Moonstones, with their inner shimmery reflections, have captivated people for centuries, but they aren't as well-remembered as stones like diamonds and rubies. Historically, people have incorporated the moonstone in decorative jewelry, talismans, and sacred objects with ancient cultures attributing moonstones as belonging to the moon. Over the years, healing properties, love spells, and clairvoyance have been connected with this gemstone. If you aren't already fascinated with this ethereal gem, check out these moonstone facts that're sure to blow you away.
Behind the Mystical Moonstone
Despite the original belief that moonstones fell from the sky, scientists have confirmed that the natural stone does indeed come from the earth and is found in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Madagascar, India, Germany, Tanzania, Mexico, Australia, and the United States. A member of the orthoclase feldspar mineral family, this gemstone is a combination of potassium aluminum silicate and gets its shimmery quality from the crystal structures present within the stones. This shimmer effect is called adularescence, and to enhance this adularescence, jewelers often cut these stones into a smooth cabochon shape.
In terms of coloring, moonstones are translucent with a sheen that resembles pearls and opals. The gems come in a variety of colors - white, gray, peach, pink, yellow, blue, and green. Some types are completely transparent, while others are entirely colorless. The most popular type of moonstone is the rainbow moonstone, which is an iridescent white or gray with a blue sheen in the light, and the highest quality examples of these stones have a really present shimmer.
Historic Folklore Surrounding Moonstones
Moonstone lore is cross-cultural, spanning the European continent, across Asia, and into the Americas. For example, the ancient Greeks called the gem Aphroselene in honor of the goddesses Aphrodite and Selene, while the Romans claimed the goddess Diana could be seen in every moonstone. Some ancient Asians believed the gem was a solid ray of moonlight filled with good spirits, and moonstones in India were revered as a symbol of the third eye. By the Medieval period, Europeans had adopted moonstones into their mystical arts and gazed into them to invoke prophetic dreams.
Historic Moonstone Symbology
Known as a talisman for protection, health, and good fortune, moonstone was once called the traveler's stone and was used to increase protection on harrowing journeys. Many people believed that the gem calmed anxiety and promoted harmonious relationships. While some groups of people clung to moonstone's mystical symbolism, such as its connection to growing abundant harvests and predicting the future by holding a moonstone in your mouth and looking at a full moon, a majority of people connected the delicate, angelic stone to love and conventional femininity. In fact, there was a belief that two people could fall passionately in love if they gazed upon one another while wearing a moonstone under a full moon. Most recently, moonstones have been linked to the month of June as they're considered one of June's three birthstones alongside pearls and alexandrites.
Moonstones are often incorporated in healing therapy because they're linked with having strong medicinal properties, particularly those associated with menstrual cycles and pregnancy. It's important to note there is no existing scientific evidence to back these claims. However, a small group of people continue to use moonstones for their medicinal qualities, and some of the ailments that they use moonstones to alleviate include:
- Reducing stress or anxiety
- Treating female hormone imbalance
- Mollifying menstrual problems
- Relieving premenstrual syndrome
- Increasing fertility
- Enhancing libido
- Preventing epileptic seizures
- Curing digestive issues
- Riding the body of toxins
- Getting rid of headaches
- Preventing sunstroke
- Stopping a nose bleed
Given the moonstone's close connection to the moon, it has strong links to the water just as the moon does with the tides. Along with water energy, this stone has shown to have an affinity for those who're astrological water signs. Depending on their coloring, moonstones can have other specified characteristics such as silver moonstones encouraging harmony and peace within the owner and peach moonstones with helping instill confidence. No matter it's color, every moonstone if placed under the pillow will help you get a good night's rest. Some other examples of moonstone's metaphysical attributes include:
- Balancing yin and yang
- Balancing emotions by connecting the pineal gland and the 2nd and 6th Chakras
- Stimulating intuition
- Increasing dream activity
- Assisting in embracing fear
Tips for Keeping and Cleaning Moonstones
Moonstones are rather soft, ranking only at a 6-6.5 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale; therefore, there are a few extra steps of precaution you can take when caring for your loose moonstones or moonstone jewelry to protect them from preventable damage. Secure your moonstones either individually wrapped in soft cloth or jewelry bags if you're not storing them in velvet/felt lined jewelry boxes. Make sure to keep your stones away from much harder gems like rubies, sapphires, and diamonds as these can easily mar the stone's adularescent surface.
When it comes to cleaning your moonstones, stay away from ultrasonic or steam cleaners as these can significantly damage your stone's integrity and appearance. Gently washing your moonstones with a mild soap and water mixture should keep them free from the daily build up of dirt and grime. However, if you're finding a stubborn spot that you can't clean on your own, you can always take your stones to a professional jeweler to have them both clean and polish your pieces.
Femininity and Mysticism Personified
Given humanity's history of diminishing and patronizing femininity, it's incredible to see a few of the ways that femininity was reclaimed through mysticism and the natural arts as it manifested in natural materials likes moonstones. Whether you're trying to access your dreams easier or just want something beautiful to rest against your collar bone, moonstones can be a lustrous addition to your collections.