Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Moonstone is the Gemstone of the Week

Moonstone, the gemstone of the week, is also the European birthstone for June.  This mysterious beauty has been used for jewelry since before AD 100. The ancient Romans believed that is was created from the solidified rays of the Moon. It is considered to be the second birthstone for the month of June. During the Art Nouveau period, this was a very popular gemstone. Famous jewelry houses such as Cartier's and Tiffnay used it in a lot of their pieces.
Moonstone is a member of the feldspar family, and is a potassium aluminum silicate. It is an opalescent stone and, like Labradorite, has flashes of color called schiller. In Moonstone, schiller is more often called adularescence-a billowy, floating color effect. It comes from the word “adularia” which was the first name for this gemstone. It was called after the first place moonstone was found, Mt. Adular, in Switzerland. Adularescence is created when light falls between two layers of feldspar that have intermixed, causing the light to scatter, producing the schiller effect.
On the Moh scale, Moonstone is a 6-6.5. The colors can range from blue, peach, green, pink, yellow, brown or gray, all with a silvery sheen. Rainbow Moonstone is a milky white with a rainbow sheen. The most valuable moonstone is one that has a colorless, transparent to semi-transparent appearance with a vivid blue adularescence. Ideally, the sheen should be centered to the top of the gemstone. Moonstone is found in Brazil, Madagascar, Europe, Myanmar, Tanzania, and in the U.S. in Pennsylvania and Virgina. The highest quality gemstones come from Sri Lanka. They are most often cut in cabochons to best display their adularescence.
Moonstone is believed to refresh memory, soothe and balance emotions and act as a digestive aid. It is also believed to heal strife between lovers and awaken passion.

Here are some of the moonstones I have.
Rainbow briolettes, rainbow faceted beads, peach, rainbow, white and gray and faceted peach beads.

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