1. Labradorite Feldspar Mineral
2. Properties of Labradorite
3. More Labradorite Facts
4. Our Collection of Labradorite
5. More Information
Labradorite Feldspar Mineral
Labradorite is a feldspar mineral one of the most abundant group of minerals in the Earth's crust. Although many of these rock forming minerals exhibit iridescence, labradorite and moonstone are the best known. The optical phenomenon that can be seen across the surface of the stone is caused by the reflection and scattering of light. The iridescence that can be seen in the mineral sunstone which is another variety of feldspar has more of a 'spangly' appearance.
The name labradorite comes from the Labrador region of Canada where it was discovered around 1770. Since then however the stone has been found in a number of locations around the world including Australia, Finland, Italy, Norway and Ukraine.
It's extremely 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.
Properties of Labradorite
Labradorite is a fascinating mineral especially when polished and although some stones can initially appear to be rather uninteresting, with the interaction of light they can quickly become a feast for the eyes. The finest grade of labradorite can exhibit vivid blue and green colour but reds, yellows and greys can often also be seen.
The mineral labradorite is so well known for its iridescent properties the term labradorescence was created to describe the optical phenomenon. Alternative words used to describe similar effects in other rocks and minerals include aventurescence for aventurine, adularescence 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 very common in rocks and minerals are usually caused as light is scattered and reflected from beneath the surface of the stone. Effects can be pretty impressive but capturing colours and sheen in a photograph can often be challenging.
With regards to its healing properties labradorite is said to be a stone of transformation which offers protection and raises consciousness. When going through a significant change in the cycle of life it provides strength and perseverance and can help disperse fear and anxiety. The stone's iridescence sharpens intuition, promotes psychic ability and acts as a reflective shield which protects the aura from unwanted energy.
More Labradorite Facts
Labradorite from the north central coast of Labrador in Canada is some of the finest material in the world. Exceptional grade stone 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.
Like most feldspar minerals labradorite is a relatively hard stone which grades 6 to 6½ on Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
Our Collection of Labradorite