Orthoclase Feldspar: or Moonstone

Orthoclase Feldspar: or Moonstone

Moonstone is the trade name of Orthoclase Feldspar. It is a variety of Feldspar which is a very common mineral here on Earth. Moonstone is of a potassium aluminum and silicate chemical composition with a monoclinic, prismatic crystal structure.

Moonstone comes in a variety of colors including white, gray, pink, yellow, orange, brown and red colors, each with its own unique gloss or sparkle. Note: Rainbow Moonstone is a variety of Labradorite but is considered a Moonstone, gives a blue hue.

Moonstone have a hardness ranging from 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale and it has a perfect cleavage. Its luster is pearl-like and glass-like and it has a weak bluish-orange fluorescence.

Moonstones are translucent to transparent with the transparent ones being more valuable. Inclusions that resemble the one hundred-legged worm "centipede" are found in some moonstones.

Ancient civilizations such as the Ancient Egyptians, Greek, Roman and Hindu were in awe with this precious stone. They believed that these gemstones were created by the rays of the moon or that the shining spirit of the moon was trapped in it.

This trapped moonbeam is known scientifically as the Schiller effect or adularescence and it is due to its lamellar crystal formation. This sheen happens when light is scattered between microscopic layers of feldspar.

Cat’s Eye Moonstone and the Star Moonstone are rare especially the Star Moonstone that exhibits asterism of four to six rays.

In order to show off its mysterious and unique glimmer of adularescence, moonstones are often cut en cabochons and ovals.

Since ancient times Moonstones were believed to have been endowed with spiritual energy. They were thought to be of supernatural origins and that they came from heaven.

Ancient civilizations equated the moon with feminine power and energy. As such, it displays strong intuition, unconditional maternal love, protection, nurture and creativity.

Hence, the Moon-Stone, possess these same feminine powers and qualities.

In ancient Greece and Rome, Moonstone were associated with the Goddesses Artemis, Diana and Selene.

The actual Greek name of Moonstone is "Aphroselene" which is a combination of the goddess of love, Aphrodite, also known as Venus and the moon goddess Selene.

In India, the Moonstone is called Chandra-Kanta, the “beloved of the moon.” Vedic legend speaks about a battle between two powerful gods, Lord Vishnu and Bali, the demon god. When Vishnu broke Bali’s body into pieces, the parts that fell on Earth turned into different jewels. The sparkle in his eyes turned into “Chandrakanta".

In India, the Moonstone is thought of as very sacred. It was so revered that it had to be covered with a sacred yellow cloth. It was also the stone that was embedded in the forehead of Ganesh, the elephant god.

Chandra-Kanta is believed to have been imbued with the energies of the moon and thus impregnated with occult magical powers. It affects the human psychic with the gift of prophecy.

The phases of the moon are intrinsically related to the human psyche and emotional stability. It also directly affects our physiological changes in our body. In Vedic astrology, moonstone must only be worn if the moon is well positioned in the natal chart. Otherwise it is discouraged as its effects will be detrimental. In order to gain the blessing of the Moon, one should wear a high quality, eye clean Moonstone that is set in jewelry made of silver.

In the West, it is believed that holding or wearing a moonstone will aid in the connection with Gabriel who is the guardian of the moon. By putting a moonstone in the mouth at the time when the moon is waning, one will be granted spiritual guidance and the ability to foresee the future.

According to Judy Hall in 'The Crystal Bible' moonstone has traditionally been used to enhance psychic abilities and to develop clairvoyance: "it makes conscious the unconscious and promotes intuition and empathy. It encourages lucid dreaming especially at the time of the full moon."

Moonstone has the ability to bestow calmness and serenity upon its wearer. It cures anxiety, depression and mental disorders. It regulates the menstrual cycle.

It is also said to be able to foretell ill health of the wearer. Its sheen will become dull and dark thereby loses its vitality, if the wearer is sick or dying.

As moonstone resonates with the moon energy, it radiates calm and healing vibes. It inspires far-sightedness and foreknowledge through keen awareness of increased senses.

Cat's Eye and the Star Moonstones give clarity of thoughts and focus. Rainbow Moonstone which is also known as the Gemstone of Transformation, is a precious stone to have at work as it encourages communication, team work and dedication to a project. It enhances positivity at the workplace, and encourage enthusiasm for the accomplishments of goals.

In many cultures, moonstone is strongly associated with love. In India it is given to the wedding couples for good luck and as a symbol of a lasting marriage.

Moonstone is also believed to help people with fertility problems. In Arabic countries, women who wish to have babies sew Moonstone in their dresses in the hope of getting pregnant.

In ancient culture, Moonstone is buried in farm fields or hung on fruit trees in the hope of a bountiful harvest.

Beautiful moonstones have been found in Switzerland, in the area near Mount Adular. They were called Adularia, from which the word 'Adularescence' was derived.

Moonstones can also be found in Australia, Brazil, Myanmar, Madagascar, Mexico, and the United States. Major deposits are found in India and Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, the Moonstone is known as the “Ceylon Opal.”

To energize your Moonstone, leave it outside to be cleansed and energized by the powerful rays of the full moon.