Moonstone vs Quartz: What Are They, And What’s The Difference?

People often mistake moonstone and quartz because of their similarities.

However, each gemstone possesses its own unique features.

In this article, we’ll discuss what each gemstone is, what the similarities and differences are, and hopefully, set you straight on being able to identify a moonstone and quartz. 

Moonstone vs Quartz (EXPLAINED)

What Is Moonstone?

Moonstone, the best-known gemstone of the feldspar group, is named after its gleaming color that resembles the moonlight.

The distinguishing factor that can help you identify it is adularescence.

This amazing feature exhibits the bluish glow on the stone.

The light moves across like moonlight would shift across a large body of water.

Some other distinguishing features of moonstone include: 

Hardness

Moonstone is ranked between 6 and 6.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.

However, it is known for breakage due to the layers within the stone. 

Location

Moonstone deposits are often found in feldspar-rich granitic and syenitic pegmatites all over the world.

Primarily, moonstone deposits are from Sri Lanka and India.

The Sri Lankan moonstone is well-known for its blue color, but the blue moonstone is becoming increasingly rare.

India is known for its rainbow moonstone.

Additional sources include Australia, Brazil, Germany, Myanmar (Burma), Madagascar, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, Tanzania, and the United States. 

Switzerland’s Adula Mountains are the keepers of some moonstone mines.

Use

Moonstone is frequently used for jewelry, especially earrings and necklaces, because they are prone to less brute force than, say, a ring would be.

Although it is becoming a popular stone for engagement rings, so if you opt for this, you should ensure the stone is properly protected so it won’t endure much, if any, damage.

Lore

Many ancient cultures believed moonstone was created from moonbeams.

Others strongly associated the stone’s so-called powers with the moon.

During a full moon, the stone was a prized possession.

It is presumed to bring good fortune and feelings of love and affection. 

Moonstone is also connected with the water Zodiac signs.

Some healing properties correlated to the stone are thought to be:

  • Helps enhance intuition
  • More accepting of change
  • Alleviates fear associated with change
  • Helps balance emotions
  • Promotes calmness
  • Encourages peace and harmony
  • Helps improve confidence
  • Helps enhance passion

Basically, moonstone is said to encompass all good vibes!

What Is Quartz?

As one of the most common minerals on Earth, quartz comes in an abundance of colors that create multiple types of gemstones. 

The different varieties of quartz include:

  • Amethyst.
  • Ametrine.
  • Aventurine.
  • Blue Quartz.
  • Cat’s Eye Quartz.
  • Citrine.
  • Lemon Quartz.
  • Milky Quartz.
  • Prase.
  • Prasiolite (Green Amethyst).
  • Rainbow Quartz.
  • Rock Crystal.
  • Rose Quartz.
  • Rutilated Quartz.
  • Smoky Quartz.
  • Tourmalinated Quartz.

Some other distinguishing features of quartz include: 

Hardness

Quartz is ranked at a solid seven on the Mohs Hardness Scale.

This is typically a good hardness level for everyday jewelry.

Location

Quartz can be found almost everywhere.

It is extremely common to find throughout the world.

Its main sources are far too numerous to make a list of. However, the most well-known countries that produce quartz gemstones are Brazil, Madagascar, India, and the United States (Arkansas specifically).

In addition to these locations, the different varieties of quartz have their own sources.

For example, amethyst is mostly produced in Brazil but can also be found in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Namibia, Zambia, South Africa, Madagascar, Canada (Ontario), and the United States (Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, and Maine).

Citrine is another type of quartz mostly produced in Brazil, but it’s also sourced from Argentina, Madagascar, Zaire, Namibia, Spain, and Russia.

Use

All forms of quartz are used as affordable gemstones.

They are crafted into various gemstone cuts and used in all forms of jewelry.

Lesser quality stones are typically made for use in bracelets, necklaces, and costume jewelry.  

Due to its abundance and lack of luster, rock crystal (the colorless, pure form of quartz) is not normally cut into gemstones, although some very large spheres and sculptures are carved from it.

Small pieces of rock crystal can be worn as pendants, after being polished and smoothed and sometimes, in their natural crystal form.

Lore

Quartz was once believed to be eternal ice sent by the gods.

Until the late 1500s, many thought the stone was fossilized ice.

The word quartz is thought to come from the German word “quarz,” and the word crystal comes from the Greek word “krystallos,” which means ice.

Ancient Japanese maintained the belief that quartz formed from the exhalations of a white dragon.

Further, given the source of the material, they regarded it as representing perfection.

Quartz has been used throughout history in rain rituals, crystal skulls, and spheres for crystal balls to predict the future since the middle ages.

Now, quartz continues to be prized by many for magical, mystical, and implied metaphysical powers. 

It’s been called the “Universal Crystal” because of its many uses and how beneficial it is thought to be for manifesting, healing, meditation, protection, and channeling.

It is also said to amplify healing energy and improve mental and physical energy, stamina, and strength.

What is the Difference Between Moonstone and Quartz?

There are many differences between moonstone and quartz.

Moonstone is a mineral of the orthoclase feldspar group composed of potassium aluminum silicate.

Feldspar is a common, light-colored rock-forming mineral, making it easily mistaken for quartz. 

Instead of being glassy like quartz, it is dull or opaque with a porcelain-like appearance.

Moonstone is pearly and opalescent.

It resembles the colorless, transparent appearance of quartz crystal.

However, when it hits the light and shimmers a bluish luster, you’ll know it’s a moonstone.

While moonstone and quartz are both common, natural minerals that have a similar appearance, they differ in multiple ways.

One way would be the blue sheen of the moonstone.

Another is that moonstone is more fragile and prone to cracks and chips than quartz.

Probably one of the main differences between the two gemstones is that moonstone gemstones are not treated or enhanced.

On the other hand, certain colorful quartz gemstones not found in nature are produced through irradiation.

Some multicolored quartz are synthetically treated to produce the colorful effect using film deposition. 

Some vividly colorful forms of quartz are even synthetically grown using the hydrothermal method.

The difference between moonstone and quartz definitely outweighs the similarity.

Hopefully, next time you go shopping for jewelry, you’ll be able to tell the difference between the two and get what you’re looking for. 

moonstone vs quartz