Rene Lalique used moonstones to great effect in his Art Nouveau designs of the early 20th Century. The shimmer of the stones suiting the swirling leaf and vine natural shapes of this era. Since some of the stones had a cat's eye effect or a four-spoked star as well as the typical undulating shimmer, the stones were cut as cameos, or engraved with various images.
The moonstone belongs to the large mineral group of the feldspars, in particular, the variety known as 'adularia', a potassium alumino silicate of gemstone quality. The stone is also known as 'selenite' from the Greek 'selene' meaning moon.
The real beauty of moonstones is seen only after a craftsman has cut and polished them in the classic cabochon shape. The cutter must first determine the correct height of the finished stone and then align the axes of the crystal precisely into the zenith of the stone, bringing about the light/shimmer effect.
Moon stones are found in the USA, Brazil, Australia, Myanmar and Madagascar but good quality stones are becoming rare with prices rising accordingly. Along with the pale blue shimmering stones, Sri Lanka also produces a deep blue. India produces green, brown, orange stones as well as some with a smokey appearance or the colour of champagne.
This is the stone of the moon goddess Diana/Artemis so the most powerful time to use it is at the full moon.
Wearing a moonstone strengthens our intuition and our capacity to understand.
It is also called the "lovers stone" and if given to another when the moon is full you'll always have passion for each other. If apart, it can re-unite lovers who have quarrelled.
It is a personal stone, reflecting the qualities of the person who owns it.
Moonstone is a stone of inner growth and strength and while considered to be a woman's gem it can be beneficial to men in opening the emotional self.
To revitalize the healing properties it's important to place the stone in the glow of the moon reaching its fullness, not a full or waning moon.