Moonstone gemstones

Moonstone gemstones

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Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Moonstone gemstones. This orthoclase mineral (sodium potassium aluminium silicate) has been shaped and polished to produce semi-precious gemstones. It belongs to the feldspar group of minerals, which are related due to symmetry and composition. Feldspars make up 60% of the earth's outer crust. Moonstone is named due to its moon-like glow. This occurs due to the phenomenon known as adularescence, which results from the refraction of light between internal layers before exiting the crystal.

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