According to an Inuit legend, the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) shown down on the shores of Labrador and were captured inside the colorful stones.
The stone was first found in Labrador Canada on the Isle of Paul in 1770 by Moravian Missionaries and became very popular with all the missionaries. The stones now can be found in Norway, Mexico, Madagascar, Finland, Italy, Russia and Scandinavia.
Labradorite is an important feldspar gemstone and is formed in mafic igneous rock. It is an unusual mineral that often displays a beautiful iridescent play of color which can move as the stone is rotated caused by internal fracturing in the mineral that reflects light back and forth dispersing it into different colors. This effect is known as labradorescence. You can find these beautiful stones in mix shades of blue, blue green, blue gray and sometimes even yellow blue.
Unlike most gems, Labradorite is more desirable with its tiny inclusions. Labradorite are not known to be treated or enhanced.
Labradorite is a popular mineral which makes it a unique gemstone that is cut and polished into cabochons, beads and occasionally it is faceted. It is 6-6.5 on the hardness scale and very durable. It is more often used by jewelers & designers to create unique and custom pieces and is rarely used in mass merchant type jewelry. The stone is difficult to cut and requires careful study of the material and special ability of the center. It is best cut as a flatter cabochon so it exhibits the stone’s labradorescence.
Cleaning Labradorite with just soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue. Ultrasonic and Steamers are not recommended.
- Ester Edry