MOONSTONE

 Not to be confused with "Rainbow Moonstone", which is actually spectrolite, Moonstone is a  gem variety of orthoclase , which is a feldspar, that shows a characteristic shine (or schiller). It can be white, grey to blackish, or pinkish, but the most sought after are the very clear ones with a strong, blue shine, that are found in Sri Lanka rather than India. Small ones up to about 5mm are quite cheap, but larger stones can be quite expensive. The more opaque Indian stones are much cheaper although it is possible to get quite large stones.

The shine (preferably blue) is directional, because of the crystal structure, and the more valuable stones are cut so that the shine can be seen from directly above. A really good, clear moonstone seems to completely disappear under water, except for the shine.

To buy them at a reasonable price it is best to get stones cut by hand in Sri Lanka, but they are uncalibrated, which means they are not cut to set sizes and shapes. This involves less wastage, but it means the stones rarely fit into cast designs, which need calibrated stones. This, in turn, means they are usually set by hand, which makes the jewellery they are set in more exclusive. The settings done in Sri Lanka, like the ones on the moonstone page, are usually of a simple, plain bezel type, using very little silver. They are nearly always set without silver under the stone, so that the all-important shine can be clearly seen.

                
In the Click here to go to the Byzantium Jewellery home page shop we have silver and Moonstone:
bracelets - earrings - necklaces - studs -
in gold and Moonstone:
brooches - earrings - necklaces -
Please click to the left to see them