5 The Northern Light In A Gemstone

May 16, 2011By



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Adularescence in a beautiful Moonstone

An Aurora Borealis or the Northern Light is a natural light display in the sky, particularly in the polar regions and usually occuring at night, caused by the collision of charged particles directed by the Earth’s magnetic field.

The Northern Light in the North Pole

The optical phenomena of gemstones with this ‘Northern Light’ has a shimmering blue aurora called  Adularescence and is most prominent in Moonstones. The effect is best described as a billowy, milky and bluish luster or glow originating from below the surface of the gemstone.  The scattering of light in Moonstone is actually caused by the intergrowth of 2 kinds of crystallized alternating layers, hence, when light is directed at a moonstone, light is scattered off in all directions instead of bouncing off the normal and reflected or refracted in one direction.

The degree of the billowy light of the adularescence is determined by the thickness of the intergrown layers.  Here, thin layers may produce the most desirable bluish adularescence while thicker layers will give the gemstone a whitish adularescence.

Cat's Eye in a Moonstone with Distinct Adularescence

Some Moonstones also exhibit the chatoyancy phenomena of cat’s eye and they are much sought after by connoisseurs when the tantalizing bluish light shimmers on the surface with a clear distinct cat’s eye.

A 6-Ray Star Rose Quartz with some Adularescence

Adularescence also appears in numerous other gemstones, notably common opal, rose quartz and colorless quartz.  However, due to inclusions in these other stones, the effect is displayed differently.


http://farm4.static.flickr.com, http://i.telegraph.co.uk, http://www.crystals11.com, http://www.mardonjewelers.com, http://www.gemstoneslist.com, http://www.djraregems.com, http://en.wikipedia.org

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About the Author ()

I am a Graduate Gemologist trained at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York City, USA. I hold an MBA degree from Cranfield University, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor degree in Mathematics. My earlier profession was a banker until I found jade in Myanmar (Burma) in the early 90s. I have traveled to the fabled Hpakan Jade mines, and Mogok, the world’s famous rubies and sapphires mines in upper Burma, with my second son. Three of my children are also Graduate Gemologist, GIA, NYC and they deal in diamonds, gemstones and jade. 我是在美国纽约市的美国宝石学院(GIA)接受过培训的宝石研究学家。 我拥有英国克兰菲尔德大学的工商管理硕士学位和数学学士学位。我以前的职业是银行家,直到90年代初我在缅甸接触到玉石。我曾经和我的次子一起去过缅甸上流传说中的哈帕翡翠矿山和莫谷矿山, 莫谷矿山是世界上著名的红宝石和蓝宝石矿山。我的三个孩子都是纽约市GIA毕业的宝石研究学家, 他们专门处理钻石,宝石和玉石.

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