Moonstone and labradorite might seem like twins at a glance, but they’re distinct stones. If you’ve got either of them and you’re not sure which is which, let me help you out.
What are the differences between moonstone and labradorite?
When you place a moonstone next to labradorite, here’s what you’ll notice:
Color: Moonstone comes in shades like white, peach, pink, and more, with shimmering hints of blue, silver, and rainbow. Labradorite? It’s usually dark grey with flashes of blue, green, yellow, and other colors. The standout difference? Their captivating colors. Labradorite boasts a rich spectrum, whereas rainbow moonstone wows with its blue sheen. Other Moonstones, like peach and black, typically glow with a silver or golden shimmer.
Chemical composition: Labradorite is part of the plagioclase feldspar group, and it contains calcic mineral and sometimes tiny pieces of copper. Moonstone is a feldspar with orthoclase and albite. It forms due to magma cooling and has adularescence.
Clarity and pattern: Labradorite is mostly opaque to translucent, with glittery inclusions from copper or hematite. Moonstone will range from opaque to translucent, with inclusions that resemble “centipedes”. High-quality moonstones have minimal visible inclusions.
Where they’re found: You will find moonstone mainly in places like India, Madagascar, and Sri Lanka. Labradorite, on the other hand, was originally found in Labrador, Canada, but it’s now mined in Norway, Finland, and Madagascar.
Details: Both are feldspar minerals with a hardness of 6-6.5. They’re from the triclinic crystal system, but their formulas are a bit different.
Healing vibes: Moonstone is said to be great for soothing emotions. Labradorite? It may help kick those pesky fears to the curb. And if you’re into the spiritual side, moonstone connects you to divine energy, while labradorite tunes into your intuition.
Astro-facts: Moonstone resonates with Cancer, Libra, and Scorpio folks and is a birthstone for June. Labradorite? Leos, Scorpios, and Sagittarians might feel a pull, especially those born in February or March.
Where you wear them: Depending on the color, you can align Moonstone with any chakra, but labradorite is said to vibe with the throat and third eye.
Celestial buddies: Moonstone’s best friend is the Moon, while labradorite hangs with Uranus.
Element: Both have an affinity with water. In the numbers game, moonstone’s is 4, and labradorite’s are 6 and 7.
Price: In terms of price, labradorite is typically easier on the pocket, while moonstone, especially the radiant rainbow moonstone, might lean on the pricier side.
How to tell the difference
A standout characteristic that helps differentiate these two gemstones is the optical phenomena they display:
- Labradorescence: This is exclusive to labradorite. When light hits the surface, you can see an iridescent play of colors that’s quite vibrant. Labradorite can flash a variety of colors, from blues and violets to yellows, oranges, and even reds. This iridescent display is due to the way the mineral layers refract light.
- Adularescence: Moonstone is best known for this optical effect. It gives the stone a soft, shimmering reflection that looks like moonlight gliding over water. Moonstone doesn’t display as wide a range of colors as labradorite. The shimmer usually goes from blue to white or, in some moonstones, a rainbow of colors.
Origin and Folklore
- Labradorite: As mentioned earlier, this stone was named after Labrador in Canada. The Inuit legend that the Northern Lights were once trapped inside the rock is a fun piece of folklore to remember.
- Moonstone: It’s long been associated with lunar deities and moonlight. Various cultures have linked it with moon gods and goddesses.
- Usage in Jewelry: Labradorite is often used in larger jewelry pieces like pendants or big rings because of its vibrant play of colors. Moonstone is frequently found in smaller jewelry items, like delicate earrings or rings, because its soft sheen is subtle and elegant.
If you’re ever in doubt, remember that Labradorite is all about vibrant, multi-color flashes (Labradorescence) while moonstone offers a soft, moon-like shimmer (Adularescence). This is your primary visual clue.
Another practical way to distinguish them, especially if you’re buying, is to consult with a reputable jeweler. They can provide insights based on the stone’s internal structures using specialized tools and knowledge.
What is moonstone?
Moonstone belongs to the feldspar group of minerals, specifically made of orthoclase and albite. Among the feldspar minerals, it’s one of the top contenders in terms of value.
One of the cool things about moonstone is that if you shine some light on it, it “dances” with colors. This is a phenomenon known as adularescence. There’s a type of moonstone called rainbow moonstone that’s particularly captivating. It’s a white stone that shows off a brilliant blue glow.
Now, while you can find moonstone in many parts of the world, the best of the best come from India, Madagascar, Brazil, and Sri Lanka. And if you’re looking for that spectacular rainbow moonstone, India and Madagascar are your go-to spots.
In terms of toughness, moonstone isn’t the hardiest out there. It ranks 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which means it isn’t entirely scratch resistant. So, avoid letting it sit in water for too long and keep it away from extreme temperature changes to prevent damage.
You will find moonstones in shades like peach, black, pink, and blue, with clarity varying from clear to slightly cloudy. The best of the best have a blue shimmer over a transparent base.
Even with its need for gentle care, this stone’s beauty makes it a favorite for jewelry, especially in rounded or domed cuts called cabochons.
Moonstone metaphysical properties
Moonstone is often dubbed the ‘stone of new beginnings’, drawing its energy from its deep connection to the moon and its phases. What this means for you is that this crystal nudges you to embrace life’s natural rhythm and helps you release what’s beyond your grip.
A cool thing about moonstone? It’s like a rainbow in terms of variety. Each color links to a different chakra or energy point in the body. For instance, rainbow moonstone vibes with your crown and throat chakras, while peach moonstone gives a nudge to your sacral chakra.
If you ever feel like you’re riding an emotional roller coaster, moonstone is your go-to. It’s said to foster calmness, help you navigate your emotions, and even aids you in finding balance during stressful times. Plus, having it close by can spur personal growth, empowering you to be your best self.
On a brighter note, this stone is also all about hope, joy, and inspiring positive vibes. Whether it’s a creative spark, luck in love, or a boost in business, wearing Moonstone might just be your lucky charm.
For the ladies out there, moonstone is particularly special. It’s deeply tied to feminine energy, nurturing feelings of patience and wisdom.
- Sacral Chakra: Located around the belly button. Moonstone is believed to stimulate this chakra to promote healthy eating habits, creativity, and eroticism.
- Third Eye Chakra: Located between the eyebrows, extending to the mouth. This chakra represents intuition, foresight, and spiritual insight. Moonstone activates this chakra to enhance spiritual development, discernment, and heightened awareness.
- Crown Chakra: Located on the top of the head, it symbolizes spiritual connection, enlightenment, and universal energy. Moonstone stimulates this chakra, guiding towards joy, wellness, happiness, and prosperity.
- Recognized as a birthstone for June.
- Associated Zodiac Sign:
- Gemini: Signifying adaptability, communication, and duality. Moonstone influences the Gemini’s passions, careers, hobbies, and friendships.
What is labradorite?
Labradorite is part of the feldspar mineral family, commonly found in rocks such as gabbro, norite, and basalt. What’s unique about this stone is its composition, containing both sodium and calcium. It’s named after Labrador, a region in Northeast Canada, where it was first discovered back in the 1770s.
One of the most mesmerizing things about Labradorite is its ability to play with light. When light hits it, the stone showcases a vivid array of colors – a phenomenon known as labradorescence. This is all thanks to the unique way its internal crystal structures interact with light.
There’s a whimsical tale about Labradorite, as it was said the Eskimo Inuit believed the Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis, were trapped inside this stone.
Appearance-wise, labradorite usually showcases a darker base color, but it’s the dance of labradorescent colors – blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and purple – that steals the show.
On the toughness scale, it scores between 6 and 6.5, so it’s moderately hard. One good thing about Labradorite is that its deep colors won’t fade easily in the sunlight. And if you’re wondering about getting it wet, a quick dip in water is alright, but long soaks aren’t recommended.
Location wise, you can find Labradorite in many countries, from Poland and Norway to India and China. However, if you’re hunting for the best, Finland and Canada have the most sought-after pieces.
- Throat Chakra: Located in the throat region, it’s known as the voice of the body and represents expression, communication, and truth. Labradorite is believed to stimulate this chakra, aiding in speaking one’s truth, understanding emotions, beliefs, and ideas.
- Crown Chakra: Situated at the top of the head, it represents enlightenment, connection to the higher self, and spiritual connection. Labradorite stimulates this chakra, aiding in spiritual growth and understanding.
- Not a designated birthstone, but linked with those born in August, and sometimes February and March.
- Associated Zodiac Signs:
- Scorpio: Symbolizing transformation, ambition, intimacy, and spiritual enlightenment.
- Sagittarius: Representing optimism, love for exploration, and higher knowledge.
- Leo: Denotes passion, charisma, leadership, and self-expression.
Labradorite metaphysical properties
Labradorite is a spiritual powerhouse.
Often known as a stone of transformation, it’s all about embracing change, drawing on inner strength, and pushing through. If you’re aiming to enhance your intuition or boost your imagination, labradorite is said to be a stone you should put high on your list. Beyond just personal insight, it acts as a protective barrier against negative vibes, helping to dispel fears and insecurities.
Ever felt like you’re in a rut or trying to reinvent yourself? Grab a Labradorite. It’s like a support buddy in your pocket, radiating wisdom and truth. It’s also an ace for spaces where you want to elevate conscious thinking.
Spiritually, this crystal is a gem during meditative practices, as it’s said to help you self-reflect deeper. Its vibrant colors work wonders on the throat and third eye chakras, guiding spiritual enlightenment and even astral adventures.
Is moonstone and labradorite the same?
No. Moonstone and labradorite are distinct minerals, both belonging to the feldspar family. However, this is one of the only similarities they share.
As you can see in the differences above, there are quite a few between the two.
Which one to choose?
It’s super personal, as different folks vibe with different crystals. If you can, do some online window shopping till one calls out to you. Always trust your intuition.
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