Moonstone vs Opal: What You Should Know

In a world full of amazing gemstones of all kinds, there are still some gems that are uniquely different in their rather alluring charm and simplicity and no other stones represent this better than moonstone and opal

For ages, these two stones have been a subject of discussion. Their similarities and antagonism have fascinated many. Which one appeals more to the eyes and which is rarer and more.

Even though Moonstone and Opal are composed of different minerals, however, look a bit alike. But when talking of gems, we all know that there is no absolute perfection. As creatures of nature, they always vary little or greatly within their kind. One moonstone may not look like another, and some even looking like Opal, or in other words adularescent. Read on to discover the many differences between these two elegant gemstones.

Chemistry mismatch

Between these two stones, their chemical formulations are entirely different. Moonstone is a member of the feldspar group, one of the earth’s most widespread minerals. Precisely speaking, it is composed of orthoclase and albite. On the other hand, Opal is a product is a product of the combination of water and silica.

Hardness

Opal is the softer and more easily damaged compared to moonstone. Opals have a rating of 5.5 - 6.5 on the Moh’s scale of mineral hardness, while Moonstone, what this means is that they can be easily scratched and broken, with opals obviously being more vulnerable. So, regardless of which of these gems you go for, keep in mind that if you have to care more for them if you plan using these beauties daily.

The Play Of Light

Both Moonstone and Opal deal play on light in their own unique way, but with  Moonstones, there is a schiller effect known as adularescence, which is as a result of scattered light passing through the stone, acting as scattering centers, creating a bluish hue/lustre. When you look closely at a Moonstone crystal, you will observe a faint glow that originates from below the gem’s surface which is akin to the glow of the moon on the surface of a sea at night. That is what adularescence is all about.

In Opals, this similar effect is referred to as ‘opalescence’, but this is more a play of light, which gives different milky, blue, and orange luster that differ depending on the many tiny silica spheres in their chemical structure.

Colors

Moonstones can be found in a variety of colors, such as pink, peach, green, yellow, brown, grey, and blue color, but it can also be colorless as well.

Opals, on the other hand, beat Moonstone and the gemstone’s uniqueness because no two Opal are the same in the world. Opals come in a range of colors like white, black, and orange colors with multiple inclusions of the other color flashes.

Mismatch & similarities in spiritual properties

Moonstone is associated with love, intuition, personal growth, and new beginnings. It also helps to relieve stress and negative emotional states. Moonstone does a great job of calming down the mood.

Opals, on the other hand, encourages creativity, fosters freedom, and strengthens the will to live. Opal intensifies emotions, releases anger, and inhibitions. This is why this gem is regarded as a gem of love and passion.

Their Value

When it comes to the value and price carat of these gemstones, opal beat moonstones hands down. Boulder opals are the cheapest opals, and these can be white and still cost more than moonstone depending on the cut. Opals of the highest quality can fetch up to $15,000 per carat. The low-quality moonstones can go for as low as $10, but the higher specimens can go for up to $1000 per carat.

Location

Opals are found almost exclusively from the Australian subcontinent. It is the national gem of Australia. But moonstones are unearthed in different countries, but Sri Lanka stands out as the forerunner for the production of moonstone, but other close competitors include Brazil, India, and Madagascar.

Affordable Opal and Moonstone Alternatives

If you are considering a moonstone engagement ring or an opal engagement ring, you’ll find dazzling options in our gemstone collection that can be set in your favorite PenFine engagement ring settings.