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Archive

The Allure of Moonstones

January 02, 2016 at 11:00 PM

One of my, if not my favorite gemstone is Moonstone. It has an allure when you look at it. A well polished moonstone has a glow that reminds me of light piercing through dense fog. This captivating look has caused it to be revered and utilized in jewelry making 

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As far back as the Roman Period, moonstone has been used to as an adornment that captured the “solidified rays of the moon.” In recent times, Moonstone has captured the imagination of many a jewelry designer. Throughout the Victorian period, Moonstones were worn by women as it was thought Moonstone was good luck for amorous couples. During the Art Nouveau period, the renowned French goldsmith Rene Lalique often incorporated Moonstone into his jewelry and art. It’s softness and beauty accentuated the natural and floral aesthetic of the time. As it’s hardness is in the middle range of the Mohs Scale (6), Moonstone can be carved more easily than other gemstones. A common motif, the man in the moon, is that of a face carved into a round Moonstone cabochon.

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What makes Moonstone so attractive is actually it’s diffraction of light. Moonstone’s base material is feldspar and made up of layers of orthoclase (causing white hues) and albite (causing blue hues). This layering causes light waves to consistently be interrupted, resulting in the appearance of Moonstone’s glowing adularescence. To fully capture this phenomenon, most Moonstones are cut into a domed cabochon cut.The cabochon cut allows the many layers of feldspar to vary in size and thickness from one edge to the other, lending the greatest light-play.  

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Commonly mistaken as Moonstone, Labradorite is known as Moonstone’s second-self. Though it exhibits adularescence like that of true Moonstone, Rainbow Moonstone as Labradorite is often known, shows multiple colors rather than the traditional pale white & blue. Be it a delicate turn of the century bezeled Moonstone cabochon ring or an elaborately carved moonstone faced brooch, a true Moonstone’s beauty should be in the  subtle milky radiance which seems to bloom from within the stone and roll across the gem’s surface.

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Tags: Antique Jewelry, Victorian Jewelry Vintage Jewelry Estate Jewelry moonstone art nouveau jewelry gemstones cabochon custom jewelry modern jewelry labradorite
Category: The Curious lore of Gemstones

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