Sri Lankan Moonstone
Sri Lankan moonstone is a luminous delight! Possessing an enigmatic sheen that shifts and shimmers across the stone's surface, few gemstones match the romance and mystique of moonstone.
What is Moonstone?
Moonstone is a gem that derives from the feldspar group. It is a variety of orthoclase, and most famous for its adularescence effect. Alternating feldspar layers build up within the stone during formation, which allows light to glide across the layers of the gem, producing this signature effect. It is usually of a blue, silver, or white color.
Moonstone Body Color
While the adularescence effect displays one color, the body color of moonstone can appear in a sizeable variety. Specimens of this gem have been found in blue, gray, green, orange, pink, and white, to name the most common. Historically, the most desired moonstones were nearly colorless, with a blue adularescence. In modern times, the variety of available colors has risen in popularity, making any prospective buyer spoiled for choice with this gem.
Sri Lankan Rainbow Moonstone
Sri Lankan rainbow moonstone, with its pale blue sheen and near-transparent body, is very desirable. It features a rainbow-like iridescence and can be cut into a faceted gemstone as well as a cabochon. Its quality appearance and versatility make this a highly collectible exotic gemstone.
Sri Lankan Orange Moonstone
Orange moonstone is a rare variety of moonstone that only comes from Sri Lanka. Featuring a peachy body color, the gem typically features white adularescence. Orange moonstone jewelry is so unique that Shop LC can only offer very limited quantities or one-of-a-kind pieces.
Sri Lankan Pink Moonstone
Ravishing pink moonstone is another unusual variety found only in Sri Lanka. Pink moonstone's rosy body color makes it an attractive alternative for anyone who prefers softer colors, while still wanting to own a phenomenal gemstone.
Sri Lankan Titanium Moonstone
Titanium moonstones are a rare variety of moonstone that possesses silver or metallic coloring. These gems are only found only in Sri Lanka and make up a small amount of the total supply. Due to this, titanium moonstone and the other color varieties are not often found, leading to short product runs and limited supplies.
Moonstone Quality Factors
The best examples of moonstone are free from inclusions that will devalue the gem. Most frequently, tension fractures are found within this gemstone, caused during its formation. These are referred to as centipedes, as their characteristic shape resembles the arthropod. Occasionally, moonstones are also found that display instances of chatoyancy, the cat's eye effect, or asterism, the star effect. Moonstone stars typically possess four rays.
Moonstone in Jewelry
Moonstone gems are most commonly formed into oval-shaped cabochons, as this shape best reflects the qualities of the stone. They are also frequently formed into beads. Rarely are moonstones faceted. It's also possible to find moonstone carved into shapes such as cameos.
Despite a tendency to cleave, or break apart when struck, it's easy to find moonstone incorporated into jewelry such as ring and bracelets. In fact, moonstone is available in all popular jewelry types. With the stone's delicate nature, it's advised to handful moonstone jewelry carefully to avoid scratching or otherwise damaging the stone.
Moonstone is also considered the traditional gift for the 13th wedding anniversary, making moonstone jewelry an ideal option!
Moonstone as a Birthstone
• Moonstone is one of the modern birthstones for June, alongside pearl and alexandrite. Before the modernization of the birthstone list used today, moonstone was also considered to be a traditional birthstone for August.
Moonstone in Ancient Cultures
• Many cultures, such as the Romans, Greeks, and Indian, associated this gem with moonlight.
• Romans held the belief that moonstone represented rays of moonlight that become frozen. It was associated with their goddess, Luna. As a result, the stone became related to Luna's domains of romance, intuition, dreams and emotions.
• The Ancient Greek goddess Hecate possessed a strong association with the moon, and moonstone is sometimes known as hecatolite for this reason.
• Hindu mythology also suggested that this gem was formed of moonlight. Stories indicate that your future would be revealed by placing a moonstone in your mouth while standing in the light a full moon. The Indian word for moonstone is chandrakanta, meaning 'beloved by the moon.'
Art Nouveau Design
• The Art Nouveau movement occurred during the late 19th through early 20th century. Embracing curved lines, organic forms, and softness, it's no surprise to see that moonstone's mysterious soft glow found a home here. Moonstone was a favorite gem for design during the Art Noveau movement, with designers like Rene Lalique incorporating the gem into their jewelry pieces.
The Origin of Adularescence
• Moonstone was once known as adularia. The word is derived from Mt. Adular, a Swiss city where this stone was once mined. This is also the root of the word adularescence.
Moonstone as a State Gem
• Moonstone is the state gem of Florida, chosen after the Moon landings to commemorate the contributions made to the space program. Moonstone became Florida's state gem in 1970.
Location: Sri Lanka
Premium moonstone continues to be sourced from Sri Lanka. Shop LC's selection of moonstone comes from the famous Sri Lankan city of Meetiyagoda. Villagers believe that the acre of land where moonstone is mined is blessed by the moon.
Sri Lankan Moonstone Mining Process
Moonstone is mined through a very laborious, traditional method. Open-cast pits are dug straight into the Earth. Using hand tools, miners burrow directly downward. Occasionally, tunnels are dug horizontally for short distances to follow seams of material. Also, water pumps are sometimes employed to keep mines dry as they approach the water level.
Pulleys are used to haul soil to the surface. From there, time-consuming panning is employed. Panning introduces water into a shallow bowl, where the lighter soil washes away, leaving behind the rough material.
The rough is then collected, where it is shaped by grinding the gemstone into whatever finished product is desired!
• Ranks 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.
• Classic moonstone is preferred to be near colorless, with blue adularescence.
• Modern moonstone is available in a variety of colors.
• Sourced from Meetiyagoda, Sri Lanka.
• Moonstone is a natural gem with no additional treatments.