Sunstone Crystals and Mineral Specimen


Sunstone is an oligoclase feldspar that contains hematite or goethite particles.  Sunstone can exhibit a spangled appearance, or otherwise known as aventurescence or schiller.  What that means is that there are bright metallic flashes when light hits showing it’s tiny inclusions.  Materials that display aventurescence were specimens of oligoclase - a plagioclase feldspar. Other material that have similar displays would be Labradorite and some orthoclase.  Sunstone colors can range from orange, red, yellow, and clear (colorless) with some exceptional material displaying deep green and blue colors. The mine (Sunstone Butte) where these particular Oregon Sunstones are from actually produce some material that displays a dichroic property. These sunstones will show a red orange in one direction, then when you turn the stone 90 degrees it will display a beautiful blue/green color.

You can find sunstone in the United States, more specifically Oregon, which is where the pieces you’ll see here on our website were found. We brought these specimen back direct from the Sunstone Butte Mine, which is known for producing some of the finest sunstone that is currently available on the market. This particular mine produces very desirable vibrent red-orange, orange, peach, blue/greens, and bi-color sunstones that can be faceted, cabbed, or carved and made into some extraordinary jewelry pieces!  The specimen we have for sale are only the yellow colored specimen (less desirable for jewelry), as the color and schiller is separated from the volcanic rock, clipped, and sold as cutting rough to lapidaries.  Some of these pieces from Oregon contain copper and can be quite large!  Other sources of sunstone can be found in Madagascar, Tanzania, India, Norway, Canada, and Russia.  

Other notable information on Sunstone

  • Refractive index: 1.52-1.55

(refractive index or index of refraction of a material is a dimensionless number that describes how light propagates through that medium)

  • Specific gravity:  2.62-2.7

(specific gravity is the ratio of the density of a substance to the density of a reference substance; equivalently, it is the ratio of the mass of a substance to the mass of a reference substance for the same given volume)

  • Moh’s scale:  6-6.5

(scale of hardness running from 1 to 10 using a series of reference minerals; position on scale depends on the ability to scratch minerals rated lower)