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Moonstone VS Rainbow Moonstone

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Sometimes there can be a bit of confusions between Moonstone and Rainbow Moonstone. There is actually quite a difference between the two stones even though they are related. The following are a few tips on how to identify which you have. The video offers information as well as shows you a side by side comparison. As an extra bonus I have included Opalite and Labradorite in the video and explain how they are similar and how they differ from Moonstone and Rainbow Moonstone.

MOH’s Hardness
Moonstone: 6-6.5
Rainbow Moonstone: 6-6.5

Moonstone: White
Rainbow Moonstone: White

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Colors and Mineral Content:
Moonstone: Moonstone is Orthoclase Feldspar. It has the chemical composition of KAlSi3O8 (Potassium, Aluminum, Silicon, Oxygen). Moonstone (Orthoclase) can be found in a variety of colors including white, cream, gray/silver, peach, black. While they do display adularescence (sheen), it is not a colorful flash like you would find with Rainbow Moonstone. (Click here to read more about Moonstone.)

Rainbow Moonstone: Rainbow Moonstone is a Plagioclase Feldspar. It has the chemical composition of (Na,Ca)Al1-2Si3-2O8 (Sodium, Calcium, Aluminum, Silicon, Oxygen). This is the same chemical composition for Labradorite. Despite the name “Moonstone”, Rainbow Moonstone is in fact White Labradorite. That is why Rainbow Moonstone has the labradorescence (color flashes) that we find in Labradorite. Rainbow Moonstone (White Labradorite) often contains Black Tourmaline inclusions. (Click here to read more about Rainbow Moonstone.)

In the video below I also include a comparison of Opalite with Rainbow Moonstone (White Labradorite). Opalite, which is a man-made glass, can often times be found sold as Moonstone, especially in beads or jewelry. In this video you’ll notice that Opalite gives off a glow throughout the entire stone. Rainbow Moonstone and Moonstone do not exhibit that same glow and display of color. I also included Labradorite in the video to show side by side the labradorescent flashes of both Labradorite and Rainbow Moonstone.

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