The Native Americans called this gem ‘Firestone’ because they loved the way the light captured inside the stone looked as if it was dancing with fire. The gem has a gorgeous iridescence, or play of colours, and is named after the location where it was found on the island of St. Paul, in Labrador, Canada (the same place that the dog bearing the same name was first bred).
Take a quick glance at it in a poorly lit room and you might at first see a dull, uninteresting stone, but turn up the light or take it outside, observe it more closely and the gem’s full magic will be displayed. As light dances across its surface it becomes as mystical and as beautiful as the Northern Lights. This effect is known as labradorescence and is truly a one of a kind mineralogical experience that should be viewed first-hand to really appreciate its beauty.
The intense colours seen in this optical effect range from gorgeous blues and violets, to forest greens, golden yellows and sunset oranges. In rare instances it is possible to find examples where all of these colours are displayed simultaneously. This colour effect is caused by the light entering the gem and being refracted like a pinball trapped inside a pinball machine, bouncing off the layers inside the gemstone.
At first sight Labradorite can appear a little boring, with a deep smoky grey to brown exterior. But look past this and slowly rotate the gem. If you don’t see a kaleidoscope of colours suddenly appear before your eyes, it’s not a great example and not worthy of being set in jewellery!
According to myths and legends, Labradorite is thought to unleash the power of the mind and was even believed to aid in overcoming one’s limitations. It is said to protect your aura and to align your personal self with the universe to help you achieve your destiny.
Associated with the third eye (the brow chakra) this gem lessens negativity and is used in prayer and meditation. Being a sister to Moonstone, Labradorite grants the inner knowledge of mystery and enhances psychic perception. As well as in Canada, Labradorite is also found in Madagascar, China, India, Australia, Russia, Mexico, Scandinavia (where it is known as Spectrolite) and the USA.
One of the rarest gems we try and always stock at GemCollector is a gorgeous yellow Labradorite. Unlike the Labradorite coming from Canada, this material is completely transparent and is similar to Red Labradorite (see separate section) in terms of clarity and brilliance. Just like Citrine and Lemon Quartz, when you wear this gem you can’t help but smile.