Labradorite was first discovered in Labrador, Canada, by missionaries in 1770.
Eskimo legend says the Northern Lights were once imprisoned in rocks until one day an Eskimo warrior found them and freed the lights with a blow from his spear. Not all of the lights could be freed, and for that reason some of the lights remain frozen in the stone we now call labradorite.
Another version from Inuit peoples claim Labradorite fell from the frozen fire of the Aurora Borealis.
Either way. You have a stone that captures the elusive and undulating pulses of the northern lights.
In the 1940s, Spectrolite was discovered in Finland. It is a variety of labradorite but its colors are more vivid and intense. Maybe the lights of the legend were not freed from the stones of Finland.
The stone I was working on here flashes entirely in shades of blue.
I'm very picky when it comes to finding the best labradorite. I've combed through thousands of stones at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and have only come across a couple that are this magnificent.
Big chunks of labradorite are flashy, but once you start cutting them, you can loose that flash. Or in the hands of someone not as good, they hit the wrong direction of the flash and you end up with a flat looking, dull stone.
I took a look back in my photos to see other labradorites I've worked with. Look at this! I counted 27 solder joins. That's ridiculously hard to do - that is, unless you've got mad skill. Just sayin'. (This photo was taken back before I was a better photographer and had a better camera, so the edges are fuzzy. Overlook that.)
This photo is of a commissioned piece I made for a customer. It's one of the best labradorites I've ever seen.
I'm always on the lookout for more. I have one or two out in the studio right now. Watch for them on my website.
Even better, sign up for my e-mails and I'll send you a note when new labradorite pieces are finished. You'll be the first to know and can snag one.