Labradorite

Labradorite

Labradorite gemstones emulate the iridescent pattern of a butterfly’s wing, and the ethereal wash of colors in the aurora borealis. It is legend that ancient inhabitants of the Labrador shoreline in Canada believed that labradorite was the frozen fire of the aurora borealis itself. Although legend says that ancient civilization discovered labradorite, it wasn’t until it was officially discovered by a Moravian missionary off the coast of Labrador Canada around 1770 that it was recognized for its potential as a gemstone.

Labradorite belongs to the feldspar mineral group and is cherished for its remarkable play of color. Labradorite is the owner of an optical phenomenon or schiller (German for shining or twinkle) called labradorescence. Because labradorite is a plagioclase feldspar, it can form microscopic layers of other feldspars, and when light strikes these layers and the light rays interfere with one another, it creates bands of shimmering spectral colors. Labradorescnece visually displays vivid flashes of (mostly) blue and green, but also gold, orange, red, and sometimes violet. These areas of color change places depending on the viewing angle, comparably to the play of color in an opal.

All labradorite which displays labradorescence is beautifully unique as a gemstone, no two pieces will have exactly the same patterns and flashes of color. It makes an exceptional collectable in a loose mineral collection, or as a wearable piece of jewelry. Labradorite supplies are plentiful, so its wild beauty is very available and affordable to the market.

Metaphysically, since labradorite can display all spectral colors, it unites all chakras. Labradorite often predominantly shines blue, so it also strongly stimulates the throat chakra. Traditional Hindu belief systems also say labradorite relates to the throat chakra, ‘vishuddha.’ The throat chakra acts as the voice and purification center of the body. When the throat chakra is closed or unbalanced, it affects the state of all other chakras. When it is open and balanced, it allows for the purest communication and expression within platonic relationships, romantic relationships, and within workplace or professional relationships. Wearing labradorite around your neck, close to the throat chakra, in the form of a pendant or necklace is a great way to bring about its communicative properties, especially if the piece of labradorite has mostly deep blue hues.

Labradorite is also a stone of transformation and change. It is a great guide for large life decisions and transitions because it enhances strength of will and inner value. Keeping a labradorite palm stone in one’s pocket, or in one’s bag can allow labradorite to assist you through personal growth and transition. As a workplace stone, it tends to bring out the best in people. Keeping a piece of labradorite with you when you transition jobs or having a piece on a desk at work can assist in cultivating a pleasant work space.

Labradorite is both visually and metaphysically magical, mystical, and mesmerizing. It would make a great addition to any jewelry or mineral collection.

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Moonstone

Moonstone

Moonstone, a namesake to the hauntingly beautiful glow of the moon, is one of the most common of the feldspar mineral group. Moonstone is a phenomenal gemstone, meaning it is a gemstone which displays optical illusions. Moonstones optical illusion (phenomenon) is referred to as ‘adularescence.’ Adularescence is the cloudy blueish-white light that billows and gleams across the surface of the stone when light strikes moonstones alternating growth layers.  Moonstone’s adularescence emulates glistening moonbeams piercing a thin veil of clouds. It is the only gem to display adularescence and have such a direct association with the moon.

Despite its unique beauty and phenomenal properties, moonstone is very abundant, making it an affordable addition to your jewelry or gem collection. The most prized moonstone according to the trade, displays a light blue (somewhat ghostly translucent) body color and a sharp, bright blue adularescence. The next most valuable of moonstone grades usually have a more opaque white body color, and display either blue or white adularescence. Other body colors such as grey, peach, yellow, brown, and black also occur but are less valuable to the trade.

Rainbow moonstone, very commonly sold as a type of moonstone, is actually a variety of transparent labradorite, another fellow member of the feldspar group with multi-colored sheen. The two are similar enough that the trade has accepted rainbow moonstone as a gem of its own. Both moonstones, with their blue adularescence, or rainbow moonstones, with their more opaque-white body color and full spectrum display, are lovely gemstones. There is no discrimination what-so-ever as to which one would prefer. In fact, today, most people tend to prefer rainbow moonstone as opposed to traditional moonstone.

Ancient civilizations used moonstone in jewelry consistently. The Romans believed that moonstone was a solidified and tangible piece of moon beams, while the Greeks (as well as the Romans) associated moonstone with all their lunar gods and goddesses. In India there were beliefs of moonstone allowing a look into one’s future when placed in one’s mouth during a full moon. It was also a very popular gemstone choice for jewelers during the Art Nouveau period.

Since moonstone and rainbow moonstone have slight technical differences, their metaphysical properties also differ slightly. Traditional moonstone promotes clarity of the mind, allowing an open headspace for inner vision. Rainbow moonstone, since it displays the full color spectrum, acts as a diffuser of energy throughout one’s aura. It resonates primarily with the Crown chakra, but also with the Third Eye, gifting the wearer with psychic protection and aiding in calming slumber. According to Robert Simmons’ The Book of Stones, moonstone is a talisman for the inward journey, and meditation with it can take one deep into the self, while rainbow moonstones offer the gifts of inner peace and harmony, emotional balance and strength, purification and transformation of negative energy. No matter what type of moonstone calls to you, it will be classically beautiful, luminous, and rich with positive energy and history.

 

-Emma Day Paduano

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Amethyst

Amethyst

Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz family, and the birthstone of February. The color of amethyst varies from a soft, pale purple to a rich, deep purple, and is thought to be caused by manganese or iron impurities. It is found in numerous locations around the world, namely, Africa, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Russia, and the USA.

Amethyst has long been viewed as a symbol and stone of royalty. It was used in English regalia such as crowns, scepters, and the rings of bishops. Amethyst, up until the 18th century was considered one of the most valuable gemstones alongside diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald. When numerous large deposits were discovered in places such as Brazil, Amethyst lost most of its value. Now it is a very accessible and affordable addition to your gemstone or crystal collection. Since its biggest value factor is no longer rarity, amethysts highest value factor is the color. Higher grade, or the most expensive pieces of amethyst will be ones with the most depth of color and saturation. However, some prefer the lighter or pale pieces of amethyst, both are beautiful in their own regard and is ultimately up to personal preference and affordability.

The word Amethyst comes from the Greek word ‘Amethystos’ meaning “without drunkenness” or “not drunken.” For the Greeks, Amethyst was thought to be an antidote against drunkenness, and used to prevent intoxication, which is why their wine goblets were often carved from Amethyst. This then inspired a French poet named Remy Belleau to write a myth (L'Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d'Amethyste)." In his myth Bacchus, the god of intoxication, wine, and grapes pursued a woman named Amethyste, who refused his affections. She prayed for strength to refrain from Bacchus - which was answered in the form of being turned to white stone, to grant her wish of remaining chaste. Bacchus, who admired Amethyste’s will to resist, poured wine over the stone as an offering - dying the crystals purple.

When beginning to describe amethysts’ metaphysical properties, Robert Simmons in his Book of Stones uses the key words; protection, purification, divine, connection, and release of addictions. Amethyst resonates with the third eye and crown chakra, and it is a go-to stone for anti-anxiety or stress relief. It is also an ideal stone for enhancement of a physical environment. For example, placing amethyst clusters, geodes, points, etc. in one’s home, room, car, office, or any other space, can create a surrounding of light and protection. Even more specifically, placing amethyst in one’s room can keep the healing space very clear.

Amethyst does need clearing from time to time, and the easiest method is just to place the stone under running water for a short time. Quartz is not water soluble and very much likes the cleansing effects of water. Others choose to sage or place the stone in sunlight or moonlight. Only be weary of the sunlight method, as long-term exposure to sunlight can bleach the purple color from an amethyst. Amethyst harmonizes well with Moldavite, Azeztulite, Phenacite, Scolecite, Natrolite, and varieties of Quartz, Opal, Sugilite, and Black Tourmaline.

By Emma Day

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