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The name moonstone comes from the shimmering appearance this stone displays, which appears different whenever the stone moves. This phenomena is called adularescence. Adulerescence is due to the interior makeup of scales or lamellas structure of the Moonstone. When incoming rays of light hit these scales, it is refracted and scattered into a unique play of light.
Moonstone is a variety of the species feldspar. On earth, two thirds of the stones are varieties of Feldspars! Moonstone's particular orthoclase feldspar variety is called "adularia," because it was found in the European Alps near the Adula-group, and also contains the silicate of potassium aluminum in gemstone quality. Another synonym for Moonstone is "Selenite," after Selene, Greek goddess of the moon.