Andesine-labradorite Gemstone

Andesine-labradorite Gemstone

Andesine-Labradorite derives its name from the words Andesine or ANDES where it was first discovered in the Andean Mountains of South America. And from Labradorite or LABRADOR which is a place in Canada where Labradorite was first discovered.

It is a relatively new gemstone discovered only somewhere in 2003. This stone is shrouded in mystery and its origin is still in dispute.

Andesine-labradorite chemical composition is a mixture of Labradorite and Andesine (albite and anorthite). However, both Andesine and Labradorite have very similar chemical composition. Andesine is 50-70% albite (a sodium aluminum silicate) and 30-50% anorthite (a calcium aluminum silicate), while labradorite is reverse at 50-70% anorthite and 30-50% albite.

Andesine-labradorite is of a triclinic crystal structure.

Andesine-labradorite color is usually reddish with traces of green and yellow. The red hue is said to have come from a diffusion of copper. Colors range also from red, to honey-red, from yellow to orange, and from amber-like color to beige or light pink, white and green. Andesine has a faint metallic schiller called labradorescence and exhibits a range of colors known as pleochroism.

It has a hardness of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale and occurs with a perfect cleavage. It has a glass-like to dull luster.

Andesine-labradorite is often heavily-included, with visible rutile needle-like inclusions. Most Andesine-labradorite stones are transparent to translucent, and in some rare cases, opaque.

Andesine-labradorite is sometimes intentionally traded as the Congo Sunstone, Oregon Sunstone, Red Labradorite and Red Feldspar.

'Rainbow moonstone' which goes by many names such as 'blue-rainbow moonstone', 'labradorite-moonstone' and 'blue-sheen labradorite' is not in fact a Moonstone but a gemstone closely related to Andesine-labradorite.

Andesine-labradorite belongs to the feldspar group of minerals. The two main feldspar branches are Plagioclase Feldspar (Labradorite and Sunstone) and Potassium Feldspar which includes Orthoclase and Microcline.

Andesine-labradorite looks similar to Sunstone. However, it does not display the glittering inclusions of a Sunstone. Nonetheless, Andesine-labradorite comes heavily included with needle-like rutile inclusions.

Andesite-labradorite also looks like Labradorite, however, Andesite-labradorite colors are much brighter than Labradorite. For example, Andesine-labradorite comes in bright reddish and orangey in color; whereas, natural Labradorite usually occurs in a dark, dull, smoky gray color.

The origin of Andesine still remains unknown and controversial. As far as the year 2000, it was thought that it came from the Congo. Later it was reported that it came from China, Mongolia, Tibet, Southern India and also from the Andean Mountains.

Furthermore, the silicate mineral of Andesine was in fact discovered in the Andean Mountains of South America. And Labradorite, which is also a silicate mineral, was first discovered in Labrador Canada. Thus, since Andesine-labradorite has a mix chemical composition of both andesine and labradorite, it follows that its origin might be found in the Andean Mountains of South America, or Canada. Yet, this is only speculation because the actual location of Andesine-labradorite has yet to be discovered.

Furthermore, through lattice diffusion, Labradorite colors can be enhanced from a dull gray to a reddish color. It is through this color-enhancing treatment that Labradorite can also become Andesine-labradorite. Thus far, the vast majority of Andesine-labradorite gemstones on the market today have been ‘diffused’ and or color enhanced.

Andesine-labradorite is a relatively new gemstone, discovered in the early 2000s, thus, there is still to be discovered if ancient people knew of it and of its metaphysical properties.

Nonetheless, Andesine-labradorite do carry the healing and protective powers of Labradorite and Sunstone.

Andesine-labradorite is most often faceted. The opaque variety is almost always cut en cabochon. Andesine-labradorite stones usually are cut in oval shapes.

As Andesine and Labradorite are so similar, they share the same metaphysical properties. Crystal healers believe that it is linked with the heart chakra and that it can get rid of stress and balance the heart rate, blood flow and metabolism.

Labradorite is a healers' stone. Throughout the ages it has been popular with the shamans as it enhances the mental and intuitive abilities. It sharpens clairvoyance and telepathy and is also a good prophesizing tool.

Andesine is closely related to Sunstone. It was believed to contain magical properties and was used to invoke the energy of the sun. The ancient Greeks believed that it was a representation of the Sun God here on Earth. The ancient Greek held that people who were able to obtain the sacred Sunstone were very lucky and fortunate because allegedly it brought with it life, love and abundance, and wealth to the wearer.

Due to its perfect cleavage and its hardness ranging from 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, Andesine-labradorite is considered a soft stone. However, it is durable enough for most types of gemstone jewelry. If used in a ring, it is recommended that it comes in a protective setting.

Since Andesine-labradorite is a moderately soft stone, it can be easily scratched simply by wiping as dust contains quartz.

Use a soft cloth and warm water to clean the gemstone. Remember to rinse well and remove all soapy residue if using soapy water.