The Labradorite gemstone is a rare vibrant specimen belonging to the remarkable feldspar mineral group and can be found in the lush depths of Madagascar. Labradorite is most commonly found in igneous rock formations.
From collectors to retail buyers, Labradorite has been sought after for both its sensational physiological and enriching metaphysical characteristics. Labradorite is said to unearth the deepest of emotional energies as it is said to unlock an individual’s hidden spiritual, mental, as well as corporeal potential.
The light coloured body of a Labradorite provides a fitting canvas for the multicoloured phenomenal adularescence, known as “labradorescence”. Adularescence or the spectacular colour variegation refers to the metallic iridescence produced beneath a stone’s surface when light gets reflected on its diverse mineral layers. Different twinning layers within a Labradorite reflects at divergent angles to create a striking illusion of multiple colours. This typical play of varied hues witnessed in Labradorite is known as “labradorescence”. The luminosity of Labradorite has led to its popularity as the “rainbow moonstone”.
Though labradorescence is a diagnostic feature of a Labradorite, not all Labradorite gemstones are created equal. There are many which do not exhibit this stunning optical marvel and they can be quite difficult to distinguish from other such colourless counterparts belonging to the same plagioclase series. Labradorite’s body colours range from completely colourless to lighter shades of grey and browns, opaque black, vivid yellow to green and blue.
A Labradorite can be transparent, translucent, or perfectly opaque with a vitreous glass-like lustre. Apart from labradorescence, aventurescence colour effects are also found in Labradorite. This wide array of colours is attributed to the presence of minerals like copper and rutile as well as ilmenite, haematite, magnetite. Labradorites displaying metallic vivid golden or bluish green shimmer of hues or the schiller effect are immensely popular. A finely polished Labradorite appears outstandingly attractive as its grainy blue sheen flashes can be observed from numerous different angles.
Faceted specimens that display striking colours make delicate yet handsome jewellery gemstones. Any polished gemstone beyond 20 carats is considered extraordinary. The darker coloured varieties from Oregon are abundant and available in weights ranging from 2 to 10 carats. The flamboyant Labradorite is sometimes shaped into dainty cabochons. The larger crystals showing uniform and pronounced colour effects are cut into bigger cabochons.
Unparalleled colours are critical when choosing a beautiful Labradorite gemstone. Such specimens of Labradorite are expensive in comparison to other colourless or indistinguishably coloured feldspar stones. The spectral translucence in the finest brilliant Labradorite exhibits are called “spectrolite”. This vivid colour-play and apparent unavailability of Labradorite are the reasons for this gemstone to be frequently used for custom jewellery and not mass market retailing.
A superior Labradorite exhibiting nil or negligible white veining with body colours of electrifying blue, darker grey or shades of black, is considered valuable. The price can start from a modest US$40 per carat and go higher depending on the carat weight, colour clarity, and luminescence of a certain stone.
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