THE MINERAL LABRADORITE

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Labradorite is truly a fascinatingly beautiful mineral. Its a mineral whose charm is not fully noticed and may be overlooked if not viewed from the proper position. Generally a dull, dark looking mineral with no special virtue until the colorful shiller is observed glowing on the surface. Labradorite can produce a colorful play of light across cleavage planes and in sliced sections called labradorescence. The usually intense colors range from the typical blues and violets through greens, yellows and oranges. Some rare specimens display all these colors simultaneously.

The color display is from lamellar intergrowths inside the crystal. These intergrowths result from compatible chemistries at high temperatures becoming incompatible at lower temperatures and thus a separating and layering of these two phases. The resulting color effect is caused by a ray of light entering a layer and being refracted back and forth by deeper layers. This refracted ray is slowed by the extra travel through the layers and mixes with other rays to produce a light ray coming out that has a different wavelength than when it went in. The wavelength could correspond to the wavelength of a particular color, such as blue. The effect depends on the thickness and orientation of the layers. If the layers are too thick or too thin no color shiller is seen. Also if the viewer does not observe from the precise angle or if light is not supplied from the proper angle then no color shiller is seen. The labradorescence is truly a one of a kind mineralogical experience and must be observed in person in order to truly appreciate its beauty.

Labradorite is a member of the plagioclase series of minerals. The plagioclase series comprises felspars that range in chemical composition from pure NaAlSi3 O8 to pure CaAl2 Si2 O8 . Labradorite is defined at approximately the 50% to 70% CaAl2 Si2 O8 . Labradorite by definition must contain 50-70% calcium to 50-30% sodium in the sodium/calcium position of the crystal structure. All members of the plagioclase series usually display lamellar twinning called "Albite Twinning". The twinning is caused by a error in the crystal structure during its growth.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Color is gray to smoky black.
  • Luster is dull to vitreous.
  • Transparency crystals are transparent to translucent.
  • Crystal System is triclinic; bar 1
  • Crystal Habits include blocky crystals that rarely form free of the host rock and therefore do not usually show their full crystal forms. In sliced sections of rock, the labradorite appears as blocky chunks with a predominance of near right angled corners. Twinning is common and pervasive so that in labradorite it produces a layered or stacked effect. The twin layers are typically only fractions of millimeters to several millimeters thick. Crystals of labradorite are found imbedded in gabbros and other mafic igneous rocks of low silica content. In anorthosites, labradorite is a main constituent.
  • Cleavage is perfect in one and good in another direction forming nearly right angled prisms.
  • Fracture is conchoidal.
  • Hardness is 6 - 6.5.
  • Specific Gravity is approximately 2.70 - 2.74 (average)
  • Streak is white.
  • Associated Minerals are biotite, pyroxene and hornblende.
  • Other Characteristics: index of refraction is 1.55 - 1.75. Play of colors called labradorescence seen from certain directions can cause flashes of blue, violet and green and sometimes orange and yellow.
  • Notable Occurrences include Labrador, Canada and Scandinavian Peninsula.
  • Best Field Indicators are occurrence, twinning striations and labradorescence.
Labradorite Jewelry - Hover over an item for more information
Natural Beauty Amethyst Sterling Silver necklace
Weight: 54.10g | Material: Sterling Silver | Main stone: Amethyst | Other stones: Carnelian, Moonstone, Labradorite, Citrine, Quartz | Inner circumference: 18 inch | Drop Part: 1 inch | Clasp: Lobster-claw labs | Stamp / Mark: 925 | Condition: New |...Only $91.25 at SilverRushStyle.com
no photoNatural Beauty Amethyst Sterling Silver necklace
$91.25
SilverRushStyle.com
Italian Labradorite Ring in 18kt Yellow Gold Over Sterling
A faceted labradorite flickers from the fancy pierced setting of this showstopping ring. Made in Italy. 18kt yellow gold over sterling silver ring.Only $63.75 at Ross-Simons
no photoItalian Labradorite Ring in 18kt Yellow Gold Over Sterling
$63.75
Ross-Simons
Labradorite Textured Hoop Earrings in Sterling Silver
Lightly textured hoop earrings are dressed up with the showy color play of faceted labradorites. Snap-bar, sterling silver earrings.Only $59.96 at Ross-Simons
no photoLabradorite Textured Hoop Earrings in Sterling Silver
$59.96
Ross-Simons
Jardin Mystere Big Crystal-Cluster Bracelet with Clear Lucite Center - Alexis Bittar - Clear
Alexis BittarJardin Mystere Big Crystal-Cluster Bracelet with Clear Lucite CenterDetailsSilvertone and golden vine bracelet from the Jardin Mystere Collection by Alexis Bittar.Hand-sculpted, clear Lucite center with polished finish.White...Only $553.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoJardin Mystere Big Crystal-Cluster Bracelet with Clear Lucite Center - Alexis Bittar - Clear
$553.00
Neiman Marcus
8mm Faceted Labradorite Beaded Bracelet with 14k Rose Gold/Diamond Moroccan Flower Charm (Made to Order) - Sydney Evan
Sydney Evan8mm Faceted Labradorite Beaded Bracelet with 14k Rose Gold/Diamond Moroccan Flower Charm (Made to Order)DetailsFaceted labradorite rondelle beads, 8mm.Approx. 2in interior diameter.Stretch cord; slip-on style.14-karat rose gold open Moroccan...Only $775.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photo8mm Faceted Labradorite Beaded Bracelet with 14k Rose Gold/Diamond Moroccan Flower Charm (Made to Order) - Sydney Evan
$775.00
Neiman Marcus
Light Horn, Labradorite & Bronze Disc Bangle - Ashley Pittman - Bronze
Ashley PittmanLight Horn, Labradorite & Bronze Disc BangleDetailsAshley Pittman bracelet in light horn.Hand-inlaid bronze discs.Faceted labradorite.2.5in diameter.1inW.Slip-on style.Handcrafted in Kenya.Designer About Ashley Pittman: The Ashley Pittman...Only $595.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoLight Horn, Labradorite & Bronze Disc Bangle - Ashley Pittman - Bronze
$595.00
Neiman Marcus
Kiwi Cluster Ring - Alexis Bittar - Gold (6)
Alexis BittarKiwi Cluster RingDetailsGolden metal with porous finish.Labradorite, chrysocolla, Swarovski crystals, and manmade dyed shell pearls cluster on front.Silvertone bezel details.Doubled, tapered band.1 1/2inL.Designer About Alexis...Only $209.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoKiwi Cluster Ring - Alexis Bittar - Gold (6)
$209.00
Neiman Marcus
Labradorite and Black Spinel Six-Strand Necklace With 14kt Yellow Gold
Glittery intertwined beads of labradorite and black spinel form this striking six-strand necklace. Necklace fastens with a 14kt yellow gold fishhook clasp.Only $221.25 at Ross-Simons
no photoLabradorite and Black Spinel Six-Strand Necklace With 14kt Yellow Gold
$221.25
Ross-Simons
5.50ct t.w. Green Amethyst, Labradorite Earrings, Moonstone in Silver
A lovely combo of gems that aren't often seen together. 5.50 ct. t.w. of sparkling green amethysts, luminous moonstones and iridescent labradorites compose these creative cluster earrings. Post/clutch, sterling silver earrings.Only $187.50 at Ross-Simons
no photo5.50ct t.w. Green Amethyst, Labradorite Earrings, Moonstone in Silver
$187.50
Ross-Simons
Big!! Stylish White Druzy Sterling Silver Pendant
Weight: 23.30g | Material: Sterling Silver | Main stone: Druzy | Other stones: Citrine, Labradorite | Dimension: Length-3 3/8 inch Width-1 1/4 inch Thickness-1/4 inch | Inner Bail Diameter: 3/8 inch | Stamp / Mark: 925 | Condition: New | Main color:...Only $76.85 at SilverRushStyle.com
no photoBig!! Stylish White Druzy Sterling Silver Pendant
$76.85
SilverRushStyle.com
Kiwi Cluster Ring - Alexis Bittar - Gold (7)
Alexis BittarKiwi Cluster RingDetailsGolden metal with porous finish.Labradorite, chrysocolla, Swarovski crystals, and manmade dyed shell pearls cluster on front.Silvertone bezel details.Doubled, tapered band.1 1/2inL.Designer About Alexis...Only $209.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoKiwi Cluster Ring - Alexis Bittar - Gold (7)
$209.00
Neiman Marcus
Pale Moon Bloom Labradorite Sterling Silver earrings
Weight: 20.00g | Material: Sterling Silver | Main stone: Labradorite | Other stones: Blue Topaz, Amethyst, Citrine, Peridot | Dimension: 3 1/4 x 3/4 x 1/4 inch | Stamp / Mark: 925 | Condition: New | Main color: multicolor | Shape: drop | Item Code:...Only $79.23 at SilverRushStyle.com
no photoPale Moon Bloom Labradorite Sterling Silver earrings
$79.23
SilverRushStyle.com
Encrusted Vine Labradorite & Chrysocolla Clip-On Earrings - Alexis Bittar - Blue
Alexis BittarEncrusted Vine Labradorite & Chrysocolla Clip-On Earrings DetailsClip-on earrings by Alexis Bittar.Golden vine bezels set with pave Swarovski crystals.Polished labradorite cabochons.Faceted chrysocolla.Clip-on backs padded for comfort.2...Only $375.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoEncrusted Vine Labradorite & Chrysocolla Clip-On Earrings - Alexis Bittar - Blue
$375.00
Neiman Marcus
Cholulian Aigrette Teardrop Clip-On Earrings with Labradorite - Alexis Bittar
Alexis BittarCholulian Aigrette Teardrop Clip-On Earrings with LabradoriteDetailsAlexis Bittar clip-on earrings from the Elements Cholulian Collection.Golden and rhodium-tone-plated metal with porous finish.Pear-cut labradorite.Pave Swarovski...Only $375.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoCholulian Aigrette Teardrop Clip-On Earrings with Labradorite - Alexis Bittar
$375.00
Neiman Marcus
Rare Shiny Labradorite Sterling Silver earrings
Weight: 9.90g | Material: Sterling Silver | Main stone: Labradorite | Dimension: 1 5/8 3/4 3/16 inch | Backing: Hook | Stamp / Mark: 925 | Condition: New | Main color: gray | Shape: abstract | Item Code: 18-kwi-13-13Only $56.95 at SilverRushStyle.com
no photoRare Shiny Labradorite Sterling Silver earrings
$56.95
SilverRushStyle.com

 

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