Traveling to Labrador during the winter months is one good way to see the northern lights. Another option is by gazing into the illuminated facets of the fantastic gemstone, labradorite.

Labradorite is a unique, dark-hued stone with an interesting backstory. It has been referred to over the years as “fire stone,” “fire rock,” “magic stone,” and “Merlin stone.” Some people believe it has protective, calming powers and that it can improve one’s self-awareness and intuition.

The Labradorite Legend

labrador sky northern lights

Labradorite gets its name from Labrador in eastern Canada. The native Inuit people used labradorite in powdered form for medicinal purposes. According to an Inuit legend, labradorite was formed when the northern lights (aurora borealis) became trapped within the rock formations along the Labrador Sea.

As the story goes, a traveling Inuit or deity pounded on the rocks with his spear, releasing the colored lights into the sky. However, some of the brilliant light remained forever trapped within the rocks, and it is this light you can see within labradorite stones.

Labradorite – Then and Now

Moravian missionaries discovered labradorite on Paul Island, off the coast of Labrador, in 1770. They brought it with them to England and France, where it became popular during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was used there to decorate pins, bracelets, and other jewelry with its iridescent features, such as for lettering and butterfly wings.

Today, labradorite is mined in Australia, India, Mexico, Norway, Finland, Madagascar, Russia, and the United States, in addition to Canada. It has become one of the world’s most popular minerals.

Play of Light

multicolored labradorite pendantsGeologists tell us that labradorite is a type of feldspar mineral made of crystals arranged in a specific way, with many different surfaces that refract and reflect light. This phenomenon causes a fiery, iridescent glow to appear when viewing the stone. The effect resembles a hologram and is called “schiller” or “labradorescence.”

The amazing thing about labradorite’s colors is they are not actually present in the stone itself. They only occur because of the light-play within the stone. The colors are interactive, appearing to shift and change depending on the viewer’s perspective. This “now you see it, now you don’t” effect truly looks like magic.

The predominant colors reflected from within the stone are deep blue, peacock blue, blue-green, pale green, gold, and copper. Stones with the best labradorescence are selected as gemstones to be used in jewelry.

Labradorite in Jewelry

Color and luminosity are only part of the labradorite story. As a stone that is softer than quartz, it can be sliced, drilled, faceted, polished, and cut into various shapes and sizes, making it ideal for jewelry such as pendants, beaded necklaces, earrings, and rings.

Consider adding labradorite beads to your jewelry collection for 2018. They’re eye-catching and will add vibrancy to any outfit. Each bead is unique and will complement whatever color surrounds it. The deep, rich hues lend an air of mystery and are quite attention-getting without being bold.

There are many crafty ways to use labradorite beads in your jewelry. Try starting with a simple pendant, paired with your favorite teal sweater.

Next, perhaps a cute bracelet of labradorite and leather, and a matching labradorite seed bead necklace can be used to dress up that new t-shirt and jeans. And just think of the flash of light that labradorite beads can add to a basic black dress or pair of strappy dancing shoes.

Sew a few labradorite beads onto a jacket collar or purse, and while you’re at it, add some labradorite stud earrings to frame your face. Or maybe a wrapped wire ring with a flash of fire would be just the thing to light up your life.

When making your own jewelry creations, try pairing labradorite beads with more subdued stones to put your labradorite in the spotlight. Remember to minimize other accessories to maximize labradorite’s overall effect.

Labradorite Gets Along Well with Others

gold encased pair of labradorite pendantsLabradorite is strong, vibrant, and organic. It is the perfect companion to everything from velvet to denim, and it is equally at home next to yellow gold, white gold, or silver. Rose gold also makes a good contrast with the blues and greens of the labradorite spectrum.

The stone is versatile. Both men and women can wear it, and its striking patterns look dynamic against plain fabrics, whether dark or light. Black, white, teal, peach, and jewel tones will contrast well with it.

Caring for Your Labradorite

Although it is soft, labradorite is durable and not brittle. It should be cleaned with mild soap and water and dried with a soft cloth.

Let the Light In

The start of a new year is an excellent time for self-examination, and this includes your wardrobe. Take a look at your accessories, and consider adding labradorite beads to the mix.

Whether or not you believe that labradorite has magical powers, you can’t help but feel more confident, strong, and self-aware when surrounding yourself with its shimmering rainbow light. It may be just what you’ve been looking for as you step brightly into 2018.