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An introduction to Labradorite

What is Labradorite?

Semi-precious Labradorite is a deep yet radiantly greenish-grey gemstone that hails mainly from the upper reaches of the northern hemisphere.

It's a member of the feldspar group of minerals and boasts some of the most eye-catching light displays in the gemstone world. Tied into the natural phenomena of these regions, the colours it refracts can range from peacock blue to copper red with iridescent flashes of green and gold everywhere in between.

What are the origins of Labradorite?

As a relatively new member of the group of gemstones of the world, Labradorite was only discovered in abundance in the 18th century. Paul Island near Nain in Labrador, Canada, was the site of this discovery and it's gone on to become one of the world's most interesting source locations of this particular gemstone.

Moravian missionaries are believed to have encountered the vibrant stone in 1770, who, of course, named it after the area in which it was first found. Its story may, in fact, go even further back than the 18th century, though; Inuit tribes and Beothuk people in and around the Newfoundland and Labrador areas are thought to have had a close relationship with the gemstone, as it is referenced in the legends of their days.

A natural phenomenon called 'labradorescence' comes from the unique characteristics of this gemstone. It's an iridescent optical effect that is often likened to the colourful displays of the Northern Lights or the world's most beautiful butterflies, so it's easy to see how and why this caught the eyes of the Inuit and Beothuk people back in the day.

Its associations with the northern hemisphere only serve to strengthen its status as the gemstone of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights themselves - and that's exactly why it's become one of the most adored gemstones of the world in lands far from the northern rocks of Canada and Scandinavia.

What are the historic uses of Labradorite?

The otherworldly array of colour in Labradorite led it to be labelled the Stone of Magic, so it was used for all sorts of inner energies and personal improvement techniques.

Many spiritualists have held it close to their hearts thanks to its perceived abilities to awaken one's awareness of inner spirits and intuition. In fact, it is believed on the whole to protect against the negative auras of the outside world, so it is a bringer of peace and tranquillity to anyone who owns it.

If we dig a bit deeper into its meanings and associated historical uses, we discover that it has always been thought to have prophetic influences on those who either kept Labradorite gemstones or wore it in everyday jewellery. If one wished to communicate with others and, indeed, the higher spirits, Labradorite would be called upon to achieve a level of clairvoyance and telepathy in such a pursuit.

Moreover, it provided a natural link between the physical and the metaphysical worlds in that it brought people back down to ground with a less reckless, unintoxicated attitude towards the real world.

Where is Labradorite sourced?

The main source of the namesake Labrador in Canada isn't the only place to find this beautiful gemstone. It has also been unearthed in Finland, Norway, Russia, the United States and the mineral-rich lands of Madagascar and Australia.

Interestingly, it was accidentally discovered in Finland during the Second World War when the traps Finnish soldiers set to keep Russian tanks out exploded and revealed the radiant gemstone in the rock beneath. There are even some rare variations of Labradorite across the world. These include Golden Labradorite, which errs on the side of a golden champagne colour, and Spectrolite, which has an amazingly high degree of 'labradorescence'. This makes it a very rare and extremely sought-after gemstone indeed.

Is Labradorite a birthstone?

Labradorite is not considered to be a traditional birthstone, but some sources claim that it is closely associated with people born in August, but also in February and March in some cases. This could be in relation to the array of wintery colours it displays, with much of the green shading reminiscent of the spectrum of the Northern Lights in the Canadian and Scandinavian skies.

How is Labradorite worn?

Labradorite was popularised as a gemstone for jewellery in Europe after its discovery, particularly in England and France. It has gone on to form some of the most colourful and eye-catching necklaces, earrings and bracelets in the world of gemstones, so it really is one to look out for if you want to put a heavenly stamp on your style.

Labradorite at Monica Vinader

Our jewellery uses high-quality Labradorite for only the finest displays of colour that reflect the natural beauty of the Northern Lights.

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