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: Valentine's Day History and Gems

Valentine’s Day from GemSelect

Happy Valentine's Day from GemSelect.com

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It's the day for romance, the giving of gifts, flowers, love and most importantly, spending time with the one you love. Thoughts of red, pink, flowers and hearts are on everyone’s mind. Valentine’s Day is the second most celebrated holiday worldwide, losing only to New Year's Day. It truly is a shame that most of us always end up working on the "Day of Romance".

Valentine’s Day originated from Christianity as a liturgical celebration, and was actually known previously as Saint Valentine’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine. The lore and tale of tradition, romance and love has been passed from generation to generation, all because of the tale of Saint Valentine.

It was believed that Saint Valentine was arrested and imprisoned by Asterius for carrying out forbidden marriages for soldiers. During Saint Valentine’s stay in prison, he healed and fell for Asterius’s daughter. For this, he was executed. Legend tells that before he was executed, Saint Valentine sent a farewell letter to his beloved, on which he wrote the famous words that are still spoken today - "from your Valentine".

For many of those trying to decide which gemstones would make the best gift for this holiday of romance, consider rainbow moonstone. Rainbow moonstone is one of the best-known gemstones of love, and for this reason, is perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Rainbow Moonstone Love Lore

Rainbow moonstone has been used for many years in the practice of alternative healing, since it has been long believed to alleviate pain and swelling caused by misaligned vertebrae, obesity, excess fluid, menstrual symptoms, hormonal imbalances, digestive cramps, gastrointestinal complications and pituitary gland ailments.

There are countless rainbow moonstone tales and mysterious beliefs that have been circulating throughout history, but perhaps the most favored tale of all is that rainbow moonstone is linked to love. Rainbow moonstone is thought to bring lovers together through reconciliation; it is also believed to strengthen the passion between lovers and even aid in discovering one’s true love.

Did you know that at one time, women often sewed moonstone into their undergarments because the gemstone was considered a fertility aid? It is also believed to enhance compassion, and to be a stone of protection, especially for pregnancy and childbirth.

A Little about Rainbow Moonstone

Surprisingly, rainbow moonstone is not technically a true "moonstone" at all. This is because rainbow moonstone does not contain the mineral known as orthoclase, but rather another type of feldspar mineral called labradorite. Rainbow moonstone contains two different types of feldspar; both labradorite and albite. Feldspar minerals belong to a group of mineral silicates that play essential roles in the formation of igneous rocks. Rainbow moonstones are of igneous classification and were therefore formed through the slow process of heating and cooling (and the eventual hardening) of liquid magma. Once solidified and no longer in a liquid state, it has officially been transformed into what we know as rainbow moonstone.

Rainbow Moonstone Color

Faceted Rainbow MoonstoneMoonstone was originally named "Adular" after the mining location in the European Alps, in which it was first discovered (Mt. Adular of Switzerland). Rainbow moonstone is also sometimes referred to as selenite, which was a term adopted from the Greeks, after their goddess of the moon.

Rainbow moonstone usually has a silky white or clear body tone, and depending on the quality of stone, a bluish-white shimmering quality can be seen emanating from the surface of the stone. The shimmering quality is commonly referred to as adularescence, which is the direct result of light being reflected off the different layers that make up the gem.

The layered structure forms as two different feldspar minerals (albite and labradorite) separate from one another during the cooling process, after solidification. It remains staggered or scaled.

Natural Rainbow Moonstone from GemSelect
Natural Rainbow Moonstone from GemSelect

Rainbow Moonstone Origin

Rainbow moonstone can be found in various locations such as Brazil, Europe, Madagascar, Mexico, Tanzania and Burma. The United States is also known for mining moonstones in Virginia and Pennsylvania. The majority of colored moonstone varieties on the market today originate from India, but Sri Lanka (Ceylon) has been known to produce the highest quality moonstone specimens.

In 1970, moonstone was officially proclaimed to be the state gemstone for Florida, U.S.A. This was timed shortly after the successful race to the moon by U.S. astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

Even though moonstone did not actually originate from the moon, nor is it even native to the "Sunshine State" of Florida, Florida’s state legislature continued to strive to make moonstone their official gemstone, only because the historical flight to the moon had launched from the Kennedy Space Center, which is based in Titusville, Florida, about 80 miles east of Orlando.

Buying Rainbow Moonstone

Rainbow moonstone is said to be the most valuable type of moonstone available today. It has become increasingly popular over recent times because of its everlasting value and fantastic, lustrous shine. Rainbow moonstone can usually be distinguished from other common or "true" moonstone varieties by comparing body tones, transparency and play of color.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

We stock all sorts of heart-shaped gemstones, including rainbow moonstone, almandine garnet, hematite, spinel, sapphire, zircon and more. These are some excellent gift ideas and prices start as low as $5 dollars.

Heart-Shaped Gemstones
Heart-Shaped Gemstones

We hope you found this article interesting. If you have any comments or suggestions, just drop us a line. We really do read and reply to every single email we receive.

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Happy Valentine's Day!
Your friends at GemSelect

  • First Published: February-08-2013
  • Last Updated: August-30-2017
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Size and Weight

Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

Dimensions are given as;
length x width x depth,
except for round stones which are;
diameter x depth

Select gems by size, not by weight!
Gem varieties vary in density, so carat weight is not a good indication of size

Note: 1ct = 0.2g

Size Comparison Chart