Corsi Collection of Decorative Stones

view of stone 705

Corsi 705, approx. 145 x 73 x 40 mm, © Oxford University Museum of Natural History

OUMNH Number: 705  
Name and quarry location: Labradorite, from St Paul's Island, Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada  
Geological description: Labradorite, a variety of plagioclase feldspar.  
Comments: This specimen is from St Paul Island or the adjacent coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, but labradorite used for decorative purposes has subsequently also come from Finland, and more recently, Madagascar. The iridescence described by Corsi is not particularly evident in this sample. Labradorite should not be confused with the 'labradorescent' anorthoclase (a sodium potassium feldspar) from Stavern (formerly Fredericksvarn), Norway, which is frequently seen in 19th century collections and is an important constituent of larvikite rock. This shows a much paler blue play of colour.  
References: Corsi (1845) 255-256; Horváth (2003) 105; Price (2007) 264-265; Ribbe (1972)  
Further information:

Corsi's classification: Class 13. Feldspars; Species 2. Labrador stone  
Corsi's text: 172 Pietra di Labrador... Fu essa primamente portata dall' isola di S. Paulo presso la costa di Labrador nell' America, ed in seguito si è scoperto in altre parti.  

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