In the gem world, there is a real debate at present regarding what the difference is between Red Labradorite and Red Andesine. What some gemmologists are suggesting is that the difference between the two depends on the percentage of Sodium and Calcium within the gem: if it’s high in Sodium then it’s Andesine; and if it’s high in Calcium then it’s Red Labradorite. Don’t worry if this is getting a little confusing, as it’s also confusing the industry!
Red Labradorite is a stunning member of the Feldspar family and is a very close relation to Sunstone. Just like Paraiba Tourmaline, it receives much of its internal brilliance from the presence of copper.
The gem is incredibly rare and I have seen some gem traders trying to sell Red Labradorite for over $1000 per carat, placing it amongst the most expensive red gemstones on the planet. Its colour is a delicious cherry red and what I say to all gem fans, is that once you own one piece, you will certainly be hunting for more.
The gem has been discovered in very tiny quantities in Tibet, India, Bolivia and Inner Mongolia (where it is often heat treated with diffusion to increase its colour). See also Andesine.