Rock Discoveries

A Guide to Labradorite: Formation Optical Effect and Buying Tips

Labradorite: A Radiant Stone Worth Knowing

Labradorite, a calcium-rich feldspar, is a triclinic mineral found in igneous rocks such as gabbro and basalt. It was first discovered in Labrador, Canada, hence its name, but is also found in other countries such as Finland.

Labradorite’s unique optical effect, known as labradorescence, sets it apart from other feldspar minerals. In this article, we will explore the formation, chemical composition, optical effect, varieties, and where to find Labradorite.

Formation and Chemical Composition

Labradorite forms as a result of magmatic differentiation – the process where magma cools and solidifies into rocks. It is mostly found in gabbro and basalt rocks.

Gabbro rocks generally contain more calcium than basalt rocks and are, therefore, the primary source of high-quality Labradorite. The triclinic crystal system of Labradorite results in a unique, iridescent appearance across the surface of the stone.

Labradorite is a calcium-rich feldspar, composed of calcium aluminum silicate, with potassium, sodium, and sometimes barium. Trace amounts of strontium, thorium, and uranium are also present in some specimens.

The mineral is chemically similar to other feldspars such as albite, oligoclase, and anorthite, but its optical effect sets it apart.

Optical Effect and Labradorescence

Labradorescence is a fascinating optical effect resulting from a combination of the labradorite’s structure and the incidence of light on its surface. When light enters the stone, it refracts within the mineral’s layers, producing a play of colors similar to the schiller luster of a moonstone.

The colors range from blue and green to yellow and orange, with flashes of purple, pink, and red. The iridescence varies depending on the viewing angle and the quality of the stone.

Labradorite’s labradorescence is a result of light interference from thin, alternating layers of calcium and aluminum silicates. The light that enters the stone is split into various wavelengths on the surface of each thin layer.

When the light waves travel through the stone and encounter another layer, they interfere with each other, producing the iridescent effect.

Varieties of Labradorite

Labradorite occurs in various colors, ranging from pale blue to yellow and brown, but blue-green shades are the most common. There are also rare colors such as purple and pink, referred to as spectrolite.

The availability of color and quality of labradorite varies from one locality to another. However, high-quality Labradorite generally showcases bright multiple colors, a uniform stone body, and a minimal presence of black or grey-colored inclusions.

Where Labradorite is Found

Labradorite is found in various areas worldwide. Canada and Finland are the two primary sources of high-quality gem-grade Labradorite stones.

Canada is particularly famous for its blue-green labradorite with a gray or greenish-gray stone body. Finland, on the other hand, is famous for its spectrolite, which is highly prized by collectors and can showcase a range of colors from vivid blues and greens to deep purples and pinks.

Local Rock and Gem Stores

If you are looking for a Labradorite stone, you can visit local rock and gem stores near you. These stores allow you to examine the stone personally, verify its authenticity, and even compare it with other specimens.

It is also an excellent opportunity to support local businesses while looking for your desired stone.

Rock and Gem Shows

Rock and gem shows are fantastic places to find not just Labradorite but all types of stones. You can compare prices, take advantage of bulk deals, and even attend informative lectures on stones.

However, due to the vast number of vendors present, it is crucial to do your research on the show before buying.

Online Purchases

Online purchases are also an option when it comes to finding Labradorite. However, it is essential to be cautious, as there are scammers and fake sellers on the internet.

It is best to purchase your labradorite stone from reputable online sellers with a memory return policy and transaction protection should anything go wrong.


Labradorite is a remarkable stone with unique optical effects. It is formed in igneous rocks, including basalt and gabbro.

Its optical effect, labradorescence, results from light interferences as it passes through the successive layers of silicates. There are various varieties of labradorite, and the availability of color and quality varies from location to location.

Canada and Finland are among the primary sources of high-grade Labradorite stones. To find Labradorite, local rock and gem stores, rock and gem shows, and reputable online sellers are available options.

Overall, Labradorite is a beautiful stone worth exploring for its unique optical effects and colorful varieties. Labradorite Buyer’s Guide: How to Buy Genuine Labradorite Stones

If you’re looking to purchase a labradorite stone, you need to be wary of fakes, treated stones, and scams.

You can prevent shoddy deals by following a few basic guidelines that will help you avoid getting ripped off. In this guide, we will go over the things to consider before buying a labradorite stone, tips on identifying fakes and treated stones, and the best sources to procure labradorite stones.

1. Considerations before Buying

Before you buy a labradorite stone, there are several things you need to keep in mind.

First, ask for photos or videos of the stone. Many reputable sellers already provide these to show the stones multi-colored sheen.

Additionally, ask for a photo in natural light and incandescent light. Some labradorite shows its luster only in natural light, while others display its full glory in incandescent light.

This will give you a better idea of how the stone will look in different types of lighting. Secondly, beware of fakes and treated stones.

Labradorite is highly-prized, and as a result, some sellers may try to sell you a fake or altered stone. While labradorite can be treated, this should be disclosed by the seller.

Fakes, on the other hand, can be identified through physical examination of the stone’s quality and color distribution. Some might also have a lower price than the genuine stones.

2. Identifying Fakes and Treated Stones

Distinguishing between fake or treated labradorite stones and genuine ones can be challenging.

Dyeing, staining, heat treatments, and fracture filling are methods used by sellers to enhance or create the luster in fakes and treated stones. Here are some essential tips to help you identify fake or treated labradorite stones:

Color Patterns Labradorite stones that are dyed or treated typically have even and straight color patterns.

Genuine labradorite does not have uniform color distribution and usually has color variations patches. Internal Structure Genuine labradorite has an internal structure of thin, parallel striations that refract light despite the viewing angle.

These thin lines distinguish genuine labradorite from dyed, heat-treated, or fracture-filled stones. Straight Lines Straight and uniform luster lines indicate that the stone might have undergone treatments like irradiation or dyeing.

Presence of Cracks Genuine labradorite stones are brittle and prone to cracking along existing fractures. If the seller is promoting a stone without any fractures or cracks, it may indicate that they’ve filled the cracks or fractures with a clear epoxy substance to cover up any flaws.

3. Legitimate Sources and Rarity

Labradorite is a highly sought-after gemstone and, as such, can command a significant price in the market.

It is vital to know where your stone comes from. Legitimate sources like reputable dealers and gem traders have educated themselves on the nuances of labradorite and should be able to provide you with reliable information.

Private sellers and inexperienced collectors should be approached with caution as they may not have the necessary knowledge to identify genuine labradorite. When it comes to rarity, genuine labradorite has limited availability, especially the high-quality versions that boast vibrant color displays.

This translates into a higher price point. Be wary of scams or sellers offering rare labradorite at a price that seems too good to be true.


Labradorite stones are eye-catching with their sheen of multiple colors, making them a favorite among gemstone lovers. However, with the high demand comes an influx of fake or treated stones, making it tough to distinguish the genuine from fake stones.

As a buyer, you need to be vigilant and only purchase labradorite stones from reliable sources, and with the help of this guide, you can now make informed decisions. Always ask for photos or video of the stone, remember the key identifying features of genuine labradorite, and be wary of deals that seem too good to be true these are the first steps to ensure that you receive the value that you deserve from the purchase of a labradorite stone.

In conclusion, Labradorite is a fascinating and beautiful mineral with unique optical effects of labradorescence. It is formed through magmatic differentiation in gabbro and basalt rocks and is composed of calcium aluminum silicate.

When looking to purchase a Labradorite stone, it is essential to consider the source, ask for photos or videos, and be wary of fakes and treated stones. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you procure a genuine Labradorite stone of high-grade quality.


– What is labradorescence?

Labradorescence is a unique optical effect of Labradorite stones where the incidence of light results in a play of colors, ranging from blue-green to yellow-orange, with flashes of purple, pink, and red.

– Where can I find genuine Labradorite stones?

Labradorite stones can be found in local rock and gem stores, online, and at rock and gem shows.

You should always purchase from a reputable source to ensure that you get a genuine and high-grade quality stone. – How can I tell if a Labradorite stone is fake or treated?

Fake or treated Labradorite stones tend to have even and straight color patterns, whereas genuine stones have uneven color distributions and patches. They also lack the thin, parallel striations that are a unique characteristic of genuine Labradorite.

– Is Labradorite expensive?

Labradorite is a highly sought-after gemstone, and high-grade quality stones can come at a significant price.

However, its value depends on its quality, rarity, and cut and availability.

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