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What is sunstone?


#1

Can anyone tell me what sunstone is? Dede


#2

Sunstones are aventurescent (sparkly) natural stones in the
feldspar group. They are usually orange or red.

The typical orange cabochon type is usually oligoclase feldspar.
The reddish (some gray, bluish and green banding possible)
faceted variety is labradorite feldspar. The sheen is caused by
hematite or goethite inclusions (oligoclase variety) or just
hematite (labradorite variety). The labradorite varieties tend to
be more expensive, i.e., Oregon sunstone (reds & greens). The
bright orange Sri Lankan oligoclase sunstones can range a lot in
price, but I have seen 10 x 12 cabs go for $.50 to $3.00 each.
You should shop around to get a more accurate idea of prices. The
book, Color Encyclopedia of Gemstones, by Joel E. Arem, Ph.D.,
FGA goes into great detail. The Gem Reference Guide, GIA
discusses it as well. I’m sure there are plenty more books
about it. Hope this helps Later, Arthur


#3

Sunstone is a type of feldspar with has aventurescence. This
optical behavior occurs because of minute metal flakes (sometimes
copper, sometimes iron oxides) which are deposited parallel to
the crystal planes of the feldspar itself. According to some
sources sunstone is the original mineral which goldstone was made
to mimic. Sunstone is found in several areas: Oregon is getting
lots of press recently; India has been a large producer for
years; the Adirondack region of NYS also has at least two
locations.

Jim Small, SMALL WONDERS


#4

In Oregon, the sunstone is a naturally occurring gem of
sufficient hardness to facet.

You may try a place called Tuffa Unlimited in Hillsboro, OR


#5

depends on which sunstone you are looking for. When I get one
of my books back here, I belive I can look up the current
interpretation for you. Though my reading indicates that it is
not the same as what was refered to as sunstone during the middle
ages. Some stone names have changed over time. To the best of
my knowledgs no one actually knows what it was that was called
sunstone during the middle ages, or if it actually even existed.
(Kind of like toadstone.)

Michael / QuestFox


#6

In addition to those mentioned by others, there is a lovely
white sunstone from Arizona. A geologist who always shows at the
Rodeway in at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show carries it. I got a
beauty there very cheap which has a spot of light that seems to float over the stone.