Post subject: Difference between Spectrolite+RainbowMoonstone?
Posted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:09 pm
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:51 pm Posts: 24
So Spectrolite and Rainbow Moonstone are both mulit-color Labradorite but what's the difference between them? Is it just that Spectrolite has more vibrant mulit colors and Rainbow Moonstone has more subtle colors?
Or is it that Rainbow Moonstone is a Labradorite with adularescence (color that moves along with the stone's movement) whereas the flash of color on regular Labradorlite does not move?
hello, luckyme, i thought i would take the leap because the answers to the questions are confusing..., so, here it goes..
i believe the "rainbow" moonstone (not a "variety" of moonstone, but, a "variety" of labradorite) and spectrolite are labradorite. i think the rainbow moonstone has a multi-color or blue "sheen" that is similar to the adularescence seen in spectrolite.
please see paragraph 5 in the link below for the explanation of the phenomena seen in rainbow moonstone and spectrolite from a study on the rainbow moonstone by dr. hänni:
[url=http://www.jckonline.com/article/294337-Labradorite_s_Blue_Rainbow_Moonstone_.php]hope this helps
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:22 pm Posts: 17229 Location: San Francisco
I'm thinking what we really need are pictures illustrating what is being discussed here.
Labradorite and spectrolite both refer to a variety of plagioclase, usually (but not always) displaying broad flashes of iridescent color. Spectrolite originally referred to iridescent labradorite from Finland.
Moonstone is (technically) a variety of orthoclase.
Although both labradorite and orthoclase are feldspars, they have very distinct physical and optical properties which can be easily separated with standard gemological instruments.
White Indian Labradorite, also known as, "Rainbow Moonstone"
"...large quantities of a translucent white Labradorite which originates in India is widely sold under the misnomer "rainbow moonstone" at very modest prices. (True moonstone is a different, rarer and considerably more expensive, species of feldspar that has its own distinctive optical phenomenon.) As you can see, the material in question is no less attractive for bearing its improper name."
Dr. Smigel's website: (also on left-hand side of forum)
http://www.bwsmigel.info/GEOL.115.ESSAY ... orite.html
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:20 am Posts: 2627 Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Hmmm, that moonstone image Barbra posted looks familiar...
Ginger, while there's a lot of inexpensive Rainbow Moonstone on the market, there are very clean high-end gems that are quite costly. One source I know carries fine stones each displaying only one color: red, green, yellow, blue, etc. The image shows one of the faceted blues:
Visually the thing that distinguishes "Rainbow" labradorites from orthoclase moonstone is that the color lies in a single plane and doesn't suffuse the entire stone, just like Spectrolite or generic labradorite. Tilting the stone much from the oriented color plane will cause the color to dim or disappear but they really "pop" in good lighting.
thanks, ms. barbra and rom for your explanations. rom, that's a beautiful faceted rainbow moonstone-wow at the blue in the gem-looks as if its glowing!!
i have a moonstone cab ring my mother gave me that has a blue sheen and i can see other colors as well-kinda orangish, that when i tilt the stone, the blue will fade, now i'm curious if it may be a rainbow moonstone/semi-transparent adularescent labradorite? unfortunately, don't have any standard gem tools to id the stone.
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:40 pm Posts: 2491 Location: North Carolina
Ha ha take a dip in the feldspars for fun..oh..well that only has 60% potassium so it's this type of feldspar but this one only has 30% calcium so it's that type of feldspar..sounds like they need to hook up with garnets or something
_________________ MrAmethystguy ~ Some jokes just fluorite over my head!
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