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Canada's own mineral (one of them!) - Labradorite is a feldspar, first found near Paul's Island, near the town of Nain - in, where else? Labrador, Canada. The "schiller" or play of colour - the flashes of bright blue and rainbow - are known as labradorescence. It is in the same family of stones as moonstone, sunstone and spectrolite. The flashes of colour are more noticeable on large, flat areas, so choose bigger beads for more dramatic color shifts. It is a translucent stone - the more opaque it is - the better the quality.

According to an Inuit legend, the Aurora (Northern Lights) were playing on the rocks by the shore. They were careless and forgot themselves as they danced by the waves, and they were imprisoned in the rocks by an evil and jealous wizard. A wandering warrior eventually found them, and set them free with a mighty blow of his spear - but he didn't manage to free all the lights, and the few left trapped in the stone give us Labradorite.

It has a hardness of 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale - making it a little on the soft side and more appropriate for necklaces than bracelets. It is believed to bring good luck and clear vision, especially to travelers, both physical or on spiritual journeys. It is considered particularly lucky when given as a gift for both for the giver, and the receiver, and especially as a gift from a mentor.

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