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Sell With a Story: Spectrolite


Let me introduce you to the dark and broody cousin of Moonstone. When Moonstone is Hairspray, Spectrolite is Phantom of the Opera. When Moonstone is a bright summer day, Spectrolite is a cold dark night lit up by the bewitching northern lights.

Known as the transformation stone, Labradorite (according to legend) fell from the aurora borealis and transformed from the ordinary to the extraordinary on the way down, giving its wearers the same good fortune.


A less common variety of Labradorite feldspar, Spectrolite is identified by a dark body color, usually black or dark gray, with vibrant swaths of flashy color. These flashes are known as labradorescence (Moonstone, by contrast, has adularescence, which is the swath of billowy color atop moonstone; labradorescence is only found in varieties of Labradorite Feldspar). This phenomenon is caused by light interference in the crystal structure and can result in any combination of colors, although more commonly seen in shades of blue, teal, and green – think the soft velvety nature of colorful butterfly wings. Not unlike other feldspars, Spectrolite comes in at a 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness and can easily be worn daily with a bit of mindfulness to prevent banging and scratching.

The Spectrolite we know today has been around since the 1940s, with World War II unveiling larger deposits, at that point making it a more prominent stone in the jewelry and gemstone sector.

Generally fashioned into cabochons to help intensify the phenomenon within the stone, it is available in many shapes or outlines and rock forms. Spectrolite originates from Finland and has bright, bold labradorescence.

So how do you sell these natural wonders? Play up the uniqueness and focus on what makes them so special. First and foremost, the flashes of color you get from any one stone is unique to that one stone. The cutting and polishing process add slight alterations to the structure giving each a compelling grid of skeletal elements – think fingerprints – causing the flashes of color to be unique to just the one individual.  Second, the elegant and understated body color, a subtle black, goes seamlessly into everyday wardrobes and is a great conversation starter when the flash of color catches someone’s eye.

If you have not had the opportunity to see a Spectrolite up close I encourage you to seek one out. They have a natural beauty that is not easily defined or captured in images. If you are new to the cabochon scene, worry not, Stuller offers many cabochon mountings as well as our CAD/CAM services that can fit your stone into your exact design.

We want to make sure that our customers have exactly what they are looking for no matter what those needs might be, make sure to check out the Gemstone Special Orders page if you are looking for a stone and having a hard time finding it, we are happy to help. Happy selling.

To shop our full assortment of Notable Gems™, click here.


Sam Larson

Former Director of Gemstones