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The Cottage July/Lammas 2001 Issue

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Gem of the Month

Moonstone

SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION: Moonstone is one variation of Orthoclase. It owes its beautiful silvery to bluish sheen ('adularescence' or 'schiller') to its composition of extremely thin plates of orthoclase and albite. The thinner these plates are, the bluer is the sheen. There are also moonstones consisting mainly of albite. These are less translucent, but they can occur in a variety of colors: grey, blue, green, brown, yellow and white. There are also moonstone cat's-eyes. The chemical composition is KAlSi3O8 and the hardness is 7. The streak is white.

ENVIRONMENT: The potash feldspars are important rock-forming minerals in plutonic, volcanic, and metamorphic rocks. Adularia and sanidine are found usually in volcanic rocks.

OCCURRENCE: The main countries of origin are Ceylon, southern India (the district near Kangayam), Tanzia and Malagasy which, together with Burma, produces some of the finest stones with a deep blue schiller. White adularia crystals up to 2.5 cm (1") across have been found in gold-bearing quartz veins at Bodie, Mono Co., California, and in the silver mines of the Silver City district, Owhyee Co., Idaho.

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LEGEND and LORE: This stone has always been revered because of its lunar attraction. It was believed that the shiller in the stone would follow the cycles of the moon. (Becoming greatest when the moon was full.) In addition, it has always been considered a "feminine, or Goddess" stone.

MAGICAL PROPERTIES: Meditation with moonstone calls into consciousness the three-form moon phase goddesses, Diana/Selene/Hecate, the waxing, Full and waning Moon. These are woman as goddess in her ages and contradictions, Maiden/ Mother/Crone. Cunningham favors this stone for spells involving love. In addition he has a longish essay on using it for a "diet" stone.

HEALING: Because of it's feminine nature, Moonstone has long been considered a "women's healing stone". It is used traditionally for healing/balancing of female organs and hormones.

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