Moonstone: December’s Stone of the Month

Slip gently into winter with this ethereal gem

As frost forms and snow swirls across the country, we in Florida might need to don a sweater come December. But with our trees still green and plenty of sandal days in our winter, who doesn’t like to get in the mood of wintery whites and all that romance of the holidays? With its gleaming white hues and otherworldly personality, it’s hard to think of a better gem to honor this month than Moonstone.

This pearly gem also happens to be the Florida state gemstone, so named to celebrate our great state’s legacy of launching the first moon landings out of the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

One of moonstone’s most unique qualities is its adularescence, the way that light billows across its surface, giving it its unique, ethereal glow. This effect is caused by the interaction of light with moonstone’s many thin, flat internal layers, scattering the light in many directions. Ever changing from any angle, like the moon with its phases, moonstone has captivated the human imagination for ages, and captivates us still!

Diana, Greek goddess of hunting. source:
Diana, Greek goddess of hunting. Source:

Some Facts about Moonstone

Reverence for this silky stone, also known as hecatolite, goes back centuries. The Romans postulated that its moonlike appearance was born of solidied rays of the moon, and they shared the Greeks’ association with lunar deities Selene (Greek), Luna (Roman), and Diana, the goddess of the Moon and hunting.

A few centuries later, moonstone gained popular adoration during the Art Nouveau period at the turn of the 20th century, a movement characterized by complex linear designs and flowing curves based on organic forms. Influenced largely by the depictions of nature in Japanese art, as well as the soft and mystical aesthetic of ancient and classical art, the Art Nouveau movement often used moonstone for its pale colors and soothing aura.

"The Moonstone" by W. Collins. Source: www.endlessbookshelf.netFun fact: The Moonstone is the title of what is widely considered the world’s first full-length detective novel. Written by Wilkie Collins in the Victorian era originally in the form of a magazine serial, the story follows the search for an Indian jewel–actually a yellowish diamond–which disappears mysteriously after being given to a young Englishwoman on her 18th birthday.

The novel was so well received that Dorothy L Sayers, top crime writer in the 1930’s and 1940’s declared it ‘probably the finest detective story ever written.’

The Special Significance of Moonstone

The lunar properties of this gem are said to bring healing, calmness, and help in avoiding overreaction. Believed to strengthen feminine energies, intuition, sensitivity, and one’s psychic senses, it is also believed to deliver energies of abundance into its wearer’s life. Associated with love and with protection, it is often used during travel at sea, pregnancy, and childbirth.

In traditions that honor the healing power of gemstones, moonstone has been employed to support the digestive system, obesity, hormonal and menstrual problems, and the pituitary glands. In energy work, it is linked with the crown, third eye, and sometimes the heart chakra.

Whether you are looking at it for its beauty or its healing attributes, the moonstone is a powerful way to end the year, indeed.

Get some moonstone of your own!