Labradorite

Labradorite in Canada, North America

The shimmering gemstone of Labradorite is one of the only stones in the world to be named after and known for the region in which it was discovered.

As a relatively recent member of the family of jewellery gemstones, this semi-precious beauty is one of Canada's finest natural products and is used and adored the world-over thanks to the rainbow of colours it displays. We're exploring the story of this wonderful stone and its origins, beginning here with its natural source, Canada:

The history of Labradorite in Canada, North America

Given its popularity in the world today - not only in jewellery, but also in spirituality - you'd be forgiven for thinking that Labradorite has been used by people for thousands of years. It may well have been around for thousands of years, growing undetected in igneous rocks around the planet, but its decorative role in society, at least, is thought to have only begun properly in the 18th century.

Despite having apparently been popular in Inuit and Beothuk cultures prior to the 18th century, Moravian missionaries are thought to be the ones who discovered the beautiful stone in 1770. They attributed its name to the source location on which they stood: Labrador in east Canada. Let's take a look at how this fascinating region of the world became known as a major source of what we know today as the Stone of Magic:

Labrador, Canada

Near Nain in eastern Canada - more specifically in Newfoundland and Labrador - lies a place called Paul Island. It is in this relatively unremarkable and remote part of the North American continent that the original Labradorite gemstones were unearthed and revealed to the world. Ford Harbour was the exact location of the discovery in 1770. Since then, people have sought it out across the world and large deposits of it have been found on the other side of the Labrador Sea in Scandinavia.

It won't be a surprise to you that places at that sort of latitude are regularly treated to magnificent displays of the Northern Lights, otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis. It might be a surprise to you, though, that the diverse colours on display in Labradorite are strikingly akin to those of aurorae, which is why the gemstone has become affectionately known as the stone of the Northern Lights.This iridescence is the root of the meaning attached to Labradorite, so it's no wonder it has been immeasurably popular with healers and spiritualists over the centuries.

The colour differs slightly to that of the gemstones found in Scandinavian rocks, where it is thought that some of the rarest Labradorite stones come from, namely Golden Labradorite and Spectrolite. Each of these stones has an arresting appearance that brings different colours out to shine - the golden hints in natural Labradorite exude a champagne-like hue in the former, whilst the unique spectacle of 'labradorescence' radiates from the latter. In all their glory, the stones that originate from Labradorite are amongst the most beautiful in the world and it's fascinating to see such geological differences in its varieties across the world.

Where else is Labradorite sourced?

As well as in Canada, Labradorite can be sourced from mafic igneous rocks and anorthosites in many parts of North America. The northern region of New York state, which isn't geographically that far from Labrador in Canada, is a place of particular interest to geologists and jewellery enthusiasts alike. It's also been found in Oregon and California.

It has a close association with Scandinavia, too, with deposits being unearthed in the volcanic lands of Norway, Finland and even islands off the coast of Iceland. There are sources of Labradorite all over the world and many of them have been mined for decades to find the most beautiful gemstones to use in the everyday jewellery you see around you today. Discover our collection of Labradorite jewellery below to see how you can bring the Northern Lights to your world.

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