Star Moonstone Gemstone

Star Moonstone Gemstone
[For Information and Educational purposes only]
by Alice Koh

Feldspar gemstones are classified as either potassium feldspar or plagioclase feldspar. Star moonstone is a potassium feldspar, the same as amazonite, orthoclase and sanidine .

Star moonstone is of a potassium aluminum silicate chemical formula. It occurs in a monoclinic, prismatic crystal structure. It has a hardness ranging from 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale and a perfect cleavage (which makes it a fragile gemstone).

Star moonstone is typically translucent, though transparent specimens can be found and these are very valuable.

Star moonstone has a glass-like to pearly luster. It gives off a weak bluish and orangey fluorescence. It is usually colourless, yellow and pale sheen. Moonstones, however, are often found with a silvery sheen with base body colours of gray, mocha brown, yellow, orange, green, pink, blue, cream and white. The most sought after moonstones are the ones with blue sheen and white to colourless body. The deep-blue moonstones are the most valuable.

Star moonstone is a gem quality variety of orthoclase feldspar which exhibits the rare four-ray star effect known as asterism. The four-ray star can be seen under a direct light source as you tilt and rotate and view the gemstone from different angles. The four-rays are displayed at near-perfect right angles.

Star moonstone also comes with a magical, bluish-white shimmer or a wavy glow known in the gem world as adularescence. This star and adularescence in a moonstone is extremely rare. Top quality star moonstone can display the 'three-dimensional' colour of white, blue or blue-orange.

Star moonstone occurs in the same mines as moonstones. The most important sources for star moonstone come from Sri Lanka, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Myanmar (Burma), Madagascar, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland and Tanzania.

In order to maximize the four-ray star effect and adularescence in star moonstone, it is always cut en cabochon. Star moonstone is also cut with very high domes and in ovals.

Star moonstone is not known to be treated or enhanced in any way.

In India, the belief is that moonstones were created from moonbeams. In India, moonstones are also considered sacred gemstones and bringers of luck and good fortune. In some Arab countries, moonstones are sewn into the underwear of women in order to bring them healthy children.

Ancient Romans, too, believed that the moonstone gemstones were created from drops of moonlight. Thus such stones carried the power of the moon.

Moonstone is believed to arouse tenderness, love and compassion. It is a powerful healing stone able to rid of body pain such as headaches. Moonstone was once known as the "traveler's stone".

Moonstone is the official birthstone for June and they are associated with the zodiacal sign of Pisces.

Since moonstones can easily be scratched and chipped, it is recommended that they should be worn only on special occasions, and that they should come with protective setting especially for rings and bracelets.

To clean your beautiful star moonstone, use only a mild soap and wipe down your stone using a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue.