The History, Legends, and Allure of Moonstone

Posted by Christina Zipperlen on

moonstone

Moonstone is a mesmerizing gemstone that countless cultures have cherished and admired throughout history. Its name comes from its moon-like sheen, giving it a mysterious and magical appearance. Its ethereal beauty, mystical properties, and rich history have made it one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world. In this post, we will explore the fascinating history, legends, and allure of moonstone.

​​The Ancient Origins: Unearthing Moonstone's Past

Moonstone, a mysterious gem that carries within it the rhythm of the cosmos and the luminescence of the moonlight, has a rich history that spans across cultures and centuries. Its ethereal glow, reminiscent of the moon's tender light on a serene night, has captivated the hearts and minds of ancient civilizations, imbuing it with a tapestry of myths, legends, and spiritual significance.

We can trace the origin of moonstone back to ancient times when many cultures revered it as a sacred stone with lunar power. 

  • The Romans believed moonstone was formed from rays of the moon that turned into stone, a sentiment reflected in its name. Indeed, the famed Roman historian Pliny the Elder first gave moonstone its name, as he believed that its shimmery appearance changed with the moon's phases. The Romans saw it as a powerful talisman and believed it could bring good fortune and protect against harm.

  • The Greeks also held moonstone in high regard. They named it "Aphroselene," merging the names of the two goddesses Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, and Selene, the moon goddess. They believed it was formed from the moon goddess's tears, which made it divine, and that wearing it would bring love, fertility, and luck. It was a popular belief in Ancient Greece that if two lovers wore moonstone on a full moon, they would fall madly in love with each other forever.

  • In Ancient India, moonstone was thought to be a solidified beam of moonlight and was considered a sacred stone, used in jewelry and spiritual ceremonies for centuries. It was believed to bring good fortune and love and was often presented as a wedding gift to bring harmony and happiness to the marriage. Ancient Indian mythology also praised moonstone as a symbol of the third eye, offering spiritual insight, enlightenment, and clarity of thought to those who embraced its energy. They believed that the moon god, Chandra, had a moonstone encrusted in his forehead, giving him the power of intuition. In fact, moonstone was also known in India as the Chandramani, moon gem, or Chandrakant, beloved by the moon.

  • Throughout the Middle Ages in Europe, many people used moonstone as an amulet for protection, especially travelers navigating the darkness of the night or those who traveled over water. They believed that its mystical glow provided guidance and helped to ward off evil spirits. Many women used moonstone to enhance their fertility and protect themselves during childbearing and lactation. It was also believed to bring the gift of clairvoyance and prophetic dreams, making it a popular stone for fortune-tellers and seers. Placing a moonstone in your mouth during a full moon was thought to increase psychic abilities and visions of the future.

There are many legends and myths associated with moonstone in different cultures, each adding to its allure and mystique. The history of moonstone is a testament to humanity's enduring fascination with the cosmos, a chronicle of our attempts to find meaning in the mysteries that surround us in the sky above. It's a history woven with threads of ancient wisdom, spiritual beliefs, and the enchanting dance of moonlight in moonstone's shimmering depths.

Moonstone in Royalty: A Gem Fit for Queens and Kings

Moonstone's exquisite beauty and link to the moon have made it a favorite of royalty and the aristocracy. Its magical glow and celestial charm have long captivated the hearts of monarchs and nobles, gracing the crowns and jewelry of kings and queens throughout history and even today. Its divine origins, protective powers, and association with fertility, love, and clairvoyance made it a must-have gem for nobility and royalty. 

  • One famous example is the British Queen Victoria, who loved moonstone so much that she incorporated it into many pieces of her jewelry collection and personal belongings. She was particularly fond of a beautiful serpent brooch that featured four large moonstone gems entwined in the serpent's coiled body. This brooch was gifted to her by Princess Clémentine of Orléans in 1840 and was part of a list of personal jewelry that the Queen requested be placed in the Albert Room of Windsor Castle after her death and not passed down to her family. 

  • The love for moonstone traveled to Russia, where it became a prized gem in the Russian royal court. The royal jewelers, particularly Carl Fabergé, famously used moonstone in many of his creations. Best known for his intricately designed and jeweled Fabergé eggs, he also crafted beautiful boxes, pendants, and other objects d'art using moonstone. The moonstone's captivating glow and unique color play perfectly embodied the opulence and grandeur of the Russian monarchy, and many of these pieces remain in the British Royal Collection today. 

  • Another spectacular royal example is Grand Duchess Eleonore of Hesse's Turquoise & Moonstone Tiara. This magnificent tiara, designed at the beginning of the 20th Century in the Art Noveau style, features a stunning crisscross pattern of moonstones and turquoise stones, surrounded by diamonds and set in platinum. Her daughter-in-law, Princess Margaret of Hesse and by Rhine later inherited it. 

  • Moonstone continues to enjoy royal favor today. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, known for her impeccable sense of style and love for color, often wears a beautiful blue gem and moonstone necklace and earring set on official occasions.  

The history of moonstone in royal jewelry is a testament to its enduring allure and symbolic significance. Its timeless elegance and enchanting play of light make it a gem fit for queens and kings, adding to the allure of this captivating stone. After all, it is a symbol of otherworldly divine power and the mysteries of the moon.

Moonstone in Royalty: A Gem Fit for Queens and Kings

Moonstone in Art and Literature: Inspiring Creativity through the Ages

Just like the moon has captivated the hearts of artists and writers throughout history, moonstone has also been a source of inspiration for many. Its otherworldly beauty and mystical qualities have inspired many masterpieces in both the visual and literary arts.  

Moonstone has been featured in numerous works of literature, often symbolizing its mystical qualities of love, clairvoyance, and the mysteries of the moon. One notable example is Wilkie Collins' novel "The Moonstone," one of the first detective novels in English literature. The plot revolves around a sacred gem that was stolen from an Indian idol, believed to be cursed with the power of the moon god and bring bad luck to its possessor. 

Even JK Rowling, in her famous Harry Potter series, uses moonstone as a key ingredient in creating magic potions. In the series, she describes moonstone as a shimmering white gem so bright that it seems to make its own light as if it had captured the essence of the moon itself. Powdered moonstone was an ingredient in several potions, including the draught of peace and love potions.  

Moonstone also makes an appearance in the popular Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, very appropriately, as a symbol of the moon in a book about vampires and werewolves. Bella Swan, the main character, wears a moonstone ring given to her by her mother. The ring symbolizes her connection to the moon and serves as a protective talisman.  

In the realm of visual arts, moonstone's captivating luminescence has been beautifully captured and celebrated. The Art Nouveau period, in particular, saw an explosion of moonstone jewelry and decorative objects. Artists were fascinated by its otherworldly glow and used it extensively in their creations. 

One notable example is René Lalique, the renowned French master goldsmith and glassmaker of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Lalique's exquisite jewelry designs captivated the world with their intricate craftsmanship and innovative use of materials. Among his many artistic creations, Lalique incorporated the ethereal beauty of moonstones into his exquisite pieces, adding a touch of mystique and elegance. Today, his unique and timeless creations continue to be highly coveted as collector's items, serving as a testament to his enduring legacy in the world of fine jewelry.

Moonstone hasn't just influenced artists; it also has its place in the hearts of scientists and pop culture. In 1969, the Apollo 11 mission finally carried the first humans to land on the moon, changing history and our understanding of this celestial body forever. The mission was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and to commemorate this special occasion, the state declared moonstone as Florida's official gemstone in 1970. What better way to remember the first steps on the moon than with the gem ancient cultures believed to contain its rays of light?

Moonstone will always be a source of inspiration, a muse that captures imaginations and feeds the human desire to find meaning in the natural world. 

Modern Resurgence: Moonstone's Contemporary Elegance

Moonstone has never stopped capturing the world's imagination, experiencing a resurgence in contemporary jewelry and fashion. Its captivating luminescence, reminiscent of moonlight dancing on a tranquil sea, continues to inspire designers, becoming a symbol of modern elegance and timeless beauty.

Moonstone is the centerpiece for a variety of modern designs, from bohemian styles to sleek and minimalist pieces. Its luminous quality adds a touch of whimsy and enchantment to any outfit, making it a popular choice for fashion designers and jewelry brands alike.

The beauty of moonstone is not limited to its shimmery beauty and physical appearance; it also has powerful metaphysical properties that have drawn people to it for centuries. 

As a gemstone, moonstone's properties of protection and healing are highly valued. In a fast-paced and often stressful world, moonstone promotes emotional balance and brings calmness and harmony to the wearer. This adds another layer of appeal for those seeking to add the power of a meaningful gemstone to their everyday lives. 

Modern Resurgence: Moonstone's Contemporary Elegance

That's why it's not just used in jewelry but also as a tool for spiritual practices such as meditation and crystal healing to take full advantage of the moonstone properties. It can be worn as a mala, used for meditation and chanting, or carried as a talisman for protection and good luck.

Its connection to the moon and its cycles also makes it a symbol of feminine energy and empowerment. For women seeking to connect with the divine feminine and embrace their inner power, moonstone serves as a strong reminder of the innate strength and beauty within. It balances the sacral or second chakra and can aid fertility, childbirth, and breastfeeding, making it an ideal stone for current and expectant mothers. 

Moonstone also has a profound connection with the third eye or sixth chakra, the energy center associated with intuition and deep spiritual knowledge. It is said to enhance psychic abilities and aid in developing clairvoyance and clarity of mind.

Looking into a moonstone reminds us of looking up at the night sky and seeing the moon's shimmering light. Its enduring allure and rich history make it a gemstone that will continue to shine brightly for generations to come. Moonstone adds a touch of elegance and connects us to nature and the cosmos, reminding us of our place in the universe.

Thanks to the loving hands of the skilled artisans at Ananda Soul, you can wear this powerful gift from the depths of the earth wherever you go, inspired by the moon and its magical qualities. Our handcrafted moonstone pieces are created with love and care, using sustainably sourced materials, making them not only beautiful but also ethical and meaningful.

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