Moonstone, a sodium-potassium aluminum silicate, is a member of the feldspar group that is sometimes also called hectorite. It has a pearly and opalescent hue, called adularescence, that is caused by the way light is refracted by the alkali feldspars present in its mineral composition. Whilst examples can display a wide range of colors the white and grey opalescent varieties are most often associated with the name moonstone.
Moonstones can be found in a number of countries around the world (including the USA, Brazil, Myanmar, and Madagascar among others). The most desirable stones come from Sri Lanka (that have a blue color) and India (that have a rainbow color) and are highly prized because of their rarity and these unusual colors.
Moonstone has been used for jewelry and for spiritual rituals for thousands of years by ancient civilizations. The Romans in particular valued moonstone and believed it was formed when rays from the moon solidified into stone; hence the name. Both the Romans and Greeks associated it with their Lunar gods.
Moonstone has also been valued by shamans, spiritualists, and devotees from a wide range of religions. Its association with the moon means that it is often associated with feminine energy and has the power to nourish and guide the holder through their inner journey. Evoking tranquility, it is said the stone can also energize the mind and body, sweeping away negative emotions, as well as being a protective talisman.
It is regarded as a gem that encompasses balance, intuition, and the realization of desires and it is said that it will help one distinguish merely human desires with those that are of lasting value. Associated with strong healing powers, the stone is also used as a talisman for protection during childbirth and pregnancy as well as on journeys undertaken at night or over the ocean. Some adherents also believe that it can aid with the digestive system, prevent water retention, ease menstruation pains, and reduce obesity. The stones are also associated with heart, crown, and third-eye chakras in yoga and are said to have stress-releasing properties as well as connecting with divine feminine energy. Some believe that the stone can also inspire a wearer’s psychic abilities.
Today moonstones are used as birthstones, sacred crystals, as jewelry, lucky stones, and for in general for their healing properties. It is also a lucky stone for the Cancer star sign.