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Labradorite Palm Stones

Labradorite Palm Stones

Labradorite is a glimmering mineral with a beautifully distinct shine. The stone can form in a variety of different colors, with oranges, yellows, greens, blues, and silvers often mixing within a single piece. What makes labradorite’s colorful nature appear is a geological wonder; a bending of light on the microscopic level.

Above: Large and Small Labradorite Palm Stones

Shaped and polished Labradorite specimens, such as these, are typically referred to as "palm stones". They are meant to be handled as rotating the surface of the stone through light is how one revealed the shimmering colors within.

Above: Large 2-3" (left) and Small 1-2" (right) samples side by side.

These particular specimens come from Madagascar, which is home to some of the finest Labradorite deposits on Earth. They are available in two sizes, Large (2-3") and Small (1-2"). Both sizes ship in our sturdy shipping cartons and come with a small, black information card that also serves as the certificate of authenticity.

Please Note: We have examined each stone by hand to select specimens that are beautiful and reflect light in a variety of colors. That said, it is important to note that each stone is absolutely unique. The colors within may vary. In addition, there may be angles where the stone does not exhibit a schiller effect (i.e. shimmer). This is completely natural. The pictures and videos on this page should give you an overall idea variety of colors that can be expressed by this magnificent material.


More About Labradorite

"The mutable reflection of color is distinguished from the play of color by the mineral displaying in the same spot a variable color accordingly as the angle of the incident rays of light is varied This change takes place either on the surface of the mineral or internally and is perceived by varying its position in relation to the eye or by holding it up to the light. The superficial mutable reflection of color is particularly beautiful in Labrador stone." ~ Abraham Gottlob Werner, A Treatise on the External Characters of Fossils, 1774 (Translated from the German in 1805)

 


What sets labradorite apart from other silicate minerals is its inclusions of calcium, aluminum, and sodium ions. When magma containing this mixture cools slowly, the ions cause the separation of microlayers in the rock called lamellae. These separations are spaced only nanometers apart, but the gaps cause a slight irregularity on the surface. These lamellae act like a million tiny mirrors, each refracting light in a different direction.

This is known as a schiller effect and can be seen in a less dramatic way in the glint of other feldspars and silicates. Labradorite’s unique chemical makeup though lends to far more intense refraction, causing colored wavelengths of light to bounce off the mineral. The end result is the stunning colors that can be found when admiring the labradorite.


Above: Large Labradorite Palm Stone in Hand

In order for the ions to separate properly, a slow cooling process is required. This means that labradorite is most commonly found in igneous rocks like basalts or gabbros. Though it was named for its source site in Canada, labradorite can be found all around the world with deposits found in Madagascar, Europe, Australia, China, and the United States.

Above: Back of the Specimen Card.

 

 

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