Rainbow Moonstone Gemstone Information
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About Rainbow Moonstone - History and Introduction
Rainbow moonstone is the name given to a variety of labradorite that exhibits a blue or multicolored adularescence on a light body color. Rainbow moonstone is a member of the feldspar group, which makes up approximately 60% of the Earth's crust.
True moonstone is orthoclase (potassium feldspar), rather than labradorite (plagioclase feldspar). Though these two moonstones are related, they are technically not the same material. The reason for rainbow moonstone being referred to as "moonstone" is due to its adularescence, which according to some deems it worthy of the name. However, the adularescence of rainbow moonstone is caused by the same phenomenon as labradorite (reflection from twinning planes), where the true orthoclase moonstone gets its unusual adularescence from albite inclusions. This, and rainbow moonstone's composition set it apart from true, orthoclase moonstone. Some refer to rainbow moonstone as "labradorite moonstone" to distinguish it from orthoclase moonstone, but neither one of these is technically sound. Yet, the name, "rainbow moonstone" has stuck and some people prefer rainbow moonstone to regular moonstone.
The Romans admired moonstone and believed that it came from the rays of the moon made solid. Moonstones have been used as jewels for hundreds of years. They were admired by the ancient Romans and Greeks, and then were used in Art Nouveau jewelry. Moonstones later became popular during the hippie movement of the 1960s and the contemporary New Age spiritual movement.
Identifying Rainbow MoonstoneBack to Top
Rainbow moonstone can be identified by its characteristic adularescence, which appears as an internal source of light or sheen. It can be distinguished from orthoclase moonstone by its higher refractive index and higher specific gravity.
Rainbow Moonstone; Origin and Gemstone SourcesBack to Top
Rainbow moonstone deposits are found in Canada, Australia, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Russia, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and the USA.
Buying Rainbow Moonstone and Determining Rainbow Moonstone Gemstone ValueBack to Top
Rainbow Moonstone Gemological Properties:Back to Top
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.
Rainbow Moonstone: Related or Similar GemstonesBack to Top
As a member of the feldspar group, rainbow moonstone is related to other feldspars such as orthoclase (including moonstone), amazonite, labradorite and sunstone. Rainbow moonstone can appear similar to chalcedony.
Rainbow Moonstone Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Healing PowersBack to Top
Rainbow moonstone is technically a variety of labradorite. Therefore, the properties of labradorite should apply. Rainbow moonstone is thought to be a magical stone that possesses powerful protective properties and helps its wearer to find their true path in life. It is thought to "bring light" to the otherwise unknown, and thus provide its wearer with insight. Additionally, rainbow moonstone is said to possess the ability to bring out the positive in people and calm overactive minds, bringing peace to its wearer. Rainbow moonstone is also thought to soothe menstrual problems, aid disorders of the lungs, prevent colds, help with digestion and regulate both metabolism and blood pressure. In traditional Hindu belief systems, rainbow moonstone is associated with the throat chakra, or Vishuddha, which is the center of purification. The throat chakra is associated with hearing, speech and self-expression. Wearing rainbow moonstone is thought to contribute to true and honest expression. Rainbow moonstone is said to facilitate communication between the spiritual and physical world, helping its wearer to recall dreams and experiences from past lives. It is therefore thought to help bring out psychic abilities.
Rainbow Moonstone Gemstone and Jewelry Design IdeasBack to Top
Rainbow moonstone jewelry is striking due to the mysterious shimmer that appears to emanate from inside the stone. It is used in wire-wrapped jewelry and drilled for pendants, bracelets and earrings. Rainbow moonstone looks equally attractive in funky tribal designs and fine jewelry with clean lines. Both cabochons and faceted gemstones can be incorporated into jewelry in both vintage and modern styles, using silver or gold settings. Moreover, rainbow moonstone can be mixed with other colored or clear gemstones for a combination of colors and textures.
Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.
Famous Rainbow Moonstone GemstonesBack to Top
Ivanka Trump, daughter of Donald and Ivana Trump, model and successful businesswoman, launched a fine jewelry collection called "Patras", which features rainbow moonstones surrounded by Art Deco style diamond borders.
René Jules Lalique (1860 - 1945) was a famous Art Nouveau jewelry designer who created exquisite pieces of jewelry, some of which featured moonstones, such as an intricate tortoiseshell tiara comb with moonstone cabochons. It is not clear whether these are rainbow moonstones or regular moonstones.
Rainbow Moonstone Gemstone Jewelry Care and CleaningBack to Top
Rainbow moonstone is quite durable, but should be properly cared for to maintain its beautiful appearance. Since household dust contains quartz, which has a Mohs scale hardness of 7, simply wiping the dust off a rainbow moonstone gem could cause scratches. To clean your rainbow moonstone, simply use soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue. Always remove any jewelry or gemstones before exercising, cleaning or engaging in harsh physical activities such as sports. Store rainbow moonstone away from other gemstones to avoid scratches. It is best to wrap gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box.
- First Published: March-18-2014
- Last Updated: January-17-2019
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