Gemstone History and Properties
Moonstone is the common name given to two different feldspar gemstones which have a somewhat similar appearance but different crystal structures and chemical compositions. The first is the common or Orthoclase Moonstone, which is distinguished by a monoclinic crystal structure and the chemical formula KAlSi3O8. The Orthoclase Moonstone is usually translucent to opaque and comes in a variety of colors, and its orange variety is usually known as the Sunstone. The second type is the Rainbow or Plagioclase Moonstone which has a triclinic crystal structure and the chemical formula (Na,Ca)AlSi3O8.
While the Moonstone was well known around the world since antiquity, relatively little information about its lore and historical uses survived through the centuries. Even so, it is one of the very few gems that has a universal astrological correspondence across all cultures, being associated as its name implies with the Moon itself.
Legendary properties and historical uses
While the Orthoclase Moonstone is quite common, the main source of the Rainbow Moonstone throughout history was in SriLanka and India. These are also the regions where one can find most of the surviving lore and legends surrounding it.
The main power attributed to the Moonstone was the ability to bestow calmness and inner peace upon its wearer, along with the ability to cure insomnia, stop sleepwalking and remove nightmares. These powers were attributed to the Moonstone due to its association with the moon, which was believed to directly influence human emotions and sleep. Other powers attributed to the Moonstone due to its association with the Moon included the ability to cure anxiety, depression and mental disorders, regulate the menstrual cycle and increase the chances of pregnancy.
Despite the prevalence of Diamonds as symbols of love in modern culture, one interesting and lesser known use for the Moonstone was as a talisman for lovers. In fact, it is one of the very few gemstones ever used specifically for this purpose. The belief was that a Moonstone could bring lovers closer together and increase their affection for one another, especially if both lover would kiss while holding the stone between their lips. This is why it was customary to gift a newlywed couple a Moonstone at their wedding, which would serve as a talisman for their love.
The stone according to Hindu belief
In Hindu belief certain gemstones are connected to certain planetary deities, and these gemstones are able to transmit the energies associated with these deities to a person wearing them, allowing him to enjoy the benefits of those energies in the process.
According to Hindu belief, the Moonstone is a representation of the energy of the moon god Chandra on earth. The god Chandra, who physically manifests as the moon, is considered the queen of all the planets.
In Hindu\Vedic Astrology, the Moon represents the mind and emotions of a person, hence representing not only his thoughts but also his feelings and even his entire perception of the world.
According to vedic astrology, a Moonstone is suitable for a person if the Moon is well positioned in his natal chart, and is especially recommend if its placement is weak as that is an indicator for family problems and mental diseases. If however the Moons positioned is harmful, the use of a Moonstone is considered detrimental and is generally discouraged.
Among the properties ascribed to a Moonstone when it suits a person, are the ability to improve his memory and concentration, his emotional stability and his self-control, and his relationship with others in general and with his mother and children in particular. In addition, it is said that the Moonstone helps to improve health, alleviate hormonal problems and insomnia, as well as increasing fertility.
If however, the Moonstone proves unsuitable, it is said that it will cause bad luck, emotional instability, will harm the health and increase water retention (edema). In extreme cases it is even said to cause problems with mental health.
According to Hindu belief, if one wishes to gain the blessing of the Moon, he should wear a high quality, eye clean Moonstone that is set in jewelry made of silver. The jewelry has to be made in such a way that the Moonstone will be in contact with the skin, hence earrings are unsuitable. If the pearl is set in a ring, the ring must be worn on the little finger of the right hand for right handed people or the left for left handed people and women.
Before wearing such a talisman for the first time, it must be washed in fresh milk and afterwards washed again in Ganges water (or any other holy water). The talisman must be worn for the first time on a Monday falling close to the full moon, in the first hour after sunrise.