Labradorite

Labradorite in Norway, Scandinavia

The semi-precious gemstone of Labradorite is one of the truly precious children of Norway. Up and down and all over the Scandinavian country, you can find rich deposits of the attractively unique gemstone that adorns beautiful rings and bracelets everywhere.

As we explore the story behind Labradorite and its place in the world, we're taking a closer look at Norway, where it bears a striking resemblance to one of the great wonders of the natural world, the Northern Lights:

The history of Labradorite in Norway, Scandinavia

Despite the apparent geological ties that its name suggests, hailing from Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, Labradorite can actually be found in significant deposits in Norwegian rocks. It is a member of the feldspar group of minerals, which crystallise in magma in a wide array of shapes, sizes and, of course, colours.

It is this regionality that often leads people to mistake Labradorite for what is known as Larvikite. This is primarily found in and near the Larvik Fjord region, which is centred around a town called Larvik in southern Norway, but it is a form of igneous rock and not a gemstone. Larvikite rock rather contains feldspar minerals that include Labradorite and they can often have a similar appearance when it comes to the light that reflects off and refracts around the gemstone surfaces.

It is for this reason that Labradorite is also often mistaken for Black Moonstone, but they are not the same in geological terms. The whole south eastern region of Norway around Langesund, which is located slightly to the west of Larvik, is rich in Labradorite and has consequently been a place of great fascination to geologists and scientists for years. It's around 150km south west of the capital of Oslo, so there has long been easy access to the mines for those who have wanted to export it across the globe, spreading the worldly fascination with an otherworldly gemstone.

Other significant sources in Norway

There are many other regions in Norway that have supplied the world with delightful Labradorite gemstones. Moving further to the west of Langesund, we reach the area of Rogaland, which is where Stavanger is located. As many as nine different mines have been reported there in a Geological Survey of Norway, which makes it a fascinating area for the study of gemstones.

Traversing the mountainous landscapes north, we encounter a number of mines near Tromsø, which play host to Labradorite, amongst a range of other gemstones such as Almandine. Norwegian rocks are rich in stunning gemstones, which is why they are a contributing factor to the global fame that the Scandinavian region has attained for its geology.

Where else is Labradorite sourced?

The entire region of Nordic countries in North Europe is home to an array of significant sites that are known for the mining of Labradorite and other famous gemstones. Across the border in Finland, Labradorite was actually discovered by accident by soldiers who, during the Second World War, had planted explosive traps to keep out the Russian tanks.

Some of the explosions unearthed previously unknown deposits of Labradorite and, in some cases, a rarer variety of it that we know as Spectrolite. This is a related stone that has a much higher degree of the visual phenomena called 'labradorescence', which occurs when iridescent flashes of colour refract off the planes of the gemstone's surface. It's also possible to find Labradorite in lands as far off as Australia, Madagascar and the United States, so in its natural form, it's not a particularly rare stone, but it is a strikingly bold stone that never fails to catch the eye and remind you of the beauty of the Northern Lights.

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