Thursday, February 16, 2012

Beautiful Labradorite

I had never heard of labradorite until a couple of years ago, and it was love at first sight.  Stones that flash rainbow colors, like opals, moonstone, and labradorite, have a special appeal to my senses and seem almost mesmerizing when you gaze into their depths.  And then, when you get that ray of sunlight on the stone—oh, my!


The first discovery of labradorite, a feldspar mineral, was in 1770 at Paul’s Island, near the town of Nain on the Labrador Peninsula in Canada.   It has also been found in Norway and the former USSR.  It occurs in large crystal masses, and the play of colors that it displays is called labradorescence, or schiller effect.

Eskimo legend has it that the Northern Lights were once imprisoned within the stones, and a wandering Eskimo warrior freed them with a blow of his spear.  However, some of the lights remained trapped in the stones, which accounts for their lovely glow.

Along with its popularity in jewelry, labradorite is also used as an ornamental stone in clock faces, table and countertops, and even facing for buildings.

Mystical Properties

Labradorite is thought to bring good luck and provide relief from depression, anxiety, and despair.  It brings clarity of thought to the wearer, and replaces negative thoughts and feelings with enthusiasm, self-confidence, inspiration, and harmony.  It also aids one who is experiencing conflict and change by giving perseverance, strength, and enhanced intuition. 

Healing Properties

For those of us who are getting older and suffering from aches and pains in our joints from rheumatism or arthritis—or just the wear and tear of getting older—it’s labradorite to the rescue!  If you want to take advantage of the stone’s healing properties, you should carry it as a touchstone or wear it in a piece of jewelry.

Care of Your Gemstone

Labradorite is a fairly soft stone, with a Mohs hardness of 6.0.  It also has cleavage lines within the stone.  These are not cracks or defects, but it is essential that your stone not receive any hits or knocks.  You should keep your lovely stone away from bright light and heat.  It should be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush, rinsed and patted dry.  If its surface becomes dull and cloudy, it should be put in mineral water and placed in the sun for a few days.  Your labradorite jewelry should be stored  away from other jewelry pieces and hard objects in separate jewelry pouches.

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