The moonstone is characterised by an enchanting play of light. Indeed it owes its name to that mysterious shimmer which always looks different when the stone is moved and is known in the trade as 'adularescence'. In earlier times, people believed they could recognise in it the crescent and waning phases of the moon.
Moonstones from Sri Lanka, the classical country of origin of the moonstone, shimmer in pale blue on an almost transparent background. Specimens from India feature a nebulous interplay of light and shadow on a background of beige-brown, green, orange or brown. These discreet colours, in connection with the fine shimmer, make the moonstone an ideal gemstone for jewellery with a sensual, feminine aura. This gemstone was very popular once before, about a hundred years ago at the time of Art Nouveau. It adorns a noticeably large number of the jewellery creations of the French master goldsmith René Lalique and his contemporaries, mainly to be found in museums and collections today.
This gemstone is surrounded by a good deal of mystique and magic. In many cultures, for example in India, it is regarded as a holy, magical gemstone. In India, moonstones are also regarded as 'dream stones' which bring the wearer beautiful visions at night. In Arabic countries, women often wear moonstones sewn out of sight into their garments, for in their cultures the moonstone is a symbol of fertility.
The moonstone symbolises our being in its entirety. With its soft shimmer, it strengthens our emotional and subconscious aspects. The associations connected with that make it a "lovers' stone", evoking tender feelings and safeguarding the true joys of love. It is also said that wearing a moonstone strengthens our intuition and our capacity to understand.
Moonstone helps with stress by calming the mind and soothing the spirit. It's so effective that gem therapists and ayurvedic doctors use a purified form of it (called godanti) to cure anxiety and strengthen the will. So, if you're feeling stressed and anxious like so many people I know, here's my prescription: put on your most beautiful moonstone jewelry, pour yourself a cup of tea (or a glass of your favorite wine), kick off your shoes and put up your feet. If you don't own any moonstone jewelry, create some. And the sooner, the better. In fact, create a whole jewelry chest full of it.