re purchasing from should be honest enough to inform you about the treatments that have been performed. And ensure that you’re not fooled by any imitation stone.
The moonstone is a relatively soft stone (6 – 6.5 Mohs). This means that it is prone to losing its smooth polish due to surface scratches. Substances with a higher hardness ranking, such as diamonds, can scratch and damage a moonstone. Always store your moonstone jewelry separately, in a jewelry box or a fabric pouch.
Avoid using ultrasonic cleaners or steam cleaners when cleaning moonstone jewelry. A mild, non-abrasive soap and warm water can do the magic for you. Put a few drops of dish washing liquid in water and soak the jewelry for 2 to 3 minutes. Gently wipe it with a wet cloth or use a soft brush. Ensure that you rinse the piece thoroughly and dry it carefully before you store it away.
Also, avoid exposing moonstone jewelry pieces to excessive heat.
If you’re looking for a perfect gemstone to surprise a Gemini with, moonstone is a beautiful option to consider!