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Labradorite is a gemstone that was named after Labrador in Canada, where it was found on the Isle of Paul, near Nain in 1770.
It has since been found in other places, including Finland, Madagascar, and Australia. After its discovery, Labradorite became popular with the missionaries.
Labradorite is a plagioclase feldspar which shows adularescence (a white or bluish light seen when turned). This optical effect is so unique to Labradorite that it has been termed "Labradorescence".
It is the result of diffraction of light in the layers of rock.
The most highly valued Labradorite is material that shows the full spectrum of color in its labradorescence.
Labradorite that does not exhibit labradorescence can still make beautiful gemstones because of aventurescence, which is a glitter caused by diffraction of light from mineral platelets.
Labradorite is found in Canada (Labrador, Newfoundland), Australia, Madagascar, Mexico, Norway, Russia and the USA.
Labradorite Gemstone Jewelry Care and Cleaning
Although Labradorite has a hardness of 6 – 6.5 on the Mohs scale, which is softer than quartz, it is a durable material.
To clean your Labradorite, simply use soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue.
As with most gemstones, ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are not recommended.
Always remove any jewelry or gemstones before exercising, cleaning or engaging in harsh physical activities such as sports.
Labradorite can be easily scratched by harder substances, so it should be stored away from other gemstones.
It is best to wrap gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box.