An opalescent variety of feldspar (a group of stones that includes sunstones and labradorite). It has a blue or white sheen (called Schiller), rather like the pale shine of the moon after which it takes its name. Some moonstones can be of a peach or apricot colour and some a light or dark grey. In our birthstone jewellery we are mostly using the white sheened moonstones. The most prized stone of this familly, is the blue moonstone which displays a magical and shifting celestial blue light (a so called adularescence). Stones of both a large size and good quality are rare.
The best moonstones come from the Island of Sri Lanka and Burma. Other deposits can be found in Brazil, India, USA and recently in Tanzania and Madagascar.
Moonstone was used in Roman jewellery (they believed that the stone was the magical crystallization of actual moonlight), from AD100 and even earlier in the Orient. The Greeks called the stone Aphroselene, combining the name of the goddess of love with the moon goddess Selene. As such it has always been considered ideal for jewellery with a sensual and feminine aura. It was a sacred stone in India , where it was said, that if lovers placed the stone in their mouths during the full moon, their futures would be revealed and that at night it would bring beautiful visions. The stone became very popular during the Art Nouveau period of 100 years ago and was used in many pieces of jewellery especially by the artist Lalique. It was, and still is, a stone surrounded by mystique and magic. Moonstone is the birthstone for June.