Moonstone

In tune with the moon, the Moonstone crystal protects travelers by night and grants wisdom for those on any journey through life. It is a crystal of deeper understanding and inner reflection.

Moonstone Overview


Crystal Colors

Origin

Armenia, Austria, Brazil, India, Mexico, Madagascar, Myanmar, Norway, Poland, Sri Lanka, United States

Rarity

Rare

Hardness

6-6.5

Shapes

Carved, Cut, Tumbled/Polished

Lattice

Monoclinic

Chakra

Third Eye, Crown

Energy

Amplifies

How to Cleanse

Bury Underground, Natural Light, Place Under Running Water, Place on Selenite Slab, Sage Smoke, Visualization

Helps with

Connection with the higher self and the divine.

Usage Tip

Moonstone can occur in a wide variety of colors. Each color has specific uses, refer to color variations below to learn more.

Crystal Overview


Moonstone Sketch Crystal Pendulum
Moonstone Sketch

As it is named, Moonstone is closely tied to the rhythm of the moon igniting inner discovery and self-exploration. It is said to protect and keep watch over travelers on their journeys while connecting to a higher Divine or spiritual being. Moonstone has many naturally occurring colors ranging from an almost cream crystal to a rich black stone. Most abundantly found in Australia and Brazil, Moonstone is rich with history and known in stories throughout ancient mythology.

You cannot look up at the night sky on the Planet Earth and not wonder what it’s like to be up there amongst the stars. And I always look up at the moon and see it as the single most romantic place within the cosmos. – Tom Hanks

History & Origin


Moonstone Map
Moonstone Map

Moonstone is a sacred crystal in India, found in Greek and Roman mythology, used widely in travel, and mined abundantly in Australia: frankly, a crystal of great spiritual value.

Romans have used Moonstone in jewelry throughout much of history in asking for protection and wisdom over their lives. Australia, Brazil, India, and Sri Lanka all have large Moonstone deposits and historic value, too. It is known to be a traditional wedding gift and decorative piece for the home or body.

Interestingly enough, Moonstone is Florida’s state gemstone, named after the spacecraft that landed on the moon — originating from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida! You can find this crystal in small deposits in the United States as well, though not as common as others mentioned.

Mythology

Greek Goddess NYX
Greek Goddess NYX. Credit: Wikipedia

While Moonstone appears in many ancient tales, there are a few prominent ones most widely referenced.

Hanwi, the Sioux Moon Goddess guards her people at night with her name meaning “Night Sun.” The crystal is an honor to her in warding off evil and deceit.

Nyx is another honored Goddess in Greek Mythology as she paints the sky from her chariot with Moonstone. She is the Goddess of Night.

Also in Greek Mythology is Selene. She is the Greek Moon Goddess: Traveling the sky to protect and guide those in the dark

The Roman Goddess of the moon is Diana. Honored with Moonstone of her protection of people and animals.

Energy & Healing


Moonstone is a crystal deeply enriching along the journey of self-exploration. It opens one to inner understanding while igniting the wisdom to move forward in adversity. There is assistance in emotional healing, as Moonstone is a crystal that works closely with the Eye and Crown chakra. In working with these chakras, the heart is opened to receiving nurturing and love where needed in any aspect of a daily routine.

Moonstone Uses

Moonstone can be utilized physically throughout the home. Here are some examples:

  • Place the crystal under your pillow to ward off nightmares. The cream variation is most commonly known for assistance in sleep and fighting insomnia.
  • Hold Moonstone in your hand for grounding in meditation. It can open you to the self you may be unable to regularly identify with and offer wisdom where confusion or hurt may be blocking decision making.
  • Wear the crystal as jewelry in everyday ventures. As with any crystal, finding protection among daily interaction and activities is beneficial for the mind, body, and soul.

Protection for Night Travelers

In accordance with the moon and its phases, Moonstone has been used throughout history as the crystal for protection while traveling by night. It is said that if worn as an amulet, Moonstone can carry one through treks on foot or by sea under the glow of the moon as the crystal harnesses the moon’s energy. This placement is noted because an amulet/necklace is close to the traveler’s heart. As is more common today, Moonstone can be kept in the glove compartment or on the dashboard of a vehicle driving by night.

Connection with Higher Beings

Under the eye of protection, there is also a connection to a higher or Divine being for those who wish to pursue spirituality. Moonstone can open one to the inner self and thus encourage contact with a higher being. In seen as a crystal of protection, there is a link to relation with the Divine. Some use Moonstone in meditation or in sacred practices to further open themselves to this connection.

Use in Meditation

Meditation Water Color Painting
Meditation Water Color Painting

Contact with Moonstone during mediation can be an enriching experience. Standing or sitting with the crystal, place it near your Eye or Crown chakra (this can be near the center of your brow or forehead.) This placement encourages openness to the inner being. Here, one can find wisdom and reflection on what may need attention in the mind or body.

Moonstone can be protective of inner journeys as well – not just physical journeys across the land. Through meditation, one may explore the paths of life and that which is to be discovered. Moonstone is guiding in stepping forward into new ventures and can be protective in uncertainty about the future. Black Moonstone is specifically helpful in this.

Color Variations

Moonstone Color Variations
Moonstone Color Variations

Blue

The Blue Moonstone is one of clarity, opening the mind to inner vision. This can be beneficial in seeing life patterns – that which can be harmful – while also promote discernment in large decisions or difficult tasks.

Black

The June birthstone, Black Moonstone offers guidance into the future – a journey. There is wisdom especially in this Moonstone as it is balancing and calming in its work.

White/Cream

This shade works with visions and dreams. There is aid for insomnia with this Moonstone, while also warding off nightmares. Emotions are magnified that one may find support in sleeping.

Peach/Pink

Yellow Moonstone brings out the best. Like many of the other variations, it works in openness, finding that within which is good.

Rainbow

Prismatic Moonstones deflect negativity and aid in mental trials one may encounter in their journey. Road rage or emotional responses can be eased with the Rainbow Moonstone.

Green

Green Moonstone is often thought to be linked to the feminine – that of the goddess. This promotes calm and clarity while easing busy and stressful energies.

Geology & Science


Moonstone is a variety of feldspar, which is the most common mineral group in the earth’s crust, comprising around 41% of the continental crust by weight. Generally, feldspars are aluminum silicates which also contain potassium, sodium, calcium, or some combination of the three.

Along with being abundant in quantity, feldspars are also abundant in variety. Moonstone, however, is one of the most striking varieties, and is also one of the more rare feldspars, making it desirable as a gemstone.

Example of a moonstone. Credit: Géry Parent / Flickr

The name moonstone comes from ancient Rome, where it was believed that the mineral was formed of frozen moonlight due to its pearly shimmer. That shimmer, known as schiller luster, is caused by a phenomenon called adularescence and is the strongest distinguishing characteristic of the mineral moonstone. Adularescence results when two minerals, or substances, with different optical properties, form alternating microscopically thin layers. In the case of moonstone, it is formed by two different kinds of feldspar: orthoclase and albite.  Orthoclase has a chemical composition of KAlSi3O8, where albite has a slightly different chemical composition of NaAlSi3O8.

Moonstone Formation

In moonstone, as the minerals form during cooling, the orthoclase and albite separate out due to different chemical and physical properties. Orthoclase becomes solid at a lower temperature, around 600 degrees Celsius, where albite becomes solid at around 800 degrees Celsius. As the orthoclase and albite separate out as they become solid, they form stacked layers that alternate between them.  When light shines through moonstone, it moves through the orthoclase and albite at different rates because they have different refractive indexes. Some light is trapped between the layers and scatters in different directions. This scattering creates a schiller luster, characterized by a pearly and iridescent appearance. Because moonstone contains both albite and orthoclase, it is considered to belong to both the plagioclase and K-feldspar groups.

While all moonstone displays the schiller luster caused by adularescence, it can occur in different colors ranging from blue to pink to green to rainbow transparent to translucent varieties. Blue moonstone is generally considered to be the most desirable color variation for gemstones. The crystal structure of moonstone is triclinic: three axes of unequal length that meet in oblique angles. Triclinic crystals such as moonstone have the least symmetry of all the different crystal systems.

Working with Moonstone

Moonstone breaks unevenly or with a conchoidal fracture, and the fractured cleavage often displays the pearly schiller luster most strongly. Moonstone does not grow consistently shaped crystals as many other gem minerals do, so it is often polished into round beads or settings, or is cut with facets. The hardness of moonstone is 6-6.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale of 1-10, meaning it can be scratched with a steel nail, but can scratch a glass plate. It can be a difficult gemstone to work with because of its tendency to break easily, and due to its only moderate hardness, it can be easily scratched.

Triclinic crystal structure. Source: DrBob, traced in Inkscape by User:Stannered

Because it is fairly rare compared to other feldspars, the primary use of moonstone is as a gemstone. Typically, the more transparent the moonstone, the greater its value as a gemstone. Non-gem quality moonstone can also be used for commercial purposes, along with other kinds of feldspar, which are common components of commercial and industrial products ranging from ceramics to glass to tiles.

Gem quality moonstone is most commonly found in pegmatites– igneous rocks made up of crystals measuring more than 1 cm in diameter.  Feldspars such as moonstone are commonly found alongside quartz and micas, forming rocks with similar compositions to granite, just with larger crystals.  These rocks are known as granite pegmatites.

Pegmatites generally form when large masses of magma are able to cool very slowly or under pressure, or in intrusions into other rocks such as veins and dikes. The slow crystallization caused by slow or pressurized cooling allows the crystals to grow large, forming pegmatites.

Slow and pressurized cooling can also allow time for the orthoclase and albite in moonstone to separate out into alternating layers, giving moonstone its characteristic adularescence. If magma of the same chemical composition were to cool more rapidly, it might form a rock with both orthoclase and albite crystals included in it, but not moonstone.

Moonstone is most commonly found in India, Myanmar (Burma), and Sri Lanka. It also occurs in Australia, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Brazil.  Most gemstone quality moonstone comes from the same pegmatite mines that produce many other common gemstones such as tourmalines, quartz, and garnets.

Science Contributors

Trevor Nace

PhD Geologist

Trevor Nace is a graduate from Duke University with a PhD in Geology and is a co-founder of A Crystal Pendulum. Each Geology & Science section is thoroughly fact checked by Trevor and his team.

Moonstone Review


Moonstone holds properties that guide and protect, commonly used when traveling by night. Energy from the moon encourages wisdom in these endeavors and opens one to inner reflection. This is beneficial in meditation and connection to a higher being.

Moonstone can be used in jewelry or in the home for extra daily protection and has commonly been known to be used in amulets throughout history. There are crystal ties to many cultural goddesses and is found in Greek Mythology.

It comes in a wide range of colors, each holding a specialized property. This crystal is abundant in Australia and Brazil (amongst other countries) and is beautiful in any collection. Overall, Moonstone is wise, protecting, and a crystal of openness.


Elizabeth Logback
Elizabeth Logback
Liz is a published writer born in the sunflower fields of Kansas who once dreamed of turning the closed - down Burger King into a crystal shop. She now works with energies and crystals in daily meditation and practice. Liz is currently pursuing a degree in Creative Writing and Literature at Columbia College Chicago.
View all posts by Elizabeth Logback

References

  • Fleet, S. G., & Ribbe, P. H. (1963). An electron-microscope investigation of a moonstone. The Philosophical Magazine: A Journal of Theoretical Experimental and Applied Physics, 8(91), 1179-1187.
  • Harder, H. (1992). Moonstone mining in Sri Lanka: new aspects. J. Gemm, 23(1), 27-35.
  • Klein, C., & Philpotts, A. R. (2013). Earth materials: introduction to mineralogy and petrology. Cambridge University Press.
  • Moonstone. (n.d.) Mindat.org. Retrieved June 2019, from https://www.mindat.org/min-2774.html
  • Moonstone. (n.d.) Gia.edu. Retrieved June 2019 from https://www.gia.edu/moonstone-description

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