Moonstone Gemstone Guide
An Introduction to Moonstone
Moonstone is a gemstone made up of sodium potassium aluminum silicate. It is a variety of the orthoclase feldspar group. Feldspar is a mineral from the crust of the earth. The glowing appearance and the presence of adularescence are what make it so unique compared to other gemstones.
Adularescence is an optical phenomenon where lights appear to pass through the gemstone, giving it a unique glow and color-changing effect. In the moonstone, the colors appear to change from white to pale blue sheen when they are cut as cabochons. The higher domes of the cabochons ensure that all the attention is on the presence of the adularescence in the moonstone.
Durability of Moonstone
Moonstones are not a very durable gem. They are rated a 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness. While they aren't the weakest gemstone available, moonstone is less durable than sapphire or a diamond. This makes it more prone to cracking, scratches, and fractures if not treated with proper care. Due to this, if you are an active person or do a lot of rough work during the day, the moonstone should not be worn on a ring or a bracelet. A pendant or earrings would be the safest option to wear the moonstone gem.
Moonstone is a birthstone gem. If you were born in June, you are fortunate enough to have three different birthstones to choose from. Pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone. When it comes to birthstone jewelry, moonstone is very popular. Due to its unique properties and reputation as a modern pearl, it can be very expensive depending on its overall quality. However, moonstone can also be quite affordable and you will often find it on birthstone-themed rings and pendants.
When it comes to the value of moonstone, the strength and the color of the moonstone's sheen is the most important factor. If you are looking for the most valuable moonstone, look for one that is colorless with a blue sheen. You can get moonstones in different colors such as green, orange, brown, and gray with blue, white, or rainbow adularescence, but the colorless ones are the most valuable.
Clarity can also be an important aspect of the value. You want your moonstone to be free of inclusions. The slightly transparent ones are the best. This transparency helps the adularescence reach its full potential. It is also important to remember that any inclusions are a good indication that the stone is natural and not man-made.
As long as the inclusions aren’t interfering with the adularescence, it shouldn’t bring down the value too much. Moonstones, like other natural gems, have a lot of history that can sometimes make the value of the stone higher. Due to this, some buyers prefer a stone with inclusions because of the energy and history it contains.
In general, moonstones are cut into a cabochon which is a smooth dome shape. This is because it can accentuate the adularescence. The cuts may be oval, round, square, or shaped like a loaf. Cabochons can also be carved into highly detailed designs. The cabochon is without a doubt the most popular cut of moonstone and it can be kind of difficult to find in other cuts. However, other cuts are gaining popularity and with some determination, it is possible to find them.
Value of Moonstone
Moonstone pricing is pretty basic. The bigger the carat, the higher the value. Common carats of moonstone are typically 1-5. However, in 1918 in Kilimanjaro, a moonstone weighing 300-450 carats was found. You can still find moonstones that are up to 20 carats but it is quite rare and they will cost a lot of money. Moonstones are graded the same way as other gemstones, but there are also 3 types to look out for which can affect value. These three types are transparent, translucent, and opaque, with transparent being the most valuable
If you are looking for a moonstone, you are in luck. It can be found all over the world in a variety of different locations. It has been found in the United States, in New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia. However, the most common location to find moonstones is India and Sri Lanka. This is where you will find the highest quality gemstones. Other locations include Madagascar, Tanzania and Myanmar.
Moonstone Buying Guide
Moonstones are not as expensive as a diamond, so they don’t always come with certification. However, you can get certification for your moonstone if you want it. If you are looking for a moonstone and want to confirm if it is natural or not, you don’t have to worry. Lab-grown moonstones have not yet entered the market. Moonstone has been copied and there have been attempts to make it, but these substitutes don’t look good - they are inferior in color and sheen.
Moonstones are known for their adularescence, it is what makes them what they are. If your moonstone doesn’t have a blue hue or glow that is somewhat cloudy or milky, it is probably a fake. To inspect the moonstone, place it under a bright light. If it starts to glow blue or white, it is most likely genuine.
Moonstones, like rose quartz, don’t undergo any treatments to improve their quality and color. The colors are 100% natural as long as the moonstone itself is natural. There are no standard grading systems in place, so when buying a moonstone, it comes down to a few things. Start with your budget. You don’t want to break the bank on a moonstone, so consider your budget and go from there.
Once you have a price point in mind, select the clarity. Do you want a transparent moonstone with intense adularescence or an opaque gemstone? This will greatly affect the price as well. Next is the size and shape. Do you want something large, or something subtle? In earrings, you are slightly limited by size, so if you want something larger try a pendant.
Last but not least, find a reputable dealer. Whether you are shopping online or in person, make sure that the dealer has a good return policy and even better reviews. Inspect the gemstone before buying it or immediately after receiving it if purchased online and go from there. You can always take it to a professional to get their opinion on the quality of the moonstone if you are feeling unsure.
What causes adularescence in moonstones?
There are thin layers in a moonstone called exsolution lamellae. When light falls and passes between these layers, it scatters throughout the stone creating a blue glow. This is what causes adularescence.
Are moonstone and labradorite the same?
Moonstone and labradorite stones are not the same. They may look the same, and may even be considered sister stones, but they are quite different. They are both considered a variety of feldspar but labradorite is plagioclase feldspar and moonstone is orthoclase feldspar.
Can you wear moonstones every day?
You can wear a moonstone every day if you want to. However, it is not a very durable stone and should only be worn daily in areas where it won’t get damaged, such as earrings or pendants.
Which metal best suits the moonstone?
The metal which best suits the moonstone is sterling silver or white gold. The shiny metallic white of these metals pairs beautifully with the blue and white hues of the moonstone.