A Ray of Moonlight: The Mysterious Beauty of Moonstones

“A cold radiance” is the poetic phrase often used to describe the iridescence (inner glow) of moonstone, a quality that makes it look like a hardened ray of moonlight. This mineral always makes me think of a blue-white piece of ice that can never melt, even if you were to hold it in the palm of your hand for hours. Its optical effect has a certain magic, and the glare on the surface of the stone is mesmerizing and exquisite, meaning moonstone can perfectly complement other gems and even serve as an excellent choice for the headline stone in the centre of a jewel.

The 21st century has paved the way not only for second, third and fourth grade precious stones to enter the high jewellery scene, but also for semi-precious stones or, as they are also called, ornamental gemstones, to do the same. Their first task was to expand the jeweller’s colour palette and to supplement diamonds, emeralds, blue sapphires and rubies. But the extraordinary beauty of opaque stones soon saw them become soloists within the jewellery industry, starring in works by even the most respected of jewellery Maisons, including Cartier, Bvlgari and Chaumet. Moonstone is no exception.

A trio of cuff bracelets from Adam Foster's Constellation Collection with diamonds and moonstones

So why do jewellers love it so much? To understand this, you need to see the rare splendour of this stone for yourself at least once. The fact is that natural specimens will invariably possess a mysterious flicker, and, if you are lucky, will also display rare optical phenomena such as the cat’s eye (known as chatoyancy) and asterism (a star-like quality). That’s right, a cabochon-cut moonstone is capable of exhibiting stars on its surface that are no less spectacular than those on a ruby or a sapphire! The most magnificent and valuable specimens are considered rainbow moonstones, which are plagioclase in composition; this is a translucent gem with iridescent tints throughout the cabochon. As you probably now understand, it is the beauty of adularia (the alternative name for moonstone) that serves as the primary and essential characteristic that can influence its value.

Moonstone is purported to be directly related to the Earth’s eponymous natural satellite, an astronomical body supposedly capable of changing the mineral’s pattern and even its temperature. An energy stabiliser, a depression eliminator, a creator of happiness in one’s personal life that can regulate all bodily functions from the lymphatic to the reproductive... these are some further reasons to start looking out for moonstone. My selection will help you with this!

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