With a silvery light that seems to shine from within, moonstone displays a celestial beauty that has captivated throughout history. This alluring pale gemstone is known for its attractive pearly sheen and as the name suggests has long been closely associated with the moon. Some consider it an alternative birthstone for those born on Monday, the “Moon’s day”.
Moonstone is a transparent to translucent gem, with a base colour which is often pale or colourless. Its internal structure scatters the light that strikes it, creating a marvellous phenomenon known as ‘adularescence’ which gives the effect of a billowing sheen moving over the surface of the gem when under a light source.
This beautiful gem has a long history of use as a talisman for love, fertility, protection and sleep. The Ancient Romans believed it was made up of the rays of the moon and identified it with lunar deities, such as the goddess Diana. The Roman historian, Pliny, believed that moonstone changed appearance according to the phases of the moon. This belief persisted until the 16th century.
According to Hindu legend, moonstone was composed of solidified moonbeams. At one time it was believed that if you held one in your mouth during a full moon, you would be able to see your future. In India, moonstone is still regarded as a sacred stone and is widely thought to bring good fortune.
Master designers of the romantic Art Nouveau era, such as Louis Comfort Tiffany and René Lalique, featured this magnificent gem in their custom jewellery. Moonstone was also a firm favourite during the 1960s “flower child” movement, providing its wearers with the coveted ethereal look, while designers of the 1990s New Age movement again turned to moonstone’s lunar loveliness for inspiration.
Taken a shine to moonstone jewellery? At Berganza we offer an extensive array of one-off handcrafted pieces that are as rare as they are outstandingly beautiful. Our extensive collection is available to view in our showroom, online through our website or via a Zoom appointment.