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Learning Library

Sunstone Gemstone

This gemstone  has  a  gorgeous  glittering  appearance  (known  as  aventurescence)  and  is  also  called  Oligoclase,  Aventurine  Feldspar  and  Heliote.  Sunstone  has  many  sought  after  attributes,  but  its  aventuresence  is  the  most  striking.  This  is  usually  caused  by  either  Haematite  or  Goethite  inclusions;  but  in  the  Sunstone  from  Oregon  in  the  USA,  this  phenomenon  owes  its  appearance  to  copper  inclusions.  Although  its  colour  is  normally  a  reddish brown, it has also been discovered in  green, grey, and yellow.

The gem has been set in jewellery for thousands of years and is steeped in history and folklore.  The Vikings were said to have used the gem as a navigational aid, whilst early American settlers ground the gem and used it in medicine.

Sunstone is a member  of  the Feldspar  family and  is  closely  related  to  Labradorite. As  it  is  normally opaque or translucent the gem is often  cabochon cut; on rare occasions it can be found transparent.

The gem registers 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale and  can be found in Norway, Canada, India and the USA.

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A Jacque Christie sunstone pendant.