Jun 14, 2012

Moonstones :: Birthstone for June :: part III

I mentioned that June was a generous month for birthstones,
and I truly was not exaggerating,
because as well as Pearls and Agates,
the charming Moonstones are often included.

Moonstones can be grey,
like these gorgeous cufflinks,
or white, pink, blue, green or brown.
The name refers to the stone's ability to reflect a white light from its centre,
the result of light hitting the very thin, different layers of feldspars
and refracting in different directions.
This creates the sheen, or luminous lunar-like glow.

Much admired by the Ancient Romans,
they believed Moonstone was created from solidified moon rays,
and that if held up to the stars,
the star's sparkle would be captured in the stone.
It was therefore considered lucky,
bringing sanity & health to the wearer.
Moonstones used by the Ancient Romans probably 
came from India.
Today, they come from many parts of the world,
including Australia, Madagascar, Poland, Norway, Austria & the U.S.

The height of popularity for Moonstones 
was the Art Nouveau era (1890 - 1910),
when the beautiful luminous stones were used to create a glowing effect
on very intricate jewellery.
This is the Gulbenkian Dragonfly brooch by Rene Lalique,
made in 1897,
one of many designs made by Lalique which helped to popularise 
the lovely Moonstone. 

As the stone is turned, 
the white light within moves,
appearing to dance.

It was a very fashionable stone for cufflinks 
in the middle of the 20th century, 
but is still used today, especially in the grey tones.
These ones are from the 1950s.

So if you are lucky enough to be born in June,
you can take your pick of which birthstone to claim as your own:
this charming and somewhat mysterious Moonstone,
or the lustrous Pearl, or the more rowdy Agate.

And if that's not generosity,
I don't know what is! 


  1. The moonstone is beautiful but if I were a June baby I would pick the pearl. What about you, which is your favorite?

    1. Well Joy I think if I were born in June I would take all 3! And happily justify it.

      I adore pearls, wearing them on an almost daily basis, but would love something in agate. Like those lights - extraordinarily beautiful. Until doing this series, I had never really noticed agates, but now am rather smitten.

      And moonstones are something which has always intrigued me. My husband has a favourite pair of cufflinks in moonstone. They have a sort of mystery to them. So how can one possibly choose?

  2. 'made from solidified moon rays'...I love that.
    I have an old scorpion brooch set with moonstones that belonged to my grandmother. Are moonstones also linked the Scorpio star sign?

    1. It sounds incredible - what a wonderful thing to have. No, moonstones were not associated with the scorpio star sign. In the middle ages, moonstone was associated with August instead of June, but this disappeared by the modern age.

      However, many of the Art Nouveau jewellery pieces, many of which featured moonstone, were made to look like insects, as part of the general appeal of idealised nature, which was part of the philosophy of the movement, so the choice of scorpion may be more to do with that than the star sign, perhaps? Assuming it is from that time.

    2. Ah ha! As I am an August girl that has never been attached to my birthstones, I am assuming that this is the reason why and that all along, Moonstone, one that I adore, is meant for me. :)

    3. Definitely born from another time, you are my dear Heather!

      Yes, t'would have been your birthstone should you have been born before the 20th century.

  3. I have a moonstone ring I wear that I just love...it goes with everything and I love things you can look IN to. These posts on birthstones are fascinating. You are soooo goood at this Virginia.

  4. Virginia I love your birthstone posts, I am a magpie so I love anything that lustres, glitters or sparkles but I agree with you moonstones are particularly mysterious and fascinating and I think they also have subtle beauty. The name moonstone suits these gems perfectly.

  5. Moonstone - gorgeous name isn't it? So mysterious and cool. Love your birthstone posts too - can't wait for August's post. yay.
    Happy day sweet Virginia,

  6. If I were to wear a gemstone, and now I think about it I wonder why I have never done so, it would be a white moonstone. Probably in the form of cufflinks as I'm of the generation of men that did not and still does not wear earrings – unless one were a pantomime dame, that is. The era of Medallion Man left me cold and I still have difficulty with the idea of necklaces on men - I know, I know, just being a boring old fart ringed about with shibboleths and prejudices. However, given that I still wear my Danish Design silver cufflinks - my 21st birthday present to myself and they're the only cufflinks I own - I think moonstone cufflinks might be a little redundant. What I would like to see is a white moonstone in the rock crystal offering bowl on the lucite table in my living room. I could add a tiny, centimeter-long, rock crystal dorjay to the arrangement. Imagine how that tablescape-in-miniature would catch the light!

    Well, that woke me up - moonstones and coffee. I don't think the Romans were that far from the mark when they believed that moonstones are solidified rays of the moon and who couldn't believe that a star's sparkle could be captured in the stone.

  7. Found your blog from the esteemed Professor Blue's. Glad I did. I am a Libra, but have always loved moonstones. But then, I am a bit younger (62) than dear Blue and don't call myself an old fart (but loved his shibboleths and prejudices phrase). I have a moonstone necklace and earrings, simpler in design than the deco look. As my hair has turned silvery and left its foxy brownish red behind, they look even better on me and look delicious on white or black. I always get compliments on them. I have always been a moon girl.

    Loved your comment about the Bennison room. I get ill every time I hear the phrase "staging a room, a bookcase etc." I live with three generations of things that have been dear to those who have been dear. Moody and personal that's me: the woman working to complete a 53' room that will be a morning room/pantry, kitchen and library/dining room. It is a mix of mirror, chrome, black, industrial, chinoiserie, some antiques, abstract art, leopard carpet and miles of books. It starts with mirrored walls bringing in the garden's trees through large windows during the day and ending up at the fireplace wine at night. It is a celebration of the tool and the journey which is a reflection of my life.

    Look forward to reading more of your blog and your comments.

    1. Hello and how delightful to meet you - as you obviously have an enquiring mind and a quick wit. We share bold admiration for Professor Blue, I see.

      Your room sounds like my absolute idea of how a living room should be - full of things which have a relevance. And I have to say, how beautiful your line is... "It starts with mirrored walls bringing in the garden's trees through large windows during the day and ending up at the fireplace with wine at night." Bliss! Can there be a better type of room?

  8. Lovely post V! My darling Mum was born in June, wore a beautiful moonstone pendant set in gold on her wedding day & she always had a bottle of Moon Drops on her dressing table. Such memories.
    Millie xx


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