Moonstone has been used as a beautiful adornment and a powerful talisman since ancient civilizations. The Romans admired it, believing it was formed from moonbeams. Both the Romans and the Greeks associated moonstone with their lunar deities.
The Roman natural historian, Pliny, coined the name of this gemstone when he wrote that moonstone’s shimmery appearance shifted with the phases of the moon—a belief that held until well after the sixteenth century.
When Art Nouveau became popular between 1890 and 1910, designers featured moonstone in custom jewelry. It was also featured in handcrafted silver items during the last half of the nineteenth century in the Arts and Crafts era. Moonstone continued to be popular with hippies in the 1960s and designers in the New Age movement of the 1990s.
Florida adopted moonstone as its official state gemstone in 1970 to commemorate the Apollo 11 moon landing and other spaceflights that launched from Florida—even though moonstone is not naturally found in Florida or on the moon.
Valued for centuries, moonstone is still popular and accessible today. It’s the preferred June birthstone over pearl and alexandrite, in parts of the world like Germany and Scandinavia.