As you may know, Pacifica Hotels has several hotels situated on Moonstone Beach in Cambria…four to be exact – Pelican Inn & Suites, FogCatcher Inn, Fireside Inn and Cambria Landing. This is arguably one of the most breathtaking beaches along the California coast, but what exactly is a “moonstone?” We’ve done some research and discovered the history and facts about the captivating stone.
It is said that the ancient Greeks used the term “moonstone” to describe those gems that evoke the moon’s delicate, ethereal light. The Greeks valued the moonstone as a talisman for lovers. To wear it was thought to arouse the most tender of passions and true love. It was also believed that wearing the stone conveyed knowledge of future events, and could guide a person in making important decisions.
However, what is historically known as “moonstone” is not actually what Moonstone Beach moonstones are. Historically, Moonstones are gems (stones that are a type of the mineral “feldspar”), but Cambria’s Moonstones possess the mineral “chalcedony.” Chalcedony is a microcrystalline quartz in which the crystals are so small they can only be seen under a microscope. While it is a different mineral than the moonstone gem, it shares some of the same pale ethereal light at its center.
Moonstones in Cambria were named by our early settlers and the stones are formed in the earth by patient dripping of water and minerals through the ages. During storms they are swept out of their underground caves and down the streams into the ocean where they are patiently tumbled and polished by the turbulent pacific along our rocky coast.