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!