What Are Moonstones?

With its soft, mysterious milky glow, the moonstone has been a favorite of jewelry lovers for centuries. But what exactly are moonstones? 

Often believed to be a gem, the moonstone is actually a natural crystal mineral variety of the feldspar group. It’s made up of potassium aluminum silicate. The moonstone’s ghostly glow is caused by light moving across the stone — much like moonlight gliding through the clouds on a dark night. 

Where Did Moonstones Come About?

Moonstones have been a staple of jewelry collections for ages. Ancient Eastern cultures obsessed over the stone, believing that it was created by literal moonbeams. Moonstones are often still used in Sri Lanka and India for spiritual purposes. 

The moonstone has found an important place within modern jewelry as well. In the early 1900s, the stone became a focal point of design — often being used as a small accent stone in Art Nouveau-themed statues and art pieces. 

The popularity of the moonstone has ebbed and flowed with style and fashion trends. While the Art Nouveau period produced many famous pieces of moonstone jewelry, it was short-lived and was soon replaced by the Art Deco movement, which emphasized diamonds and gemstones. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the moonstone came back into fashion, popular in rings and necklaces of the counterculture movement. In the 1990s, the moonstone once again became a fashion trend with designers incorporating the stone into the New Age movement of design.

Because of their breathtaking appearance, moonstones will continue to remain popular among jewelry collectors for ages to come.

Tiffany & Co. Antique Moonstone and Sapphire Necklace, achieved $30,000 at FORTUNA® January Jewels & Watches auction.

Do Moonstones Mean Anything?

One of the main reasons that moonstones have remained so popular is the perceived meaning behind them. In spiritual traditions such as feng shui, the moon represents divine feminine energy. The moonstone is believed by some to balance hormonal and reproductive issues, as the waxing and waning of the moon is connected to fertility cycles.

Additionally, the moonstone is thought to represent compassion and empathy as well as the creative and intuitive power of feminine energy. 

Perhaps best known as one of the birthstones for June, moonstone’s connection to both Roman and Greek lunar deities is believed to harness the power of love, passion and great luck.

Are Moonstones Valuable?

The moonstone’s value is based almost entirely on its appearance. The clearer the stone, the more valuable it will be. 

One of the most common reasons for the moonstone to be less valuable is tiny tension cracks inside of the stone. These cracks are known as centipedes, and they interfere with the stone’s adularescence, or unique milky-blue luster.

Prices for moonstones can range anywhere from $10 to over $1000. Clear moonstones that are free of cracks and centipedes will command the highest prices on the market.

Where to Buy and Sell Moonstones

Are you interested in selling or purchasing moonstones? FORTUNA® is a no-risk fine jewelry auction house that allows you to buy and sell fine jewelry in a transparent, regulated method. Explore FORTUNA for upcoming monthly sales today!