Labradorite is a triclinic sodium-calcium plagioclase (feldspar) made up of approximately 50 to 30% of albite and about 50 to 70% of anortite. It owes its name to Labrador, Canada, the main place of origin where it was known since 1770.
Characteristic of this mineral is the phenomenon of labradorescence due to the lamellar structure of the mineral, parallel to the less perfect cleavage direction, on which the light acts with particular effects of reflection and absorption. This phenomenon occurs on an opaque background, more or less dark gray, with splendid shiny metallic reflections of intense blue, red, green, yellow, brown color. The beautiful blaze of colors is brought out when looking at the cleavage surface of labradorite in a certain direction. As soon as the stone is being rotated, the reflections appear or disappear suddenly, or change color as soon as the movement is mentioned; it is therefore determined only by a certain incidence of light. The various shades in the color changes are in turn related to the presence of inclusions, regularly ordered in the mineral, of ilmenite, iron, titanite and magnetite.
It constitutes a highly appreciated and beautiful ornamental and decoration material and its value is closely related to the degree of labradorescence. In very beautiful (relatively rare) specimens, the value is quite high. Important deposits are located on the coasts of Labrador where it is found in large individuals, in Madagascar, Finland and Sweden.
Labradorite is used in meditation and has the power to relieve physical pain and panic attacks.