What is Labradorite?


Labradorite is a feldspar mineral that is most commonly found in mafic igneous rocks. It’s known for its stunning iridescence, which is commonly referred to as labradorescence. This unique visual effect is caused by the interference of light within the layers of the mineral, creating a vivid play of color that can range from blue and green to yellow, orange, or even red. Labradorite is primarily found in Canada, although it can also be sourced from other countries including Madagascar, Ukraine, and the United States.

Labradorite is a captivating mineral known for its iridescent play of colors, often appearing in shades of blue, green, yellow, and sometimes even orange or red. This unique visual phenomenon, known as labradorescence, has made it a highly sought-after material for jewelry and decorative items. Its mystical appearance has also made it a popular choice for those interested in the metaphysical properties of gemstones.

Gemstone Properties

Chemical ClassificationInorganic - Feldspar
ColorTypically gray-green, dark gray, black, or grayish-white, with colorful iridescence.
StreakBrown to Brownish Green
LusterVitreous to pearly, especially on cleavage surfaces.
TransparencyTransparent to translucent.
OccurrenceCanada, Madagascar, Ukraine.
FormationLabradorite is formed in igneous rocks and is also found in metamorphic amphibolites.
DiaphaneityTranslucent with labradorescence
CleavagePerfect in two directions
Mohs Hardness6 to 6.5.
Specific GravityApproximately 2.68 to 2.72.
Diagnostic PropertiesLabradorescence (play of colors).
Chemical Composition(Ca,Na)(Si,Al)4O8
PleochroismNot exhibited in labradorite.
Crystal SystemTriclinic
Optical PropertiesBiaxial (+)
Refractive Index1.560 - 1.572
Birefringence0.008 - 0.010
2V angleMeasured: 85° to 90°
DispersionNot typically relevant for labradorite.