Multicolored Moonstone

Meaning and Properties


Named for its sheen, moonstone is the most well-known gemstone of the feldspar group. Loved by the ancient Greeks and Romans (who thought it was solidified moonlight), it was the gemstone to offer to lunar goddesses like Selene, Luna and Artemis.

Multi-colored moonstone is a medley of shimmering peach, cream and silver. The scientific term for the kind of shimmer--a moving floating light or sheen--that gives this stone its magical look is schiller or adularescence. It comes from two types of feldspar growing into or weaving through each other as the crystal forms. Of course, when you're wearing moonstone, those scientific things don't matter. You just revel in that lovely shimmer.

Metaphysical Properties

Moonstone, by its very name, has been connected to the moon and to the subconscious and unconscious. It is believed to encourage lucid dreaming and promote emotional openness to new experience. This openness is part of how moonstone is thought to relieve stress--by calming the mind and soothing the spirit. Gem therapists and Ayurvedic doctors even use a specific form of moonstone (called godanti) to cure anxiety and strengthen the will.

Moonstone is a multi-use material, affiliated by color with a range of chakras: peaches to the sacral for reproductive health, whites to the crown chakra for spiritual or psychic experiences, greys to the heart for emotional changes. Women are sometimes recommended to remove moonstone during the full moon.

This gem is an alternate birthstone for June, popular with Geminis and Cancers. It is considered a birthstone for June in Tibetan lore and for September in Ayurvedic healing. See ''Alternate Choices for Birthstones'' for details.

Geological Properties

Moonstone is fairly abundant, making it an inexpensive gemstone. While its color can be similar to other stones, the distinctive shimmer makes it difficult to confuse with other materials. Moonstone faded from popularity as a jewelry-making material for centuries, before being revived by the Art Nouveau movement and, in particular, by jeweler and goldsmith René Lalique.

Most multi-colored moonstone shows an overall schiller, however, rare samples of chatoyancy (cat's eye effect) and asterism (star effect) have been seen. Deposits of quality moonstone can be found in Australia, Austria, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Norway, Poland, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the United States.

Moonstone was designated as the state gemstone of Florida in 1970, to commemorate the Apollo moon landings which took off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center. However, there are no deposits within state borders.

Mineral Information Potassium feldspar
Chemical Composition K(AlSi3O8)
Color Peach, cream and silver
Hardness 6 to 6-1/2 (Mohs)
Specific Gravity 2.56 - 2.58
Refractive Index 1.520 - 1.525

Proper Care of Multicolored Moonstone

Moonstone has a relatively low hardness, making it prone to stress cracking and cleaving. For those reasons, recommended use of moonstone is necklaces, pendants, earrings and other jewelry not likely to be bumped or scratched during wear.

To learn more about moonstone and other gemstones, order your copy of Walter Schumann's revised and expanded edition of Gemstones of the World.

Designing with Multicolored Moonstone

Multi-colored moonstone is a mix of warm oranges, neutral whites and cool greys--making it an ideal gemstone for all seasons. It becomes dramatic and autumnal with natural woods and black onyx, cool and elegant when mixed with antiqued silver and stardust beads, warm and inviting when paired with gold and red aventurine.

For a necklace that's a shimmering Renaissance "stranger stopper," combine multi-colored moonstone beads with small antique brass flower beads, flower with leaf charms and leaf clasps. When complete strangers ask you where you got your beautiful jewelry, you'll have the pleasure of being able to say, "I made it myself."

View more resources featuring multicolored moonstone, including Design Ideas, Videos, Tutorials and more!

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