From Hindu Roots
Moonstone is the sacred stone of India. During the earliest traditions, the gem was said to have been embedded in the forehead of Ganesh, the four-handed god of the moon, since the beginning of time. It was written in Hindu mythology that moonstone is made from moonbeams, thus its luster. The magnificent gem is never displayed outside for sale unless placed on a yellow cloth, as yellow is a sacred color.
According to other legends, Moonstone can give gifts of prophecy and clairvoyance to the wearer. It could also clear the mind for the wearer to welcome wisdom. But to unlock this ability, Moonstone must be placed in their mouths during full moon.
Glorified in Greek and Roman Mythology
Since Moonstone looks a lot like the moonshine, ancient Romans believed that it was formed from moonlight. If you look at the gem closely, you’ll see a dance of light that lurks on the insides of the gem. Ancient Greeks merged the names of the goddess of love (Aphrodite) and the goddess of the moon (Selene) and christened Moonstone as “Aphroselene”. While the Romans believed that the gem exhibits the image of their moon goddess, Diana.
It is also known as an aphrodisiac and when worn by two people, they will fall passionately in love when the moon is high. Moonstone was once called the “Travelers Stone,” as it is said to protect those who travel at night, especially at sea.
A Charm in the Orient
It is said in an Asian myth that the most beautiful blue moonstones are brought by tides once every 21 years. The gem was used as amulets and hung in fruit trees to attract abundant crops. They also use Moonstone as a good luck charm and a powerful cure for insomnia. Another ancient lore describes moonstone a talismanic gem of winter and a phenomenal gem to be worn on Mondays.
Ancient Asians believe that the moving light inside the gem is a live spirit. Moonstone is given as a customary wedding gift for the thirteenth year and every thirteen years after that, as they believe that the gem can wash away the negative connotation of thirteen.
One famous legend from Vedic history talks about the battle between Vishnu and Bali, the demon god. When Vishnu broke Bali’s body into pieces, the parts that fell on Earth turned into different jewels. The sparkle in his eyes turned into “chandrakanta" or what we know now as Moonstone.
Moonstone Emotional Healing Energy
Moonstone has long been known for its calming, soothing qualities on the emotional body. Its energy is balancing and healing, assisting in the mastery of emotions by bringing them under the control of Higher Will, rather than expressing or repressing them. It also helps identify emotional patterns that are stored in the subconscious, and serves as a guardian to contain explosive passions, and to stimulate confidence and composure. Moonstones can be placed at the center of the chin (the Moon Center) to create this balance. [Raphaell, 149][Megemont, 128]
Moonstone bestows a depth of feeling, a gentleness within the self that brings happiness to the environment in which it resides. Associated with the feminine, it enhances the intuitive side of the mind. To women, Moonstone reveals their feminine power and abilities of clairvoyance, and gives rise to the kundalini energy. Moonstone helps men become more in-tune with the feminine aspects of their nature, and stimulates the right side of the brain, encouraging nonlinear thinking and emotional balance. [Gienger, 59][Melody, 417][Ahsian, 267]
Moonstone is especially calming to children. It soothes those away from home at night, drives away nightmares and encourages sleep. It is also used to treat sleepwalking. [Eason 145][Gienger, 59]
Moonstone Chakra Healing and Balancing Energy
The white crystal energies present in all Moonstones have an association with the Crown Chakra and our spiritual center. They represent personal identification with the Infinite, and oneness with God, peace and wisdom. [Raphell, 164]
The Crown Chakra is located at the top of the head, and is our gateway to the expanded universe beyond our bodies. It controls how we think, and how we respond to the world around us. It is the fountainhead of our beliefs and the source of our spirituality. It connects us to the higher planes of existence and is the source of universal energy and truth. When the Crown is in balance, our energies are in balance. We know our place in the universe and see things as they are. We are unruffled by setbacks, knowing they are an essential part of life.
Moonstone cleanses and dispels negativity from all the chakras, and provides supplemental energy and support in balancing the physical, emotional, and intellectual bodies. It provides spiritual nourishment and sustenance to assist one through all changes. It is also a useful tool in radionic analysis and treatment to help pinpoint problem areas. [Melody, 368, 417]
Moonstone Spiritual Energy
Always sacred in India, Moonstone was the stone of the gods and goddesses, of hope and spiritual purity through denial of the ego. It combats materialism and strengthens the faith of religious people in all cultures. Hermits, monks and other contemplatives withdrawn from society for spiritual reasons, find a special affinity for Moonstone. [Megemont, 128]
Moonstone opens the mind to hoping and wishing, inspiration and impulse, serendipity and synchronicity. It brings flashes of insight, keeping one from negatively banishing possibilities. Yet it grants intuitive recognition and allows one to absorb that which is needed from the universe and not necessarily what is wanted. [Hall, 191][Melody, 416][Gienger, 59]
When buyers select moonstones, they look for three key factors: bodycolor (background color) and color and orientation of the sheen.
Moonstones range in appearance from semitransparent to opaque and colorless to white, with a blue, silver, or white adularescent effect. Moonstone bodycolors vary widely. They can be green, yellow to brown, or gray to nearly black. Along with adularescence, some moonstones show chatoyancy, also called the cat’s-eye effect. A few show four-rayed stars in an effect called asterism.
Throughout its long history, people have agreed on the qualities that the most highly favored moonstones should display: a colorless, semitransparent to nearly transparent appearance without visible inclusions, and a vivid blue adularescence, known in the trade as blue sheen. The finest moonstone is a gem of glassy purity with a mobile, electric blue shimmer.
Bodycolor should be nearly colorless and free of any yellowish, brownish, or unattractive green tints. Adularescence should, ideally, be blue. The sheen should be centered on the top of a cabochon, and it should be easily seen from a wide range of viewing angles. If a moonstone’s adularescence is only visible within a restricted viewing range, its value drops.
In 1997, miners in Southern India discovered a new type of moonstone with a bright green bodycolor, described as “parrot green” by the trade. Moonstone’s signature adularescence floats in this sea of green. The gem also displays a light yellow pleochroism, a term used for a display of different colors in different crystal directions.
Today’s popular moonstone color variety includes orange to yellow colors called peach.
A good moonstone should be almost transparent and as free of inclusions as possible. Inclusions can potentially interfere with the adularescence.
Characteristic inclusions in moonstone include tiny tension cracks called centipedes. They are called this because they resemble those long, thin creatures with many legs.
The most-typical moonstone inclusions are stress cracks that gemologists call centipedes.
Moonstone might be shaped into beads for strands, but by far the most common cutting style is the cabochon, a form that displays its phenomenal color or colors to best advantage. Moonstone cabochons are usually oval, but cutters sometimes offer cabochons in interesting shapes, such as the tapered sugarloaf—an angular cabochon with a square base.
If a moonstone is cut as a cabochon, the dimensions should be uniform, and the profile shouldn’t be too flat. Very flat cabochons don’t display sheen well and have little value.
Faceted moonstones have become increasingly common. The cut heightens brilliance and tends to hide any inclusions that might be present.
This unusual moonstone suite employs the rose cut, a style most often seen in antique diamond jewelry.
Moonstone is popular for carving into decorative jewelry elements, such as cameos or the popular “man-in-the-moon” face that plays on the gem’s name. The uneven surface of the carving combines with the shifting adularescent sheen to create a delightfully intricate and lively effect.
Moonstone comes in a wide range of sizes and carat weights. Fine-quality material is becoming scarcer in larger sizes.
Large fine moonstone is very rare, making it relatively valuable.
Deposits of moonstone occur in Armenia (mainly from Lake Sevan), Australia, the Austrian Alps, Mexico, Madagascar, Myanmar, Norway, Poland, India, Sri Lanka and the United States.