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THE MINERAL LABRADORITE


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
Kiwi Cluster Ring - Alexis Bittar
Golden 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.Only $225.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoKiwi Cluster Ring - Alexis Bittar
$225.00
Neiman Marcus
Ross-Simons 25.00 ct. t.w. Labradorite Y-Necklace in 14kt Yellow Gold. 18"
Wear this color-rich 25.00 ct. t.w. labradorite y-necklace for an eye-catching look. 14kt yellow gold necklace.Only $168.75 at Ross-Simons
no photoRoss-Simons 25.00 ct. t.w. Labradorite Y-Necklace in 14kt Yellow Gold. 18"
$168.75
Ross-Simons
Ross-Simons Labradorite Slice Ring in 18kt Yellow Gold Over Sterling
Legends say the Northern Lights are held within the intriguing labradorite of this ring. The large free-form slice is set in a beautifully brushed bezel. 18kt yellow gold over sterling silver ring.Only $195.00 at Ross-Simons
no photoRoss-Simons Labradorite Slice Ring in 18kt Yellow Gold Over Sterling
$195.00
Ross-Simons
Labradorite & Pave Diamond Ring - Armenta
Oval-cut blue labradorite. Pave white diamonds set in Midnight oxidized sterling silver adorn setting and thin band. Pave white diamonds; 0.22 total carat weight.Only $1,000.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoLabradorite & Pave Diamond Ring - Armenta
$1,000.00
Neiman Marcus
Think Lace Labradorite & Chrysocolla Bangle - Alexis Bittar
Yellow golden Alexis Bittar bangle with porous finish. White Swarovski crystals bezel-set in silvertone stations. Oval-cut labradorite and chrysocolla stations. Circular; 2in diameter. Slip-on style.Only $175.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoThink Lace Labradorite & Chrysocolla Bangle - Alexis Bittar
$175.00
Neiman Marcus
Ross-Simons Labradorite, 12.00ct t.w. Aquamarine Square Earrings in Silver
Here's a pair of ethereal color-blocked earrings with iridescent labradorite and 12.00 ct. t.w. opaque aquamarines. Clip-on, sterling silver earrings. Aquamarine birthstones are the perfect gift for March birthdays.Only $187.50 at Ross-Simons
no photoRoss-Simons Labradorite, 12.00ct t.w. Aquamarine Square Earrings in Silver
$187.50
Ross-Simons
Golden Multi-Chain Multi-Stone Bib Necklace - Alexis Bittar
Multi-chain yellow golden Alexis Bittar necklace. White quartz/labradorite doublet, moss agate, blue glass stations. Pave Swarovski crystals. 19inL; 3 1/2in drop. Hook clasp. Made in USA.Only $595.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoGolden Multi-Chain Multi-Stone Bib Necklace - Alexis Bittar
$595.00
Neiman Marcus
Labradorite Drop Earrings - Ippolita
Misty, mysterious labradorite frames your face with luminosity, offering a natural glow. We love these Ippolita earrings for myriad casual and formal occasions-just be sure to wear hair upswept so admirers can get a closer look. Faceted, round-cut...Only $595.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoLabradorite Drop Earrings - Ippolita
$595.00
Neiman Marcus
Orbiting Labradorite Ring - Alexis Bittar
Misty, mysterious labradorite set in dripping golden plate gives this ring earthy-meets-opulent, Alexis Bittar distinction. 10-karat yellow gold plate. Labradorite and white quartz doublet. Pave Swarovski crystals. Approximately 1 1/2inL x 1inW....Only $295.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoOrbiting Labradorite Ring - Alexis Bittar
$295.00
Neiman Marcus
Women's 10mm Caviar-Ball Labradorite Beaded Stretch Bracelet - Lagos
Polished labradorite beads, 10mm (2/5in). Singular sterling silver Lagos signature Caviar ball bead. 6 1/2in inner circumference (stretches to fit). Strung on stretchy cord to fit most wrists. Logo-engraved rondelle. Slip-on style.Only $150.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoWomen's 10mm Caviar-Ball Labradorite Beaded Stretch Bracelet - Lagos
$150.00
Neiman Marcus
Ross-Simons Labradorite, .11ct t.w. Diamond Ring in 14kt Yellow Gold Over Sterling
This ring boasts an iridescent oval labradorite, faceted for an allover sparkle, in a halo of .11 ct. t.w. diamonds. 14kt yellow gold over sterling silver ring.Only $185.00 at Ross-Simons
no photoRoss-Simons Labradorite, .11ct t.w. Diamond Ring in 14kt Yellow Gold Over Sterling
$185.00
Ross-Simons
Usiku Dark Horn Bangle with Labradorite, Pyrite & Bronze Studs - Ashley Pittman
Ashley Pittman Usiku bracelet in dark horn and hand-inlaid bronze. Faceted labradorite, pyrite, and hammered bronze studs. 2.5in diameter . 1 3/4inW. Slip-on style. Handcrafted in Kenya.Only $895.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoUsiku Dark Horn Bangle with Labradorite, Pyrite & Bronze Studs - Ashley Pittman
$895.00
Neiman Marcus
Sterling Silver Hand Carved Top Fire Labradorite Ganesh Pendant - Symbol Of Great Wisdom And
This Pendant was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $124.49 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Hand Carved Top Fire Labradorite Ganesh Pendant - Symbol Of Great Wisdom And
$124.49
JeGem.com
Sada Bead & Crystal Stretch Bracelet, Labradorite - Les Amis
Golden crystal-inset beads and faceted crystal beads. Approx. 8 1/2in circumference. Stretch cord; slip-on.Only $45.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoSada Bead & Crystal Stretch Bracelet, Labradorite - Les Amis
$45.00
Neiman Marcus
Labradorite Teardrop Earrings - Ippolita
Misty, mysterious labradorite frames your face with luminosity, offering a natural glow. Small enough for everyday wear, but dazzling enough for a formal occasion, we love these Ippolita earrings for myriad casual and formal occasions. Faceted,...Only $995.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoLabradorite Teardrop Earrings - Ippolita
$995.00
Neiman Marcus
 

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