Do you know the difference between a Moonstone Bead, Sea Opal or a Opalite Bead?

Test your Knowledge

Real Moonstones are super cool, but do you know there are glass stones out there that are beautiful just like the real thing? 

Lets dive in how you can know for yourself, before buying the "Real" Moonstone Jewelry

Before I get into this hopefully somewhat informative post I just like to point out that I love to work with both the moonstone cabochons also the Opalite bead. Both are in their own way beautiful and have a similar bluish mystical glow. Alexa Martha Designs sells both, there is quite a price difference between these two. 

So without any delay, I am going to come right to the point.

The Real Thing

Let's start with the real thing...the MOONSTONE and how the moonstone got it's name? Moonstones are named for their (blue moonlight colored flash) that resembles somewhat the crescent and waning phases of the moon. The name “moonstone” was given because the floating light resembles the glow of the moon through a thin cloud cover. This illuminating gem is looked upon and admired by all. A moonstone can easily be identified. 


About the Glow

The phenomenon of adularescence in a moonstone gem-quality feldspar displays a soft glow of light just below the surface of a polished cabochon or surface enhanced bead.  A unique optical illusion that results in a milky, bluish luster or glow on the surface of the gem. To test this aspect of the jewel, place it under bright artificial light and view it from above. If you notice the  concentrated blue/white glow, your moonstone moving from one site to the other you have a real moonstone. 

picture of authentic moonstone cabochon gemstones

What is Opalite?

Now to the Sea Opal or Opalite Beads. These beads are beautiful cut glass beads. They are beautiful glass beads but they are not moonstone beads. You will see this also when you hold them under artificial light. You will only see an even glow, but its not moving from one site to the next when you slowly turn the stone.

Other Names

All run under the name Opalite which  is a trade name for synthetic opalescent glass and various opal and moonstone simulants. Other names for this glass product include argenon, sea opal, opal moonstone, moonshine bead.

Opalite beads are also called Luminescent - Opalite  Luminescent Glass which is also a common name for the Opalites in jewelers term. As you can see on this picture they have an even blueish luminescent glow.


Original Designed Opalite Jewelry

Like demonstrated with this Men's Rustic Wire Wrapped Pointed Crystal Leather Alternative Vegan Braided Cotton Necklace the moonshine beads or Opalite Glass comes in various glass bead forms like pencil sticks. 


Rarer Favorite

Before I let you off the hook check out my new Favorite, the rarer Madagascar Chocolate Moonstone Coin Beads which I just found at my favorite hand cut American  gemstone supplier. It has the unmistakable moonshine hue enclosed in the surface, with an added sparkle

Rare Madagascar Chocolate moonstone coins on a pile-Alexa Martha Designs


When you purchase from me, it will be clearly stated in the description what type of stone it is that is wrapped in the original design that you are purchasing.

 I hope you enjoyed this informative read. I use both the genuine moonstone with it's very distinctive blue hue and the Opalite glass as a less expensive version. Also look for the Chocolate Moonstone Rings. I would love it if you leave me a comment, if this post was helpful to you.

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