Labradorite is an instantly recognizable stone with a stunning sheen and gorgeous play of colors. Its beautiful color and flashes of light is so spectacular that the Inuit people believed that the stone was the Northern Lights captured in the rocks.
It was originally discovered in Labrador, Canada, from where it received its name (and just for the record, it has no connection to the dog breed Labrador). However, today, Madagascar is the most abundant source of labradorites. Some other regions where labradorite is mined are Norway, Finland, Russia, Sri Lanka, and Australia.
Labradorite has a dark body tone but it is the iridescence that gives the stone its dynamic, lively nature. The reason a labradorite displays its flashes of color is due to the structure of its formation: labradorite forms in layers of rock and when light is diffracted from these layers, the colors shine through.
Common colors of labradorite are blue and brown, sometimes but more rarely orange.
The term given to the distinct iridescence of high quality labradorite gemstones is “labradorescence”.
Most interestingly, the colors displayed by a labradorite are not actually present in the stone, as in most other colored gemstones. Instead, it is the effect of light reacting with the imperfections within the mineral.
The gemstone is truly and surprisingly beautiful so I could not refrain myself from buying some pieces and make marvellous jewels out of them. They will be presented in the September edition of Vicenza fair but here you can have a preview.
These earrings are in 18 kt white natural gold, softly brushed, set with grey diamonds and displaying a pair of wonderful labradorites. The colour is a mix of blue and grey and the game of lights is giving an impression of something moving and alive.
And last a few hints to ensure that your labradorite is shining and lustrous through the years.
Regular cleaning is recommended, avoid using ultrasonic or steam cleaners.Instead, use soap and warm water with a soft brush to wash the stone. Once washed, rinse labradorite jewelry in water and dry it thoroughly. Finally wrap in a cotton or velvet cloth and store separately.
This way labradorite jewels will accompany you along the years never losing their most peculiar and distinctive features and their famous labradorescence.