Origins: Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Madagascar, Brazil, Australia, India, Mexico, parts of Europe and the United States.
Of all the incredible gems – those displaying unique optical phenomena – moonstone is the most incredible. Moonstones can be described as translucent to transparent and the more transparent they are the more valuable they become. Neither prepares you for the celestial glow of a perfectly cut and polished transparent Moonstone with an aura of blue that seems to hover just above the pearly surface. One cannot help but think there is something enchanted about this gemstone.
Moonstones are nearly always cut into oval and circle-shaped smooth domes or cabochons as it best shows off the shimmering glow. The adularescence is usually stronger in one direction so the cutter needs great experience and skill to examine the gemstone carefully to determine which way to cut and polish the Moonstone.
Moonstones are rated at 6 – 6.5 on the Mohs Hardness scale meaning it is hard enough for most types of jewellery but care must be taken to ensure the stone does not get scratched In their uncut state, moonstones lack excitement and interest; the shimmer of the stone is not shown to advantage until the art and hand of the talented stone cutter has been brought to bear.
In Ancient Egyptian, Greek or Roman times, the glow from inside a Moonstone, the light or glow that catches a flash of colour, made them think this gemstone originated in the rays of the moon. It was associated with great goddesses of Ancient Greece and Rome, Diana, Selene and Artemis.
Rainbow moonstones are from the labradorite species of the group and are more commonly found. Labradorite Feldspar is most often associated with mining in Labrador, Canada, but Madagascar is a top source for rainbow moonstone which has a lighter or more transparent body colour than traditional Labradorite. Both traditional moonstone and rainbow moonstone’s adularescence is caused by light reflection of twinning planes. This layering causes an interference of light as it enters the stone, reflecting back as the sheen beloved in moonstones, making them appear to glow from within.
The traditional source of ancient Moonstones was the island of Sri Lanka where some of the most beautiful blue-hued moonstones are still found however a more surprising source of Moonstone has been Switzerland where some fine examples were mined in the area around Mt Adular. Adularia became a common name at the time for Moonstones from Switzerland and gave rise to the term ‘Adularescence’ for their pearly or iridescent appearance.
Other than the usual cutting and polishing to create an alluring gemstone, Moonstones are not enhanced or treated in any way as far as we are aware.
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I have had two stunning pieces of jewellery made by Michael Platt. One is a beautifully intricate diamond pendant and the other a spectacular dress ring reusing my own stones that have a lot of sentimental value. I am thrilled with both pieces. Wayne listened carefully to all my (very detailed!) requirements and followed them to the letter. This is a highly skilled team with amazing attention to detail and wonderful service. I am an absolutely delighted customer!
I have had several pieces designed by the lovely staff at Michael Platt in Wimbledon. The pieces have been much admired. My first visit was several years ago so when I wanted something designed and made with stones from other pieces of jewellery which were very sentimental I had absolutely no hesitation about bringing the project to the shop in Wimbledon. The staff are so helpful, warm, welcoming and informative. Great service and a delight to do business with. I have never been disappointed.
Brilliant personal service every step of the way. I wanted a diamond engagement ring and was able to easily discuss different stones and design options with Grace sending sketches back and forth. I decided on an emerald cut stone with a platinum ring. Communication was excellent and the ring delivered on time and discreetly to an agreed address. I proposed by Lake Windermere having hidden the ring in the sandwich tin. A beautiful ring - my partner loves it!
The service we have received here has been second to none.
We first came to the shop a few years ago and had my engagement ring designed and created. It really is incredible what they do. The design was perfect to me and my style and the final product exceeded our expectations. So much so we finally came back recently and had both wedding rings made. Thanks again to the members of staff at Michael Platt you really are a fabulous bunch and make dreams come true!
My wife and I purchased a lovely bespoke entwined engagement & wedding ring from Michael Platt, 28 years ago. We visited in February this year to enquire about an eternity ring. Jordan was inspirational and used diamonds from a family heirloom. The design full complemented and sits beautifully with the original rings. It was a very pleasurable experience and we are both delighted with the result. Fantastic to know they are still offering great service and bespoke design.