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Mineralogy of Golden Sunstone
Mineral Family: Feldspar (Albite)
Chemical Composition: (CA, NA) [AISi)2 Si 2 O8 ]
Color: Orange, red-brown, sparkling
Crystal System: Triclinic
Fracture: Grainy, splintery, brittle
Luminescence: Occasional Violet (long wave), Red (short wave)
Transparency: Translucent, opaque
Location: Sunstone deposits are found in Australia, Canada, India, Madagascar, Norway, Russia (Siberia), and the United States.
Mineral Family: Sunstone is a term used to describe a variety of Feldspar minerals, which all belong to the Silicate Family. Silicate minerals form the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, Silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz and Feldspar. Sunstone is the name used for several types of Feldspar which show a orange or golden iridescence when cut properly. Most Sunstones are technically Orthoclase or Oligoclase, but they can also be Adularia, Albite, Anorthoclase, or Sanidine. These stones are closely related to several other shimmering minerals such as Amazonite, Moonstone, and Labradorite. Sunstones are orange or brown and marked by a soft iridescent shimmer. Golden Sunstone is most likely an Albite.
Formation: Sunstone may be formed through igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic processes. Its most famous feature is an orange or golden iridescence. This shimmer is called the “schiller effect” and is caused by tiny layers of various Feldspar minerals (most notably Albite) which are laid down during the crystallization process.
Mining: Typically mined from the primary deposits still having their original relationship with the host rock.
Enhancements: All Sunstones are natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, and polishing.
Synonyms: Aventurine Feldspar, Golden Feldspar
History of Sunstone
Unlike most healing stones, Sunstone isn’t a single mineral or a rock, but rather the title given to a variety of Feldspars which show a shimmering, warm iridescence. Sunstones range from bright orange to golden-brown and have been closely associated with the sun since antiquity. Until relatively recently it was far more rare than its well-known “cousin” Moonstone.
According to ancient lapidaries, texts which describe gemstones and their powers, the earliest known Sunstones hailed from India. In its native country, Sunstone was linked to Surya, the sun god, and was believed to protect its carrier from the dark forces of the spiritual realm. In ancient Greece, Sunstone instead represented the sun gods Apollo and/or Helios and was believed to bring good fortune to anyone who carried a piece in their pocket. Sunstone was widely believed to give physical vitality and strength and to act as an antidote to poison.
While large deposits of feldspar Sunstones are in fact located in Norway, this stone cannot possibly be the legendary “Sunstone” or Viking Compass, which helped Viking mariners navigate the oceans. Celebrated in the Nordic Sagas, the Viking Sunstone allowed navigators to locate the sun when it was hidden by fog, using the mineral’s natural polarizing optical properties. Today, historians and geologists alike believe that the Viking Sunstone was actually either an Iceland Spar (a type of Clear Calcite) or the blue gemstone Iolite.
Sunstone is also found in North America, both in Canada and the United States. The First Nation tribes in Eastern Canada used Sunstone in the center of medicine wheels. It was reported that when the spirit guides were successfully contacted, the Sunstone would begin to glow with a golden light. In Oregon, the Native American tribes believed that Sunstone’s shimmery color was due to the dripping blood of a great warrior who had been wounded by an arrow during one of his adventures. The blood carried his warrior spirit and infused the stones with his courage and power.
Healing Properties of Sunstone
Spiritual: Sunstone is a joyful stone which encourages us to be true to ourselves. It is a stone of great hope, helping us to believe in our own good luck and ability to live happily ever after. Sunstone is a stone of abundance and can be used to manifest financial prosperity as well as spiritual riches. As its name indicates, Sunstone represents solar energy and brings gifts of Light and Energy. Sunstone is attuned to the Sacral and Solar Plexus Chakra, but also serves to clear and energize all the Chakras and linked to the astrological signs of Leo and Libra. It is connected to the element Fire and vibrates to the number 1.
Emotional: Sunstone infuses fresh energy into our emotional life. It acts as an anti-depressant and motivates us to do the things we enjoy and to live in the present moment. Sunstone helps us to transform our emotional patterns, it is particularly good for releasing “victim mentality,” and instead shows us that we have the power and ability to make positive changes in our life. Sunstone encourages us to be independent, brave, and comfortable in our own skin.
Mental: Sunstone brings a whirl of fresh thinking and problem-solving. It encourages us to see the “obvious” solution that was always lurking in the back of our minds. That solution might be cautious and practical or wildly daring – either way, Sunstone gives us the self-confidence to trust ourselves to be successful in our ventures. Sunstone is a stone which teaches leadership and creativity, and encourages us to use our power and gifts in service to the Highest Good.
Physical: Sunstone is a wonderful stone to stimulate our powers of self-healing. It has been used to soothe the nervous system and to encourage the body’s organs and systems to work together to provide optimal health. It is also said to increase metabolism and digestion. Sunstone is also commonly used to increase sexual satisfaction and physical stamina.
Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.
Ethically Sourced Golden Sunstone
The Miners sell directly to the Lapidary.
The Lapidary sells directly to Moonrise Crystals.
Moonrise Crystals sells directly to you.
The Supply Chain
The Supply Chain is clean and short.
The Mine and the Lapidary are located in the same country.
This Golden Sunstone most likely comes from Messina Mine, an industrial Copper mine in South Africa.
The mine would have been relatively low risk for miners.
Learn More: Ethical Mining
This Golden Sunstone was polished in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Lapidary is a family-owned business, founded by father and passed on to his sons.
Factory workers have safe conditions and are paid fairly.
The Lapidary is also the direct-importer & sells primarily at large gem shows.
Learn More: Ethical Lapidary
I have been doing business with this source since the earliest days in my business. They are a major tumbling company and have more varieties, in more sizes, than any other known source. The owners visit many small and industrial-size mines personally. For artisanal-mined deposits in sub-Sahara Africa, the owners work with Gem Dealers who deal directly with the part-time miners. The majority of these Gem Dealers are women.
Some, but not all, of their stones are labeled with country-of-origin. For those that aren’t, I have to ask the owners personally. They tend to get impatient with questions. As I’ve learned more about mining practices in individual countries, I have become increasingly selective about what I will purchase from them. However, they remain my preferred source for most of sub-Sahara Africa.
Golden Sunstone Tumbled Stone
Color: Orange-brown, with golden and/or rainbow sparkles. This is a 100% natural stone, so minor variations are part of their unique beauty.
Size: 1 inch, or a little bit bigger
Weight: 1 oz
Shipping: Next business day – Domestic First Class averages 3-7 days. International First Class averages 2-3 weeks.
Safe Handling of Golden Sunstone
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