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Moonstone As A Gemstone

Aug 18, 2007
Moonstone is actually a variety of oligoclase crystal and is a member of feldspar family of minerals. Some folks also refer to oligoclase as sunstone and can be found in colors ranging from yellow to orange. Moonstones are commonly found in several colors including green and pale yellow or blue and often translucent or colorless with a noticeable blue or white shimmer. This is a relative soft stone and can be easily scratched if the wearer is not careful. Cleaning usually requires no more than mild soap and water. Avoid the use of harsh cleaners and abrasives so as not to score the surface of the stone. Synthetic stones are available on the market and care should be taken when looking for genuine oligoclase. Genuine high quality moonstone is not commonly used as costume jewelry.


This stone can be found in such diverse areas of the world as the United States, principally in Virginia, Brazil, Europe, India and Mexico and even the Alps in Europe. The stones of the highest quality are thought to come from the island nation of Sri Lanka. The use of moonstone as a gemstone dates back to the Roman Empire. More recently, the stone was very popular in at the turn of the twentieth century and became a prominent part of the Art Nouveau movement. The stone has been growing in popularity in North America and has been a gemstone favorite in Europe for much longer time.

Birthstone Information

Moonstone is one of two stones recognized as birthstones for the month of June, the other being alexandrite. Though not technically a gemstone, pearl also represents the month of June. Moonstone is associated with the astrological birth sign of Cancer.

New Age Beliefs and Powers Through The Ages

The moonstone is considered by many to be a lovers stone with the ability to inspire great feelings if passion and commitment. In certain cultures such as in India, the stone is regarded as blessed or holy and is thought to bring good fortune to the wearer. In some cultures the stone was thought to make the wearer invisible and is now believed by some in the New Age community to impart a level of spiritual permanence or even immortality to the wearer. Small children and infants are thought to be granted certain protections by owning the stone.

Artificial Forms of Enhancement

There are no known treatment methods used to enhance the color or appearance of this stone.


Moonstone is typically can be found in color can range from white or translucent, to light pink, blue and gray. Green shades of the stone can also be found but are not as common as other colors.

The color of oligoclase ranges from green, gray, yellow, red, and is also found in a colorless state.

General Scientific Information

The chemical name Na(90-70%) Ca(10-30%) (Al, Si)AlSi2 O8 known as sodium calcium aluminum silicate

Hardness measures 6.0 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale - the Mohs scale measures the hardness of metals, minerals, gemstones and crystals on a scale of 1 to 10. For example the hardness properties of most quartz crystals fall around 7 on the scale, as does steel and titanium. Diamond is the hardest known substance on the Mohs scale coming in at a hard 10. To most consumers hardness generally reflects the stones able to resist scratches and cracks.

The cleavage of moonstone (oligoclase) is perfect.
The index of refraction ranges from 1.53 to 1.54 and generally indicates the purity of the stone.
The specific gravity ranges between 2.64 - 2.68.
The crystalline system is triclinic.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer for the popular jewelry site: JewelrySalesandService.com. Provides information on jewelry, rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and watches. His website, www.JewelrySalesandService.com also has information on diamonds, birthstones, gemstones, pearls, gold, sterling silver, and platinum.
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