Usually clear, white, or gray in reflected light. Labradorescent colors can include blue, green, yellow, orange, and red.
HARDNESS & TOUGHNESS
Hardness: 6 – 6.5 Toughness: Good
Australia, Canada (Labrador and Newfoundland) France, Norway, Madagascar, Russia, UK, USA
Labradorite is a feldspar mineral of the plagioclase series that is most often found in igneous rocks. Gem quality labradorite exhibits a schiller effect, which is a strong play of iridescent blue, green, red, orange, and yellow colors. Labradorite is so well known for these spectacular displays of color that the phenomenon is known as “labradorescence.” Labradorescence is caused by internal fractures that reflect light back and forth, dispersing it into different colors.
Rainbow moonstone is transparent Labradorite, a closely related feldspar mineral with sheen in a variety of iridescent colors. Although it’s technically not moonstone, it’s similar enough that the trade has accepted it as a gem in its own right. Today some people prefer it to traditional moonstone.