Pearl vs Moonstone: Which One To Pick Up?

When it comes to selecting the perfect gemstone with striking luster and unparalleled beauty, the choice between pearl and moonstone can be as captivating and daunting as the gems themselves. Both gemstones are revered for their timeless beauty and unique qualities, these stones carry distinct histories and symbolism. Pearls, often associated with the moon and characteristics like purity and sophistication have been treasured for centuries, adorning royalty and symbolizing wisdom. They are organic gems formed within mollusks, reflecting the calm and mystery of the ocean. 

In contrast, moonstone, named for its ethereal, moon-like glow, is a feldspar mineral prized for its shimmering adularescence. Known as the “stone of new beginnings,” moonstone has a mystical allure, linked to lunar energy and emotional balance. Whether you are drawn to the classic elegance of pearls or the mystical charm of moonstones, understanding their origins, characteristics, and cultural significance can help you make an informed and inspired choice. Dive into the world of these enchanting gems and discover what makes each one uniquely captivating.

Pearl vs Moonstone: Origin


Pearls, also known as moti stones, are organic gemstones that form inside certain mollusk species, such as oysters and mussels. They are formed when an irritant, such as a grain of sand or a parasite, enters the mollusk’s shell.

The mollusk coats the irritant with layers of nacre (also known as mother-of-pearl) to protect itself. Over time, these layers build up to form a pearl. Pearls can occur naturally in the wild or be cultured on pearl farms.


Moonstones are mineral gemstones, specifically a variety of the feldspar group of minerals. They are formed through a process of solidification and crystallization of molten rock (magma) or through metamorphic processes in the Earth’s crust.

Moonstones are primarily composed of potassium aluminum silicate with sodium and calcium feldspar. They are inorganic minerals formed through geological processes, unlike the organic formation of pearls. Moonstones are found in various locations around the world, including Sri Lanka, India, Australia, and parts of the United States.

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Pearl vs Moonstone: Color


Classic colors: White, cream, ivory [These are the most common colors people think of for pearls]

Other colors: Pink, black, lavender, yellow, blue, green [Pearls come in a wider range of colors than most people realize]

Luster: Pearls have a smooth, iridescent surface that gives them a soft glow.


Distinctive feature: Adularescence – a milky sheen that gives the impression of moonlight reflecting on the stone’s surface.

Main colors: White, blue, gray [These colors evoke the moon’s light]

Less common colors: Peach, green, rainbow [Moonstones can also have some surprising color variations]

Pearl vs Moonstone: Treatment

Pearl Treatments:

Pearls often undergo several treatments to improve their appearance. Common treatments include bleaching, which lightens and whitens the pearl, enhancing its uniformity. Dyeing is also prevalent, used to introduce or intensify colors, making pearls available in a range of hues beyond their natural palette. Additionally, pearls might be polished to enhance their luster and remove surface blemishes. These treatments, while enhancing aesthetic appeal, should be disclosed to buyers to ensure transparency and proper care.

Moonstone Treatments:

Moonstones, known for their captivating adularescence, are generally less treated than pearls. However, some moonstones may undergo heat treatment to enhance their clarity and color. This process can improve the overall appearance by reducing visible inclusions and intensifying the stone’s natural glow. Another less common treatment is coating, which aims to protect the stone and enhance its shimmer. As with pearls, any treatments applied to moonstones should be fully disclosed to buyers, ensuring informed purchasing decisions.

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Pearl vs Moonstone: Physical Properties


Composition: Pearls are primarily composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of aragonite or calcite.

Formation: Pearls are formed inside the soft tissue of certain mollusk species, such as oysters and mussels, when an irritant (e.g., a grain of sand) becomes trapped inside the mollusk’s shell.

Luster: Pearls have a distinctive and highly valued luster, ranging from a soft, gentle sheen to a deep, mirror-like brilliance, depending on the type of pearl.

Hardness: Pearls have a relatively low hardness on the Mohs scale, ranging from 2.5 to 4.5, making them susceptible to scratches and abrasion.

Color: Pearls can occur in various colors, including white, cream, pink, black, and shades of gray, depending on the mollusk species and the water conditions in which they are formed.


Composition: Moonstone is a variety of the mineral feldspar, primarily composed of potassium aluminum silicate (KAlSi3O8).

Formation: Moonstone forms in certain types of igneous and metamorphic rocks, and its unique appearance is due to the intergrowth of two feldspar minerals with different compositions.

Luster: Moonstone has a distinctive sheen and adularescence, which is a soft, bluish-white glow that seems to move across the surface of the stone when viewed from different angles.

Hardness: Moonstone has a hardness of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, making it more resistant to scratches and abrasion than pearls.

Color: Moonstone typically exhibits a blue or white body color, with a distinctive adularescent glow or sheen that can range from white to blue, yellow, or orange, depending on the light source and viewing angle.

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Pearl vs Moonstone: Price 


Price range: Wide, depending on factors like luster, size, shape, and source (cultured vs. natural).

The pearl stone price starts around $100 per carat for lower quality pearls and can go as high as thousands of dollars per carat.

High-quality pearls, like Akoya pearls, can go up to several thousand dollars per carat.


Generally more affordable than pearls.

Price range: Can vary depending on color, clarity, and transparency.

Common moonstones can cost around $10-$50 per carat.

Rarer varieties, like rainbow moonstone, can be more expensive, reaching up to a few hundred dollars per carat.

Here are some additional factors that can influence the price of both pearls and moonstones:

Treatment: Whether the gem has been treated (e.g., dyed for pearls) to enhance its appearance.

Cut: The shape the gem is cut into (round pearls typically command a premium).

Setting: The type of metal used in jewelry (e.g., platinum vs. sterling silver).

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Pearl vs Moonstone: Astrological Benefits

When choosing between pearls and moonstones, many people consider the astrological benefits of p earl believed to offer. Both gems hold significant positions in various astrological traditions, each bringing unique influences and advantages to their wearers.

Astrological Benefits of Pearls:

Pearls are closely associated with the Moon in astrology and are often recommended for those with a weak or malefic Moon in their birth chart. Wearing pearls is believed to bring emotional balance, mental peace, and calmness. They are said to enhance the wearer’s integrity, honesty, and compassion, fostering harmonious relationships. Pearls are also thought to support digestive health and boost maternal bonds, making them ideal for nurturing and healing.

Astrological Benefits of Moonstones:

Moonstones, also linked to the Moon, are considered powerful tools for those seeking new beginnings and emotional clarity. They are said to enhance intuition, creativity, and psychic abilities, making them a favorite among artists and spiritual seekers. Moonstones are believed to help stabilize emotions, alleviate stress, and promote a sense of tranquility. They are also thought to aid in hormonal balance, particularly for women, and support the reproductive system by consolidating its strength and immunity.

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Pearl vs Moonstone: Popularity & Affordability


Pearls: Pearls have been highly prized and popular throughout history, dating back to ancient civilizations. They are considered classic and timeless, and have remained a popular choice for jewelry, particularly necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Pearls are associated with elegance, purity, and sophistication, making them a popular choice for bridal and formal occasions.

Moonstones: Moonstones have a more niche following and are not as widely popular as pearls. However, they have a dedicated fan base among those who appreciate their unique adularescence (a soft, glowing bluish light) and mystical associations. Moonstones are particularly popular among those interested in alternative spirituality, metaphysical properties, and new age movements.


Pearls: The cost of pearls can vary greatly depending on their type, size, quality, and rarity. Freshwater pearls, which are cultivated in freshwater mussels, are generally more affordable than saltwater pearls (such as Akoya and Tahitian pearls). High-quality, large, and rare pearls can be extremely expensive, fetching prices comparable to precious gemstones like diamonds.

Moonstones: Moonstones are generally more affordable than pearls, especially when compared to high-quality saltwater pearls. The cost of moonstones can vary depending on their quality, size, and origin, but they are generally considered a more budget-friendly option for those seeking a unique and mystical gemstone.

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Written By pmkkgems

Muskan Sain is a well-versed gemstone expert with over 8 years of experience in the field. She has received extensive training from a renowned gemological institute, which has equipped her with comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the identification, grading, and valuation of gemstones.


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