Labradorite Stone | Properties and Meaning

 

 

labradorite cabochon 

Labradorite | Feldspar Mineral


Labradorite is a feldspar mineral one of the most abundant group of minerals in the Earth's crust.  Although many feldspars exhibit iridescence, labradorite and moonstone are best known for this optical phenomenon which is caused by the reflection and scattering of light.  The iridescence present in sunstone also known as aventurine feldspar has more of a "spangly" appearance.

The name labradorite comes from the Labrador region of Canada where the stone was discovered around 1770 however since then it has been found in a number of other locations around the world including Australia, Finland, Italy, Norway and Ukraine.  It's very common for rocks and minerals to be named after the person who discovered them or the location where they were found and the suffix 'ite' is often used.  Other examples include the mineral sugilite named after Professor Kenichi Sugi, unakite which took its name from the Unaka Range of mountains in North Carolina and pietersite named after Syd Pieters.  

 

 

Labradorite an Eye-Catching Stone


Labradorite can be a fascinating stone especially when polished and although it can initially appear to be uninteresting, once it catches the light magical colours caused by iridescence can often be seen across its entire surface.  The finest grades mainly exhibit vivid blue and green colours but reds, yellows and greys are not unusual.  Labradorite is so well known for this optical phenomenon that the term labradorescence was created to describe it.  Other words used to describe similar effects in other stones include aventurescence for aventurineadularescence for moonstone and schiller which is widely used for labradorite, moonstone and sunstone.  Schiller comes from German but the precise meaning varies depending on the text that you read.  We've seen it translated as twinkle, iridescence and colour play which apparently comes from "schillern" but the exact meaning of the word has changed as the language has evolved.

Optical effects which are not uncommon in rocks and minerals are caused as light is scattered and reflected from beneath the surface.  Effects can be pretty impressive but capturing colours and sheen in a photograph can often be challenging.

 

 

More about Labradorite


Labradorite from the north central coast of Labrador in Canada is some of the finest in the world but very fine grade material can also be found in Finland specifically Lapland where it's known as spectrolite.  Highly translucent gemstones with fantastic schiller come from Southern India and material suitable for faceting can be found in Mexico.  Dark grey labradorite generally comes from Madagascar.

In crystal healing it's considered to be a stone of transformation which offers protection and raises consciousness.  Its iridescence acts as a reflective shield which protects the aura from unwanted energy and it can also help expel fear and insecurities.

Like most feldspar minerals labradorite is a relatively hard stone which grades 6 to 6½ on Mohs scale of mineral hardness. 

 

 

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Further Reading


Information from Wikipedia
Facts and Photos on Geology.com