Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lovely, Luscious Labradorite

This week's gemstone feature is Labradorite.

This is a stone that has as much flash and sparkle as an opal and won't ding as easily if it gets knocked against something. Labradorite has a deep, mossy green or a dark gray base color with flashes of gold, violet, green, orange, red and a deep sky blue. It looks different from every angle depending on the light. These flashes of color come from internal fractures in the mineral reflecting the light. The technical term for this is schiller or labradorescence. This is where the fascination with the stone comes in. No matter how you look at it, it's always different. It comes from the Canadian province of Labrador and it is also found in Madagascar, the Ukraine, Australia, Mexico, Norway and the US. It is a sodium rich variety of the feldspar family. There is a variety from Finland that is called Spectrolite. It has a redder base color and labradorescence.

On the Moh hardness scale it is a 6-6.5. This makes it suitable for all types of jewelry as it will be fairly sturdy. Labradorite is one of the stones that is seldom enhanced.
There is an Eskimo legend that it's the Northern Lights trapped inside that give this stone it's wonderful color.

On the metaphysical side, it is said that Labradorite will detoxify the body and slow the aging process. It is also believed to promote strength of will. Another belief is that Labraodrite will heal mental confusion and indecision.

I have included some photos of a piece of Labradorite that I have. As you can see, it looks different from every angle. The 1st and 5th pictures are the front. Pictures 2, 3, and 4 are the back. The 5th picture is me holding it under my photography light. It shows the translucence of the stone and also, the fractures where the light reflects.

I have also included a link to Lovely, Luscious Labradorite, a Collection I have created on Artfire .

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