Moonstone is of the feldspar group that has an opalescent luster that is specifically called “adularescence”, because it was mined earliest near Mt. Adular in Switzerland, which is now a town called St. Gotthard. It seems each individual stone that has a shimmer gets its own name for that specific reflective quality. Like the colors labradorite gives off is called “labradorescence”, or how opal’s coloration is called “opalescence”…the effect that Tiger’s Eye displays, however, is called chatoyancy. So I guess there’s an exception to every rule.
Moonstone, also known as hecatolite, (you can see why NO ONE calls it that) is a sodium potassium aluminum silicate. As you have probably already guessed, its name comes from how it looks and the visual effect you can see in polished or unpolished specimens of Moonstone. Light is diffracted within a micro-structure consisting of lamellae of different alkali feldspars.
Moonstone comes in a variety of colors and can be seen in matrices with many different crystals. In fact, there is probably a moonstone in every color you can think of. The ones you tend to see regularly are: “regular” moonstone, which is a creamy white color, peach moonstone, gray moonstone, black moonstone, and rainbow moonstone. I have also seen moonstone matrices with amethyst, garnierite, albite, tourmaline, smoky quartz, and many more. Seeing different crystals growing together gives me the fizz.
For millennia Moonstone has been used to make some of the most beautiful pieces of jewelry the world has seen. Ancient civilizations like the Romans admired moonstone and believed it came from solidified rays given off from the moon. Hindu cultures held similar myths about this glorious gem. Both Romans and the Greeks associated moonstone with each their respective lunar deities. Luna was the name the Romans gave to their goddess of the moon, for the Greeks it was Selene, Artemis, and Hectate. Moonstone, like anything else, has had periods of renaissance where we see an influx of its use. It became popular during the Art Nouveau period and a large quantity of jewelry was created by French goldsmith René Lalique using Moonstone.
The interaction between stone and person is always fascinating: Moonstone, with its mystical and unique appearance has the ability to draw one in and hypnotize them. Can you imagine being an early human coming across a natural piece of Moonstone? Or even a human from a couple hundred or couple thousand years ago? You don’t understand what the big ball of fire in the sky is, you are hungry searching for food all day, you are constantly trying not to be eaten by other animals, no research has been done to explain any part of physical reality let alone the extensive knowledge we have today…and you come across this seemingly glowing object that gives off flashes of amazing blues and shimmering rainbows of color. Is it a surprise that associations were made with heavenly bodies and deities?
Clearly the name Moonstone gives away the idea that we thought this rock was other-worldly. But after the end of most polytheistic and pagan customs, it lost most of that association and continued on as a fashion piece.
When I start the lengthy list of things Moonstone helps with, you may get the idea that it is a stone mostly of use to women but don’t fret because there are plenty of things Moonstone can help men with as well. Moonstone has represented the sacred and divine yin feminine for nearly a few Millenia, strengthening the bonds between mother and child (especially one recently conceived), helping stabilize one’s emotions, and brings peace, calm, and balance to one’s life. Moonstone is one of the few stones you want to get if you are attempting to conceive a child (especially if you are having a difficult time of it).
I have always enjoyed learning about crystals, in particular ones whose name helps you remember some of the attributes of the crystal. Moonstone is a perfect example of that and I will elaborate. The actual moon (the celestial body) has been used for guidance as long as there has been life on planet Earth. Many animals have relied on its reflective powers to be able to see at night and some (dolphins and sea turtles especially) have even timed its phases perfectly for the best time to mate and travel. In times of darkness, we look to the Moon and its reflective surface to light our darkened path and find our way. The gem Moonstone can be used similarly in a more figurative manner. Take your piece of Moonstone in hand during meditation (and if you don’t meditate, I strongly urge you to try), close your eyes and focus in your mind’s eye on the surface of that stone. Ask for it to help guide you with your decisions and find the correct direction. Visualize it beginning to glow, dimly at first, and then brighter and brighter; just like the moon reflecting the Sun’s rays from the other side of the planet. Visualize the beautiful, bright color helping to clear your mind of any fog, removing the barriers that are stopping you from your goals and clouding your judgement. You may find after doing this that Moonstone can be just as trusty, helpful, and reliable as the enormous rock that is tidally locked to us, orbiting about 240,000 miles away.
Just like the Moon has the power to bring a balance to the tides, bringing them in twice a day and pushing them out twice a day, Moonstone has the power to bring a balance to one’s hormones and emotions, specifically during that time of the month for women and also during puberty and menopause. Wear Moonstone if you find yourself in the midst of a particularly strong cycle or in any of the above mentioned stages of life.
Even though Moonstone does not have either of the colors we traditionally associate with the Heart Chakra, it can be used it. It accomplishes this by helping us to be more receptive to others and their expression of love and emotion while also helping us to be more in touch with our own feelings. If you are the type of person that has a difficult time with feelings in general you may find one day, when you finally open up, that those feelings are quite literally like hidden treasures that you have been guarding all of your life. And you realize (hopefully not too late) how wonderful it is to share such a treasure with other people. Especially those closest to you. Besides, what fun is it to have something priceless if you have no one to share it with?
Given that there are a variety of colors within the Moonstone family, each of those variations on the crystal can help in different areas than just the traditional moonstone can. It will be of great use to you if you familiarize yourself with what the different colors tend to represent. In the meantime, I will list briefly what the other varieties of Moonstone are good for:
Black Moonstone: Ability to make one’s mind calm, hold back any unnecessary negative energy, increase your mental acuity, and it can help with certain wishes.
Peach Moonstone: stimulates your mind, supports a healthy heart, stops worry and anxiety in its tracks. It also has the ability to help bring out the best in people while promoting the Divine in every situation. It can also be used for sensitive/intuitive children as emotional support. It will deflect negativity in all forms and ease emotional trauma.
Rainbow Moonstone: connects with all energies and spirits of Nature, from divine plants to all of galactic consciousness.
Gray Moonstone: purifies one’s energy, helps you to receive messages from the Heavens or other realms (spirit guides, ancestors, guardian angels, etc). Carries love and healing energy within it, Goddess power!
As always, if you would like to purchase some Moonstone from any of our shops, present this newsletter at any of our four locations and receive 15% off your purchase.
1) Luster - The way light interacts with the surface of any given crystal.
2) Lamellae - Regular resolution layers.
3) Feldspars - Orthoclase and sodium-rich plagioclase.
4) Fizz - Goosebumps or unbridled excitement.
5) Selene - This may be foreshadowing for why selenite found its name.
6) Tides - this is correct even though most people think there is only one low tide and one high tide. There are 4 in an approximately 24 hour period, one every 6 hours and 12.5 minutes.
We always like to remind you just how much we love and appreciate all of you. You are the reason we are able to exist in the metaphysical space and continue to bring you new and exciting specimens. Thank you form the center of our hearts!