Oligoclase Sunstone from ndia
Oligoclase Sunstone from ndia

Sunstone Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


Sunstones contain hematite or goethite inclusions, which reflect light in parallel orientation and create a sparkling sheen in gold to brown color shades. These gems may be oligoclase or labradorite in composition and are much admired as a cabochon material among hobbyists.

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Oligoclase Sunstone from ndia
Sunstone, Variety of Oligoclase from India By Ra'ike (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Comments

This material contains hematite or goethite inclusions, which reflect light in parallel orientation and create a sparkling sheen in gold to brown color shades. Sunstone may be oligoclase or labradorite in composition and is much admired as a cabochon material among hobbyists. (Labradorite with aventurescence caused by copper inclusions is known as Oregon sunstone and is described in a separate gem listing). Very fine material is not abundant and is hard to obtain.

Occurrence

  • New Mexico; New York; North Carolina: Maine; Pennsylvania; Virginia.
  • Lake Baikal, USSR; Bancroft area, Ontario, Canada.
  • Tvedestrand and Hitterö, Norway; as masses in quartz veins.
  • Lake Huron (Canada side): brownish to pink color.
  • Kangayam, India.
  • Harts Range, N. T. Australia: an untwinned microcline microperthite with aventurine-type reflections due to inclusions of thin, brownish-red hexagonal inclusions, in two sets at 90° angles. Properties are: a= 1.520; = 1.525; = 1.527; birefringence = 0.007; S.G. = 2.57; hardness = 6-6.5; no UV fluorescence.

Stone Sizes

Cabochons from Norwegian and Indian material may reach 100 carats or more. Most available material cuts smaller stones, however. This is because the rough is usually badly shattered and cracked.


Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA

Dr. Joel E. Arem has more than 60 years of experience in the world of gems and minerals. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Mineralogy from Harvard University, he has published numerous books that are still among the most widely used references and guidebooks on crystals, gems and minerals in the world.

Co-founder and President of numerous organizations, Dr. Arem has enjoyed a lifelong career in mineralogy and gemology. He has been a Smithsonian scientist and Curator, a consultant to many well-known companies and institutions, and a prolific author and speaker. Although his main activities have been as a gem cutter and dealer, his focus has always been education. joelarem.com

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