David's Antiques and Jewelry

M is for Moonstone

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It’s hard to describe the colors of moonstones without using the word magical. While the body is basically colorless, white, gray, pale yellow, iridescent blue and blue green shimmer throughout the stone and glides across its surface that makes colorless seem like a misnomer.

There are three moonstones. Adulation moonstone which is almost transparent pale gray or silvery with blue shimmer which is found in Sri Lanka, Norma, India and Madagascar.  A lite moonstone is in the feldspar group like labradorite. It seems transparent with pale shimming reflection. Somiter moonstone is a little dull and comes from Canada.

Moonstones can have tiny inclusions called “tension cracks” that are the characteristics of moonstone and are called “centepdes” because they look like centipedes with multiple legs.   Customers that are not familiar with this semi precious stone may sometimes think there are major cracks in the stones not knowing this is what makes this stone interesting. Moonstones are 6-6.5 on the hardness scale and are somewhat durable enough to be set in most jewelry pieces.

Moonstones were particularly popular in the Art Nouveau jewelry at the turn of the 20th century. In 1906 the Grand Duke of Hess gave his wife Princess Eleonar a magnificent Russian tiara featuring garlands of moonstones and diamonds. She wore this piece until 1937 when there was an airplane accident, but the tiara survived because it was in a strongbox. It is now displayed at the London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Care and cleaning your moonstone should be with soap, water and soft brush.
Do not immerse in ultrasonic or steam machine.

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  • Ester Edry
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