Where is Labradorite Commonly Found?

Labradorite is a beautiful feldspar mineral that displays an iridescent play of colors known as labradorescence. This optical phenomenon results from light interacting with finely layered internal structures in the mineral. The colors seen depend on the viewing angle and can range from blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and purple. So where in the world can you find this stunningly beautiful gemstone?

Labradorite is found in many locations globally, but the most significant deposits are located in Canada, Madagascar, India, Russia, and Scandinavia.

Canada

Canada is the world’s premier source of labradorite. High-quality specimens displaying a full spectrum of iridescent colors are mined from large deposits on the Labrador Peninsula in eastern Canada. This is what gave the mineral its name, as it was first described scientifically after discoveries here in the late 18th century. Major localities in Labrador include the Ten Mile Bay deposit near Nain and deposits near the town of Labrador City. These sites produce top-grade gemstone material.

Other notable Canadian finds come from the Paul’s Bay area on Baffin Island, the Muskox intrusion in the Northwest Territories, and from pegmatite deposits in the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland. While not as vibrantly colored as classic Labrador material, these sources still produce fine labradorite mineral specimens and gems.

Madagascar

Madagascar is another leading source, especially for large-sized pieces of outstanding quality. The gem gravels of the Mananjary region in the south of the island produce exceptionally colorful labradorite exhibit stones. These are found weathered out of host basalt deposits. The stones found here exhibit some of the most brilliant and vivid iridescent colors seen anywhere for the mineral. Madagascar labradorite is highly valued by collectors and jewelers alike.

India

Labradorite deposits have been discovered in multiple areas across India. Significant localities include pegmatite formations in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states, along with alluvial deposits worked for gems in parts of southern India. While not as vibrantly hued as material from Labrador or Madagascar, Indian labradorite still displays the characteristic play-of-color and is frequently cut into cabochon gemstones.

Russia

In Russia, a major occurrence of labradorite is found on the Kola Peninsula near the Arctic Circle. These deposits produce abundant crystalline specimens, though the body color and iridescence is often weaker than labradorite from other global sources. Nonetheless, Russian labradorite is popular for metaphysical uses and decorative purposes where sheer quantity is more important than top-grade quality.

Scandinavia

Noteworthy labradorite localities have been found in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. The Evje-Iveland district of southern Norway hosts deposits in pegmatite and anorthosite. While somewhat variable in quality, fine material has been found here. Greenland also contains deposits across its northern regions. Though remote and challenging to access, limited mining has taken place for labradorite. Top quality material rivals the best from anywhere in terms of labradorescence display.

In summary, while labradorite occurs globally, the most important sources are found in northern latitudes. For striking labradorescence in large crystal sizes, Madagascar and Canada stand out. Yet good quality and interesting material can be obtained from localities across Europe, Asia, and North America. The iridescent feldspar remains a popular collector’s gemstone wherever it is found due to its remarkable play of color.