Lovers Stone of Hidden Mystery - Moonstone

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A fascinating stone surrounded by a good deal of mystique and magic, the moonstone shares in the magical properties of its namesake, the moon.  Although it has been forgotten over the last century it is still one of the most seductive pieces ever created by nature. There are powerful folklores associated with moonstones, and virtually every culture in the world has a belief about the moonstone's unique healing capabilities.

The classical moonstones are from Sri Lanka - where moonstones were initially discovered - where the stone exhibits a pale blue shimmer on an almost transparent background. Moonstones from India display light and shadow effect on a background of beige-to-brown, green, orange or brown. With the combination of colour and shimmer, the moonstone is an ideal gemstone to set in a piece of jewelry.

About a hundred years ago - around the time of Art Nouveau & Victorian times - this gemstone was very popular. A famous master goldsmith by the name of Rene Lalique and his contemporaries made a large number of jewelry pieces, which are found in museums and collections today. It was also quite common as an engagement ring during Victorian times, due to the belief that moonstone could calm quarreling lovers or stir romance.

In many cultures such as 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, as they believe moonstones is a symbol of fertility.

It is believed that by wearing a moonstone, its soft shimmer would strengthen our emotional and subconscious aspects. This is why it is regarded as the "lover's stone"; as it evokes tender feelings and safeguarding the true joys of love. Some other characteristics that is believed to improve by wearing a moonstone is our intuition and our capacity to understand.

What causes the strange shimmer of light within the stone?

The shimmer of light of the moonstone is something very fascinating in the world of gemstones. Specialists refer to the phenomenon as 'adularisation'. This is caused by the lamellar inner construction of the gemstone. Incident light rays are refracted and scattered within the stone. In this way, a unique light effect is displayed, and it is this effect which makes the moonstone so distinctive and so desirable.

However, this beautiful gemstone does have one weak point, and that is its relatively low hardness of only 6 on the Mohs scale. For that reason, moonstones should be handled with care, for they are sensitive. Having said that, minor flaws such may occur when the stone has been worn for some time; These flaws are quite easy to fix. A jeweler can have a moonstone which has grown matt re-polished, after which it will shimmer again just as it did on the very first day.

What to look for when purchasing a moonstone?

When purchasing a moonstone you will come across the most astonishing price differences. The key characteristics that are considered to determine the value of a gemstone is the intensity in colour, the size and transparency of the moonstone. Really fine blue specimens display an incredible 'three-dimensional' depth of colour which the observer do not really come to recognize until the stone is moved about. Specimens of that caliber are highly esteemed on account of their rarity and their prices are correspondingly high. The colourful Indian moonstones, on the other hand, are not only very much in fashion; they are also somewhat reasonably priced than classical blue moonstones. This means that today, anyone can select the moonstone to suit his or her taste.

Moonstones are treasures of Nature with a sensual and seductive aura. Not only do they like to be looked at and admired; they also thrive on being worn and moved about a good deal, for only then can the soft shimmer of light which makes this gemstone so desirable really come into its own.