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Spectrolite from Oslo museum


Polished spectrolite showing the color play

Spectrolite is a rare variety of labradorite feldspar which exhibits intense labradorescence, schiller or iridescence.[1][2] The variety is a trade name for material mined in Finland.[1] Labradorite with the spectrolite play of colors has also reported from Madagascar.[3] It is noted for the play of colors from blue to red. It is often cut as a lapidary cabochon and used as a gemstone.

Finland deposit[]

Plantilla:Unreferenced section Finnish geologist Aarne Laitakari (1890—1975) had described the peculiar stone and sought its origin for years when his son Pekka discovered the deposit at Ylämaa in south-eastern Finland while building the Salpa Line fortifications there in 1940. Although labradorite is found in Labrador, Norway, Madagascar and Russia in addition to Finland, the Finnish stone exhibits a uniquely vivid iridescence. The name spectrolite was given to it by the elder Laitakari; it is a commercial name and is properly used only of gemstone-quality material from the Ylämaa deposit.

The quarrying of spectrolite began after the Second World War and has become a significant local industry. In 1973 the first workshop in Ylämaa became cutting and polishing spectrolite for jewels.


  1. 1,0 1,1 Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the World, Sterling, 3rd ed., 2007, pp. 52 - 53, 182 ISBN 1402740166
  2. http://www.minerals.net/mineral/silicate/tecto/feldspar/variety/spctrolt.htm Minerals.net Spectrolite
  3. Michael O'Donoghue, Gems, Butterworth-Heinemann, 6th ed., 2006, pp. 265-267, ISBN 0750658568
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