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Orthoclase Gemstone

Although Orthoclase  is  one  of  the  more  common minerals found on Earth, gem-quality material  is  incredibly  rare.  A  transparent  to translucent  member  of  the  Feldspar  family, Orthoclase  is  a  stunning  gemstone  that  is  available in several colours. Because the gem has fairly unique planes of fracture which are at right angles to one another, its name is derived  from the Greek word for “straight fracture”.

Although often found colourless, Orthoclase can  also be discovered in a wonderful light green colour which to the naked eye can make it first appear  similar  to  a  Green  Amethyst.  Yellow coloured ortholase similar to Lemon Quartz has  been mined in Burma and Madagascar.

Labradorite, with its beautiful labradoresence, is  the greyish form of Orthoclase and Oligoclase  is a yellow to orange member of the family. If  you are struggling to keep up with this, it’s a bit  like  the  Beryl  family,  where  the  family  name  “Beryl” is used as a name in its own right for  “Yellow Beryl”, yet Aquamarine, Emerald and  Morganite all have their own names, even though  they  are  all  Beryls.  Moonstone  is  sometimes  incorrectly labelled as an Orthoclase, however  strictly speaking it is formed by a crossbreed of  Orthoclase  and Albite,  albeit  (sorry  about  the  pun) the majority is made up of the former.

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An Orthoclase Pendant set in 9k Yellow Gold