Those born in June have three birthstones to choose from – pearls, alexandrites and moonstones. I am going to talk about moonstones, a favourite gemstone of mine, in this post.
It’s winter in Melbourne and we start to get a lot of overcast days, sometimes with drizzle and a little bit of mist around. Looking at the sky, it’s often a light grey and the sun can start to show through the clouds as they clear. It reminds me of moonstones which can appear to be very light grey translucent, sometimes transparent, stones. There are some lovely darker grey moonstones as well. When you move the stone, it shows an opalescent or adularescent sheen which can be a blue or white. It is this adularescent sheen which turns a moonstone from being nothing special into a beautiful piece.
The stones are usually cut as cabochons, with a domed top. Moonstones with a bluish sheen are the most sought after. Historically, they are linked to worship of the moon and some Victorian jewellery contains moonstones carved with the face of the man in the moon. They were a popular gemstone in the Art Nouveau and Arts and Craft periods from the 1880s up to WWI.
Moonstones belong to the Feldspar family, along with amazonites, labradorites and sunstones. The stone is mined in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Tanzania, Kenya, Norway, New Zealand and Australia.