COLOR RANGE: Colorless to White, Gray, Green, Peach, Brown
HARDNESS & TOUGHNESS: Hardness: 6 – 6.5 Toughness: Poor
MAJOR SOURCES: Australia, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, USA
Moonstone is a variety of the feldspar-group mineral orthoclase. It’s delicate beauty and its long-established heritage make it perhaps the most familiar gem-quality member of the feldspar group. Moonstone is colorless, very translucent, or almost perfectly transparent feldspar, which in certain directions reflects a bluish, milky light, that has been compared to the light of the moon.
Moonstone’s internal structure scatters light, creating a visual phenomenon known as adularescence – a light that appears to move across the gemstone, giving its surface a glowing appearance. The misty light rolls across the gem as you move it.
A favored gemstone in jewelry, designers of the romantic Art Nouveau era, such as René Lalique and Louis Comfort Tiffany, heavily featured moonstones. Like most gemstones, the most prized moonstones contain no visible inclusions; they will also have a colorless, semi transparent to nearly transparent body color with strong vivid adularescence.