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Moonstone Gem

Not only pearl, but also moonstone is the gem of June. Its name is derived from a visual effect, or sheen, caused by light reflecting internally in the moonstone from layer inclusion of different feldspars.

The moonstone is actually the feldspar variety known as "adularia", that was first found in the European Alps near the Adula Group - hence the name "adularia". Another synonym for moonstone is "selenite", from the Greek word for "moon" - SELENE. Moonstone can be numerous colors, including gray, white, pink, green and brown, but the most valuable is deep blue.

Moonstone Tumbled Pebbles
click to enlarge

Deposits of moonstone are found in many countries and places: the European Alps, Brazil, India, Mexico, Myanmar, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, the USA (specifically Pennsylvania and Virginia) and Tanzania. However, it is Sri Lanka that produces the highest quality moonstones.

Moonstone was very popular in the early twentieth century, moonstone was used extensively in Art Nouveau jewelry (1890-1915). As with most jewelry of this period, each gem was significant: the diamonds symbolized eternity; the turquoise, true love; and the moonstones, innocence.

By the way, Wilkie Collins' exotic mystery classic, The Moonstone, published in 1868, isn't about a moonstone at all, but rather an enormous yellow diamond, stolen from an Indian shrine.

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