Labradorite is a feldspar mineral that exhibits a beautiful schiller effect. It is mainly found in mafic igneous rocks like basalt, gabbro, and norite. Labradorite gets its name from the place where it was first discovered, Labrador (Canada), and it is also found in areas like Russia and Finland. Because of its beauty, Labradorite is often used in gemstones.
Have you ever wondered if Labradorite can be put into water? In this article, we are going to discuss just that. We will look at its physical properties, learn about its authenticity, and finally discuss how to clean it.
Can Labradorite go in the Water?
Yes, Labradorite can get wet. It has a value of 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale, which means that it is hard enough to survive in water and will not dissolve. However, we don’t recommend you to soak it in water for extended periods as that can damage the stone.
The Mohs Hardness Scale measures the relative resistance of a mineral to scratching. Besides that, it also indicates the mineral’s interaction with water. A value above 5 usually indicates that the mineral can be safely put into water.
For example, Selenite has a value of 2 on the Mohs scale. If you put it under water, it will dissolve, and your gemstone will be ruined. That’s why it’s always essential to research the physical properties of minerals before treating them in any way.
Although Labradorite will not dissolve underwater, it’s not advisable to let it stay immersed for long. Keep reading to find out the right way to clean Labradorite gemstones.
Can Labradorite go in Salt Water?
Yes, Labradorite can go into salt water, but it’s not advisable to do so. While Labradorite’s value on the Mohs scale is 6-6.5, which is more than the minimum threshold to survive underwater, it can still get damaged if it’s immersed for too long. Moreover, salt water tends to corrode minerals faster than regular water.
Salt is a corrosive agent that has the potential to penetrate through the cracks of the stone. This can cause the creation or expansion of small fissures in the stone, leading to irreparable damage.
Some people suggest that saltwater baths are a good way to recharge a stone, but in reality, salt water is much more corrosive than regular water and can harm your stone. If you are still keen on using salt, simply put the stone on a bed of salt, instead of immersing it in salt water.
This way the salt won’t penetrate through the cracks, reducing the chances of fissures.
Can You Shower With Labradorite?
Yes, it is perfectly fine to shower while wearing Labradorite jewelry. Labradorite has a hardness of 6-6.5, which means that it can survive underwater. Just don’t leave the stone immersed in water for extended periods. Also, ensure that you are not using any products with salt (such as certain scrubs), as they can damage the stone.
Another thing to keep in mind is that while showering, make sure that the jewelry you are wearing is not loose. Otherwise, it can slip in the water and fall on the floor, possibly getting damaged.
Can Labradorite be in the Sun?
Yes, Labradorite can be put in the sun for a short time. However, if you keep it out for too long or do it too often, then this can dull the color of the stone and tarnish its surface. It’s better to sunbathe it only for a limited time and to be even safer, you can put it behind a protective surface such as a window.
Gemstone collectors often put their stones out in the sun to clean and recharge them. While this method is safe in moderation, it can be harmful when done in excess. For greater safety, you can try putting your gemstone out in gentle sunlight, like during the morning or evening hours.
If you are still unsure about putting Labradorite in the sun, you can try some of the other common methods of recharging stones, such as burying them in mud, placing them under the moon, etc.
Physical Properties of Labradorite
Labradorite is a calcium-rich feldspar mineral of the plagioclase series. Its physical properties are:
- Labradorescence: Labradorite stones show a unique glimmer (Schiller effect) that is called labradorescence. It’s not exactly a display of colors reflected from the surface of the stone. Instead, it is caused when light enters the stone, strikes a twinning surface within it, and bounces off it.
There are different twinning surfaces in various parts of the stone, and the light reflected from each of them gives the stone a beautiful multi-colored look. Check out this video showing the labradorescence effect.
- Twinning: Crystal twinning is common in Labradorite. It happens when two or more adjacent crystals share the same crystal lattice (the arrangement of atoms) points in a symmetrical manner. Twin crystals are two separate crystals that are tightly bonded to each other. It is the twinning in Labradorite that gives it the distinctive shimmer effect known as labradorescence.
- Hardness: On the Mohs hardness scale, Labradorite has a value of 6-6.5. Since it is above 5, it means that Labradorite can survive in water, but it should not be immersed for too long. Moreover, one must also be cautious while keeping Labradorite among other stones because its surface can be scratched by the harder stones.
- Colour: Labradorite is usually clear, white, or grey. Its unique labradorescence effect brings out colors like blue, orange, yellow, etc. Because of this beautiful multi-colored glimmer effect, Labradorite is often used in gemstones.
- Plagioclase Properties: Labradorite belongs to the plagioclase series, and like other members, it exhibits a triclinic crystal system, meaning that it is described by vectors of unequal length. Labradorite has three directions of cleavage, two of which intersect at almost 90 degrees.
Can You Wash Labradorite With Soap?
Yes, you can wash Labradorite with soap. On the Mohs scale, the hardness of Labradorite is 6-6.5 (greater than the minimum requirement of 5), so it can survive underwater. However, it should not be immersed for too long. Using warm water and soap is a good way to clean Labradorite.
You should not use ultrasonic cleaners and steamers for washing Labradorite as they can damage the stone. Using soap with warm water is the best and easiest method. Keep reading to find out more details about cleaning your Labradorite stone.
Can Labradorite be Faked?
Because of its unique schiller effect, Labradorite is quite hard to imitate. Still, some sellers do try to manufacture fake Labradorite stones from polymer or UV resin. It’s important to keep certain things in mind (such as the hardness of the stone, its warmth, etc.) while examining a stone to ensure it is genuine.
These are the following points you should keep in mind to find out if your Labradorite is authentic:
- In a real stone, the labradorescence effect of the stone is not homogenous; it’s unevenly distributed. This is because the colors are not directly reflected from the surface but the microscopic planes within the stone.
On the other hand, fake Labradorite will exhibit a consistent color pattern. The effect will be visible from all angles.
- As in the case of most stones, real Labradorite is cold to touch. Fake Labradorite, however, will be warm because it is probably made out of polymers or resins.
- Real Labradorite has a hardness of 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale. If you scratch it with a copper or steel needle, it will not get scratched. Fake Labradorite, however, will most likely get scratched.
- There will be natural cleavages in real Labradorite, which you can see as a number of think lines of fracture running parallel. In fake Labradorite, the fractures will be thick and possibly black.
- If you put UV light on real Labradorite, it will not show any effect. But, fake Labradorite will glow light blue under UV, since it’s likely made up of polymers and resin.
How to Cleanse Labradorite?
Labradorite has a hardness of 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale, so it can survive water. But this is still not a high value, so one must be very careful. Ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are not recommended for Labradorite, as they can easily damage its surface. Instead, cleaning Labradorite with cloth and water is the best method.
Here’s how you can clean your Labradorite:
- You need three things: warm water, mild dish soap, and a microfiber cloth.
- Mix the soap with water, and then dampen the cloth in the mixture.
- Wipe the surface of the stone with a cloth.
- Gently rinse the stone in water, ensuring that no soap residue is left.
- Let the stone dry in the air.
In this article, we have discussed Labradorite’s interaction with water. We looked at the physical properties of Labradorite, especially its unique labradorescence effect. Labradorite’s hardness is 6-6.5, so it can survive in water but it should not be immersed for long. Finally, we discussed the best way to clean the stone using warm water, soap, and a cloth.