Labradorite is a feldspar mineral that was first discovered in Labrador, Canada, which is how it got its name. However, it is also found in various other locations around the world. Significant deposits exist in countries such as Finland, Madagascar, Norway, Russia, and the United States. Labradorite is known for its captivating play-of-color, a phenomenon called labradorescence, which contributes to its popularity in jewelry and metaphysical practices.
Labradorite is renowned for its striking and vibrant play-of-color, displaying flashes of iridescence that shift across the surface of the stone. Labradorite is often gray, dark gray, or black in its base color. The remarkable feature is the spectral play-of-color, which includes hues of blue, green, yellow, gold, and sometimes orange or red. The colors seem to shimmer and change as the stone is viewed from different angles.
Labradorescence is the unique optical phenomenon that Labradorite is famous for. Labradorescence is the result of light interference within the layers of the stone, creating the play-of-color. The intensity and variety of colors depend on the specific composition of the stone. Labradorite is typically translucent to opaque. The play-of-color is most visible in translucent to transparent sections of the stone. Labradorite has a vitreous to submetallic lustre, giving it a somewhat shiny and reflective quality.
Labradorite may display various surface patterns, including iridescent patches, veins, or spots. These patterns, combined with the play-of-color, make each piece unique. Labradorite is often cut into cabochons to showcase its play-of-color. It is also fashioned into beads, carvings, and other ornamental items.
Labradorite is considered a protective stone, believed to shield the aura and prevent energy leakage. It is associated with transformation and change, helping individuals navigate transitions in life. Labradorite is thought to stimulate intuition and psychic abilities, making it popular in spiritual practices. Labradorite is believed to balance and align the chakras, promoting a sense of harmony and well-being. Some individuals use Labradorite to enhance creativity and imagination.