The almost supernatural blue/violet/green/golden tinge of labradorite is a quality that makes it popular among jewelry lovers and those into healing crystals and stones. Indeed, those who believe in the power of labradorite believe it can reduce blood pressure and help promote relaxation. Labradorite is also thought to boost lung health and aid in digestion, metabolism, and other processes. Learn more about Labradorite from Norway which is A True Scandinavian Treasure.
Most labradorite is mined in Madagascar, but it is also found in a handful of additional countries, one of which is Norway. What is the history of this gemstone in Norway and what are its main uses today?
Labradorite in Norway’s South Eastern Region
Labradorite abounds in Norwegian rocks in the southeast, in the area around Langesund. This area is around 150km south of Oslo. Access to the mines is easy, which enables large amounts of this stone to be mined and sent abroad. Labradorite is sometimes mistaken for Larvikite, which is found primarily in the Larvik Fjord region. LarvIkite is a rock rather than a gemstone, though it can sometimes look like labradorite, since light bounces off it and refracts around its surfaces. The multi-hued gemstone can also be found in Rogaland (which is home to an impressive nine Labradorite mines) and in the area close to Tromsø.
The History of Labradorite Mining
Labradorite can actually be found in various Nordic countries in Northern Europe. In Finland, the gemstone was discovered by soldiers who were planting explosives against the Russians. Some of these explosions unearthed the captivating unearthly gemstone, as well as a rare variety known as Spectrolite.
The latter is a type of labradorite that has a high degree of ‘labradorescence’ (the flashes of iridescent color that refract off the gemstone’s surface). Labradorescence is a quality emulated by gemstone cutters. Freeform cutters take years to perfect their craft so that they can deeply understand minerals and their character. The process of turning a raw gemstone into a fully polished one can take months, but the result is more than worth it when it comes to capturing the unique ‘fire’ of labradorite gemstones.
The Uses of Labradorite
Today, labradorite is used by fine and demi-fine jewelry designers alike. Its bluish hue is usually complemented by yellow or rose gold in items like rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Labradorite is also sold as individual crystals, with many having impressive sizes (as large as the palm of one’s hand or larger). Red, green, and watermelon are the preferred hues for this stone since they are very rare. Its most common hue is champagne/gold though bluish-violet tones are also popular. Norwegian labradorite is used by top jewelers (such as international brand Monica Vinader) owing to its purity. Some gemstones obtained from China and Congo is under suspicion of being heated, diffused, or irradiated to obtain a red/orange or green color—as stated by the International Gem Society’s Jeff R. Graham.
Labradorite abounds in Norway, especially in northeastern areas. This gem is famed for its stunning iridescence and multicolored hues. It can be found in various colors, including blue, violet, green, gold, red, watermelon, and more.
Labradorite From Norway: A True Scandinavian Treasure, written exclusively for Daily Scandinavian by Karoline Gore. Karoline is a freelance writer from Stoke on Trent in the UK who left the corporate grind when she started a family and has never looked back. She enjoys contributing to a range of online publications on the topics that are important to her.
Other articles written by Karoline Gore you might like to read:
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Feature image (on top): This pair of labradorites (32.64 carats total weight) exhibits the full range of spectral colors available to labradorite, from red though violet. In the stone on the left, you can see the lamellar structure that results in the changing colors of labradorite. Photo Mia Dixon, credit Pala International.