Andesine-Labradorite, A New, Rare Gemstone!

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Both Andesine and Labradorite are extremely rare and difficult to find gemstones and until now it was not known if the latest gemstone find in 2002 was Labradorite, Andesine or something else.  Information released in February states that it is a NEW GEMSTONE within the Feldspar Family of gems and it is BOTH ANDESINE AND LABRADORITE.

Red-Orange Andesine/Labradorite


This gemstone is so rare that in various gemstone trade magazines it has been called "the next Paraiba Tourmaline".  The comparison is not being made because of the color of the gemstone (both are spectacular but they are not even similar in color), but for the small amount of rough found and the short lived mining expected for this gemstone find (rumor says it is almost mined out already).  The gemstone find occured in 2002 and it took until this month for the decision from the experts as to the exact form of the Feldspar Family of gemstones had truly been found.  After several months of testing a "renowned gemstone laboratory" that as of yet has not been disclosed, has determined that this magnificent, stunning member of the Feldspar Family is BOTH ANDESINE AND LABRADORITE.  Because this is determined to be a NEW GEMSTONE a new name is being considered for this gemstone.  It has been suggested that the new name include part of the Andesine name and part of the Labradorite name.  If all of a sudden you see gemstones available with a name such as Labrasine or Andorite it will probably be this particular gemstone's new name.


Andesine-Labradorite is a natural gemstone that is completely UNHEATED AND UNTREATED.  To see all of the spectacular colors of this gemstone and to have them be totally natural from the earth in these shades is truly something special for all gemstone collectors.  Andesine-Labradorite is a 6.5 on the MOHS Scale of Hardness which makes it perfectly acceptable for all types of jewe.ry.  However, it should be notes that it is extremely difficult to set in jewelry as it is easy to crack under pressure.  It is recommended to have a professional that understands the gemstone undertake any setting into jewelry.

Andesine-Labradorite comes in many magnificent, natural colors.  To name just a few there is Green, Cherry Red, Red, Red-Orange, Orange Red, Honey-Red and Honey.  Another shade is Yellow, however this is so rare that it may not be obtainable.  In addition to these gorgeous colors, there is also another form of rarity to this gemstone know as a COLOR SHIFTING phenomena.  In rare situations you will see a Green Gemstone shift to Red, and a Red Gemstone shift to Green.  This is not a true color change like Alexandrite even though some in the trade have implied this.  The gem laboratories have tested this phenomena and have reported it to be a color shift.  This makes the gemstone even more valuable than a single color.

Approximately 5% of all of the rough that has been found is of facetable grade.  Of that 5%, only 1 to 3% is CLEAN, TOP GEM GRADE material and only 1% of the clean, top gem grade is the Green Color and even less than that the material that has a color shift (okay, enough math).  I thought it important to put these numbers in this guide to help you understand how rare it is to see the Top Gem Grade Material.  Even in the Top Material you may see Color Streaking/Color Zoning in the gemstone.  This is a perfectly acceptable so called imperfection in this gemstone.  I like to look at this as a "beauty Mark" of the particular gemstone.  In fact, sometimes the pattern will add to the beauty of the gemstone, especially in some of the lighter shades.  Gemstones that are free of this "beauty mark" bring a higher price in the marketplace.  This would be very similar to the jardin in Emeralds being acceptable, yet an Emerald without jardin bring a much heftier price than those with it.


Much has been written and talked about as to the actual location of the mine where this Andesine-Labradorite came from.  No matter what you read and here, the confirmed origin/location of this gemstone has not been disclosed.  It is a small mine and rumor has it the owner is afraid of someone trying to steal what little bit of rough there is so as of this writing he still had not disclosed the true location.  It has been written that it is from places like the Congo, Mongolia, Oregon, and Tibet to name a few.  It is expected that the actual location will be disclosed in 2006.


Due to the gemstone being a recent find, you will not find it in any of the Gemstone Pricing Guides.  Appraisals of the Labradorite Gemstone prior to the disclosure that it is a New Gemstone were averaging £1000 - £2,000 per carat.  Andesine is a pricier gemstone than Labradorite and with the information that this is a Brand New Gem it is expected that these appraisal prices will escalate dramatically.  At the recent TUCSON GEMSTONE SHOW in February 2006 the gemstone was selling for £1,200 wholesale, but this too was prior to the announcement or disclosure of the true information about this gemstone.  What the experts are saying, is that the price today is probably less than it will ever be unless something changes like a large strike of this gem.  The expectation is that it will go the way of the Paraiba Tourmaline and continue escalating until it is only affordable by the truly affluent.


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