The moonstone is characterised by an enchanting play of light. Indeed it owes its name to that mysterious shimmer which always looks different when the stone is moved. In earlier times, people believed they could recognise in it the crescent and waning phases of the moon. The moonstone is a feldspar variety known as 'adularia', a potassium aluminosilicate of gemstone quality.
In their uncut state moonstones are rather unprepossessing and afford little idea of what it is that actually constitutes their charm, that mysterious shimmer of light. The shimmer is not really shown to advantage until the art of the cutter has been brought to bear. Classical moonstones are always cut as cabochons.
Traditionally, the classical moonstones, almost transparent and with their bluish shimmer, come from Sri Lanka. However, they are also found in the USA, Brazil, Australia, Myanmar and Madagascar. As well as the classical moonstone mentioned Moonstone also occurs in delicate shades of peach, blue, gray, white and a prismatic variety known as Rainbow Moonstone.
Moonstone is surrounded by a good deal of mystique and magic. In many cultures, for example in India, it is regarded as a holy, magical gemstone. In India, moonstones are also regarded as 'dream stones' which bring the wearer beautiful visions at night. In Arabic countries, women often wear moonstones sewn out of sight into their garments, for in their cultures the moonstone is a symbol of fertility.
Pictured above is my Byz Cross Chainmaille Bracelet with Moonstone featuring a moonstone clasp. Below are some more examples of moonstone jewellery from members of the Jewelry on Etsy team.