Rainbow moonstone sources list - know your gems
You probably already know that moonstone can come in many different kinds. There are stones of different shades - blue, pink, peach, white, and, of course, the colorful Rainbow Moonstone. We have prepared a comparison of the two most popular moonstone types, blue and rainbow. You will learn not only about these minerals, but also about where the best moonstones are mined.
Rainbow moonstone is also known as white labradorite. In fact, it is a kind of labradorite, which has bright and iridescent colors. Rainbow moonstones are usually mined in southwest India.
AMAZING MOONSTONE JEWELRY
HOW DO MOONSTONE AND RAINBOW MOONSTONES DIFFER IN APPEARANCE?
Moonstone is transparent and has a delicate blue tint on the surface. The most precious and valuable are the stones with a deep blue color. Of course, such stones, like any other moonstone, have adularescence (the spilling of color and shimmering effect) and look stunning. This optical effect is the result of the unique internal structure of the moonstone.
Rainbow moonstone is a stone with inclusions inside, the reflection of light, from which, creates a rainbow effect – displaying many shades of the rainbow, from pink to yellow, peach, purple and blue. Such an unusual effect is inherent to only this kind of stone. And in general, the adularescence within the Rainbow moonstones is more pronounced than in other types. This is what makes it so popular.
Rainbow moonstones have significant advantages: they are more affordable, with the price of rainbow moonstone a lot lower than that of general moonstones, making them attractive to jewelers.
It is worth saying that the rainbow moonstone is also known as white labradorite. In fact, it is a kind of labradorite, which has bright and iridescent colors. The name "Rainbow moonstone" was coined by a community of cutters to describe this stone, although in reality it is not orthoclase, but plagioclase. In other words, the moonstone and rainbow moonstone are quite close relatives.
WHERE AND HOW ARE MOONSTONES MINED?
From ancient times up to the present day, it is believed that the most beautiful moonstones are mined in Myanmar and Sri Lanka in the area of Meetiyagoda. This is where the most expensive varieties with blue irisations and three-dimensional effects come from. The mineral is located in the volcanic rocks, where it crystallized millions of years ago from a melt of silicon and other substances.
Deposits of moonstone are often found in granite and syenite-pegmatite rocks around the world.
Less significant sources of this mineral are Australia, Brazil, Germany, Myanmar (Burma), Madagascar, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland (where Moonstone was first discovered), Tanzania and the United States.
Many people imagine stone mining as a vast open space with a lot of modern and useful equipment. But all this has nothing to do with the extraction of moonstone. Like in ancient times, it is extracted by artisanal methods. In other words, people are looking for gravel that contains moonstone. Digging the top layer of soil by hand, the miners used coconut palm scaffold and fern leaves to support and level the sides of shafts when progressing. Once they reach the pegmatite layer, the miners start tunneling again using coconut beams to prevent the tunnels from collapsing. The stones containing the moonstone, collected by gravel buckets, are then lifted into the shaft - again by hand.
There are no mechanized mines, only manual labor as there was thousands of years ago. On the plus side, such production has a minimal impact on the environment.
MOONSTONE AND RAINBOW MOONSTONE SOURCES
The biggest and best of moonstones traditionally come from Myanmar (Burma), but now it has become much harder to find good stones, and so the price has increased.
Rainbow moonstones are usually mined in southwest India. Rainbow moonstone sources are also found in Sri Lanka, Australia, Mexico, Madagascar, and Poland.
Moonstones are mined in:
In this article we described the deposits of moonstones and the way they were mined. Unfortunately, the known moonstone deposits are in turn being depleted, and good gem quality blue moonstones have become increasingly rare in recent years. For this reason, the price of moonstone has risen sharply. This is one of the reasons why moonstones are often counterfeited. Be careful when buying moonstone gems and do not forget to ask about the deposit of your chosen stone.
Kindly note that healing gemstone meanings are not prescriptions or healthcare information.
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