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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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Labradorite

A variety of plagioclase feldspar which has a flashing display of varied colours suggestive of the Northern Lights. Although it has a dirty-grey colour before being cut, the cut stones, when placed in a certain position (but no other) before the viewer, change tremendously, acquiring a metallic lustre and a beautiful sheen, due to the lamellar composition and the property of adularescence, which in this stone is called 'labradorescence'.

The usual colour is blue, but a variety (called 'spectrolite') found in Karelia, Finland, shows the colour of the spectrum. The stones are usually cut with a flat surface, and have been carved as cameos. The original source, c. 1770, was the island of St. Paul, Labrador.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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