“Behind the Gems” is a long-running monthly series that takes you on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of our signature collections.
In this edition, we are uncovering several little facts and snippets about moonstones.
Heroes of the 70s-00s and popular throughout the ages, these gemstones are prized for their beautiful and seemingly otherworldly glow. Just a quick glance is enough to leave one mesmerised. Here’s why that is…
Moonstone Facts: Composition, Origins and Symbolism
Part of the feldspar mineral family (which makes up over 60% of the Earth’s crust), this enthralling stone is a composite of two minerals: orthoclase and albite.
During the moonstone’s formation the minerals are intertwined. But as it cools down, they separate into alternating layers, which cause light to scatter and create an ethereal glow.
In Antiquity, moonstones were thought to be made from solidified moonbeams - hence their name. But its characteristic colour play has its own designation too: adularescence, after the town Adula in Switzerland. That is where the first high-quality moonstones where discovered. Lower-quality sources were and are widely available throughout the world.
Due to its general association with the moon, this gemstone is thought to bring good luck and protection to travellers - especially those travelling at night. And it was given another, more specific attribution: in India, it is believed to be the lovers’ stone, helping solidify new relationships and repair estranged ones. As such, it is traditionally given as a wedding gift.
Moonstone Facts: Colour, Value and Cut
Moonstones are created from layers of two different minerals, so it’s important to observe not only the sheen and primary colour of the stone, but also its background colour. Moonstones range from brown to green to blue to almost black in colour. The adularescence can range from the prized electric blue to silver or even white.
As they are a composite stone, inclusions are common. So, in terms of clarity, moonstones vary from transparent to completely opaque. The higher the stone’s quality, the fewer inclusions noticeable to the naked eye it will have.
So the most valuable moonstones are the ones with maximum clarity and with the characteristic blue sheen. To highlight their adularescence and to create a cat-eye effect, they are usually cut as cabochons (curved and perfectly polished shapes).
Our Moonstone Pieces: The Backstory
When we considered making our own moonstone jewellery pieces, we were faced with two choices. Should we make a new design or incorporate the gem into an existing type? And, should we use white gold or yellow gold to support the gemstone?
The moonstone earrings are a variation in our series of drop earrings. To add warmth to the opaque white colour and white sheen of the stone, we opted to use yellow gold in the hooks.
And we gave the gold a matt finish to create a contrast even at texture level.
With the moonstone necklace, we decided to create a new, specific design. The lighter, clearer stone is set front and centre into a delicate pendant. The setting and the chain are both made from polished white gold, so as to support and extend the beautiful lighting effect of the gem.
We are looking forward to using moonstone again in the future. Do you think we should we make more yellow gold or white gold pieces?