Labradorite ((Ca,Na)(Si,Al)4O8) is a middle range member of the plagioclase feldspar group. It rarely forms crystals but rather a crystalline mass that is commonly characterized by its rich play of iridescent colors known as the "schiller effect," or "labradorescence". The schiller effect is caused by the scattering of light from thin layers of a second feldspar that develops through internal chemical separation during the cooling of what was originally a single feldspar. Gemstone labradorite comes from Madagascar, Finland, and Russia. High quality gemstone grade labradorite from Finland is often referred to as spectrolite. Labradorite is usually cute en cabochon to better display the iridescent color play of the stone.
Labradorite was first identified at Paul Island, Labrador, by Moravian missionaries in 1770, hence deriving its name from this locality.
Metaphysically Known For: Magic, protection.