Labradorite – An Optical Delight

Labradorite is a beautiful and unusual gemstone that is similar to Moonstone. It features a beautiful iridescent optical effect on its surface.

In this post, we explore some interesting facts about Labradorite, including how its shimmering appearance is formed, where it originated from, how it’s used and more.

Labradorite composition and mineral makeup

The Labradorite gemstone is a hard crystalline mineral from the feldspar group of minerals. The body color of this gem can appear in light grey through to black. It’s a translucent gemstone with a pearly luster, which gives it an almost mystical appearance.

This gem is known for its ability to display a magnificent array of colors upon reflecting the light. In fact, it’s the only gemstone that can exhibit the whole spectrum of colors in this way. This iridescent effect is known as labradorescence – an optical phenomenon.

Labradorescence is caused by internal fractures in the stone that bounce the light back and forth, causing it to exhibit many colors. The unique optical effect that it possesses makes this a popular gemstone for collectors.

Some forms of Labradorite display a blue or green sheen instead of the full spectrum of colors. Others forms that resemble Moonstone exhibit a white or blueish light when turned – this effect is known as adularescence.

History of Labradorite and uses

This stone was first found in Labrador, Canada on the Isle of Paul in 1770. It is still sourced from Canada today, although other sources have since been found in the US, India, Australia, Madagascar and Finland.

Ever since its discovery, it has been used in jewelry-making. Nowadays, this gem is mostly cut and polished into cabochons to make iridescent pendants or into round or faceted beads for stringing in other jewelry-making projects.

However, This gem has also had some other interesting uses too! Crushed Labradorite has been used as a construction material for road building and has been used in glass production. In addition, healers use this fascinating gemstone because it’s said to possess certain healing powers.

Labradorite healing powers and mythical meanings

Labradorite is thought to help alleviate feelings of anxiety, worry and stress. It can replace those feelings with more positive ones like self-confidence and enthusiasm.

For people who are prone to insomnia, it could be a handy gemstone to keep close at night time. This gemstone is believed to make its wearer feel more relaxed to aid better sleep.

On an emotional level, it is a calming gemstone, helping to balance anger and improve mental health. In terms of physical healing powers, Labradorite is said to help eyesight and muscular or bone problems, including arthritis or rheumatism.

Labradorite may even improve the memory and helps to boost physical energy and revitalise the body, aiding digestion in the process.

Finally…

Labradorite is a very beautiful and unusual gemstone, made popular because of its unique ability to reflect light and display an array of colors. With that in mind, each Labradorite gemstone will look different – there are no two gemstones exactly the same!

We hope you enjoyed this article. For more articles about gemstones, take a look around our product stories section here.

In the meantime, please take just a moment to share this post online!

Image sources:

  • Labradorite image – By Awiejekeal (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Top and bottom pics – Copyright of Golden Age Beads


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