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.