The Rainbow Moonstone and Fine Jewelry Making

The rainbow moonstone is relatively new to the gem and jewelry industry.  This beautiful and diverse stone may have a short history, but it is one that has caused a bit of confusion even down tho today.  Despite all of that, it remains a popular pick among shoppers.  This multicolored newcomer is beautiful and due at times to its dazzling array of colors, can be used to compliment different metals, stones and gems in just about any style.  What is some of the history behind this stone?  Why does it make such good jewelry?

Moonstones and the Rainbow Stone’s History

Rainbow moonstones have been around for a long time.  This soft, yet surprisingly durable stone has adorned necklaces, earrings and bracelets for generations.  The pale luster of this stone gives it an enchanting appeal that never ages.  This stone is closely related to but not quite the same as a rainbow moonstone.  While it has been named and confused for a moonstone, the rainbow variety is actually a colorless form of labradorite (true moonstones are orthoclase and albite).

rainbow moonstone

Both gems are basically cousins in the geological sense so the name is not too far off.  The billowing shimmer of the rainbow moonstone is due to the reflection off the twinning planes within the stone.  This effect reflects more color than a true moonstone.  The rainbow iridescence differs from the moonstone’s in the range of colors that can be seen.  Depending on the rainbow moonstone, the transparency is greater and can have anywhere from a subtle blue to a deep blue hue.

Rainbow Moonstones in Jewelry

When the discovery of the rainbow moonstone was made, traders and jewelers alike scrambled to make use of this beautiful find.  While the value of this gemstone is similar to the true moonstone there are some traits that set this stone apart.  These differences have helped the rainbow moonstone to find its own niche in the jewelry market.  While the hardness of the stone registers around 6-6.5 it still holds up well and will last for a long time with proper care.  This affordable stone makes it accessible to everyone.  Its beauty though, can hold its own even among finer pieces of jewelry.  For these and a host of other reasons, the rainbow moonstone continues to be a popular and well used gemstone.

For those who can appreciate the aesthetic appeal of this stone will also appreciate how accessible it is.  Anyone can own one of these mysteriously gorgeous stones.  Rings are common and can be set in nearly any metal, pendants are a popular option and bracelets are gaining interest too.  The entrancing billowing color and light that is the rainbow moonstone is sure to stay around for years to come.