Posted on: 16 July 2020Share
Labradorite is an amazing stone that is a wonderful addition to any collection, especially if you like darker stones with iridescence or flashy features. This grayish, purplish stone contains a type of inclusion effect called schiller; you may already know that term if you're familiar with Oregon sunstone, which has copper inclusions that form strips that flash in light (sunstone and labradorite are both forms of feldspar). Labradorite's schiller effect creates bluish reflections that are subtle and calming. If you have labradorite jewelry, caring for it properly will protect that schiller and shine.
The Stone Itself
Labradorite isn't the weakest stone -- it has a value of about 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness (diamond is 10 and talc is 1, for reference), so it's pretty tough -- but it can have internal fissures and layers created during the stone's formation. Those layers make the stone somewhat fragile if impacted. While you don't have to baby the stone, do avoid hitting it against hard surfaces. In other words, don't wear a loose labradorite bracelet while doing anything where the bracelet could smack into something, and keep labradorite jewelry away from young kids who might toss the jewelry down onto a table or the floor.
Washing a labradorite necklace is simple; mild soap and water will do. Some advice promotes avoiding ultrasonic cleaners and other fancy cleaning methods.
The Metal or Other Material
Labradorite jewelry can have the stones set in silver, gold, leather, wrapped steel wire, fishing wire, string, and almost any other material you can think of, and how you clean the jewelry is heavily influenced by that material. Most jewelry settings can be washed in mild soap and water, or rather soaked in a mild mixture and gently cleaned off. If the setting is not amenable to water, you can still wipe down the labradorite with soap and water on a soft cloth, being careful not to let water drip onto the setting or stringing material. Use jewelry cleaning cloths on the setting material if it's hard, like steel wire.
Do be aware that many jewelry metals can bend or sustain damage if you aren't careful; for example, you don't want to wear a labradorite ring while moving furniture as you could wedge the ring against a corner and bend the metal.
Labradorite is relatively easy to find and thus is an affordable stone for jewelry. As you can see, its care requirements aren't difficult to follow at all, making it a perfect gift for someone who doesn't have a lot of time to spend on detail-cleaning fragile items.