Labradorite has a appearance or background color of dark gray, but they give off rainbow-colored reflections known as labradorescence when light hits it in certain directions.
The usually intense colors range from the typical blues and violets through greens, yellows and oranges. Some rare designer cabochons display all these colors simultaneously.
Labradorite is a plagioclase feldspar. Labradorite shows the iridescent display of colors due to minute inclusions of another mineral or internal cracks that causes an interference of light reflection.
Labradorite also has a metallic luster known as schiller.
It is named after where it was first found in 1770; Labrador, Canada, although our gemstone cabochon material comes from the Tulear Province of Madagascar. It is also found in other areas around the world.
The Native Americans of Labrador crushed the gemstone into powder and ingested it as they believed it could cure ailments.
Labradorite with superb labradorescence is produced from a few deposits in Finland. The best of this material was given the name Spectrolite by the director of the Geological Survey of Finland.
Careful consideration must be given to orientation when cutting Labradorite cabochons-to make sure the stone has the best flash or labradorescence.
Labradorite cabochons have a hardness of 6-6 1/2.
Labradorite is thought by some to symbolize the moon and the sun. It is said to assist the wearer to handle changes, promoting strength and perseverance. Labradorite can aid in uncovering unconscious belief patterns that generate negative emotional states.