“Man in the Moon” Moonstones for a Brighter Day

Did you see the moon last night? It was the harvest moon, the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox, and if this rain clears up, it should be nearly as full and bright tonight. Perfect timing, I thought, for highlighting a new jewelry collection that happens to be centered on the most beguiling “man in the moon” moonstones.

It’s one of a series of new introductions that designer Penny Preville is unveiling for fall. “This year I have been really into stars, moons, and celestial bodies even more than usual and when I ran into these beauties I knew they had a place in this collection,” she says.

Penny Preville man in the moon ring

Man in the Moon Ring with 0.66 cts. t.w. diamonds in 18k rose gold, $3,895

Whimsical and intricately detailed, moonstones carved with beaming faces go all the way back to the Victorian era, when the occurrence of comets and other celestial discoveries are likely to have influenced their emergence. When Preville happened upon the newly minted man-in-the-moon moonstones at the Tucson Gem Show, she was aware of the gems’ historical significance and started thinking less about design and more about how she could make something old feel new again.

Penny Preville man in the moon studs

Man in the Moon stud earrings with 0.32 cts. t.w. diamonds in 18k white gold, $3,655

“It’s a lighthearted moonstone look with character and history,” she says.

And while many of the moon-faced moonstones in antique jewelry can have a glassy or icy look, the moonstones Preville chose have a vivid, blue-toned incandescence to them, a quality that makes them feel fresh and modern. “I’m drawn to blue and rainbow moonstones because they really emanate lots of color,” says Preville. “And we’re using a mounting technique to define the carved details and intensify the stone color.”

Penny Preville man in the moon necklace

Petite Man in The Moon pendant with crescent moon detail and 0.12. cts. t.w. diamonds in 18k yellow gold, $2,500

Meanwhile, the spiritual energy and symbolic properties of moonstones may be rooted in the lore of yesteryear but they’re also of interest to modern-day consumers. The fact talismanic jewelry continues to be a huge trend in fine jewelry further influenced Preville to pursue this direction, and she’s also drawn to the stone on a personal level. “I am very spiritual and feel very connected to the universe—for me, gems play a role in that, especially moonstones,” she says. “I keep a small tray of loose, tumbled gemstones, including moonstones, on my bedside table for beneficial, spiritual, and healthful effects.”

Ancient Hindu and Roman cultures believed that moonstone stemmed directly from drops and beams of moonlight and the stone can have a balancing effect on your emotions, especially if you’re influenced by the lunar cycle and its mysterious rhythms.

Penny Preville man in the moon dangle earrings

Man in the Moon drop earrings with hanging stars and 0.62 cts. t.w. diamonds in 18k rose gold, $4,675

Preville and many many others view moonstone as a master healer, especially for women, with a calming energy that can also serve as a protective, good-luck talisman when you’re traveling. It is also said to ignite new beginnings, just as harvest moons are a time to set intentions, restart your motors, and think critically about what you want to accomplish or change in the months ahead.


Top: Penny Preville’s Man in the Moon pendant with crescent moon detail and 0.18 cts. t.w. diamonds in 18k rose gold, $2,995


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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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