Posted by Dakota Stones on 6/8/2020 to Articles
Sunstone is a feldspar material, most often comes in a toasty orange color, and is a relatively new material to the jewelry market. This is perhaps simply for lack of interest, because it has been known to mankind for some time. It has gained popularity for its glittery properties, and the interesting shiller that can be observed in thicker cuts of sunstone.
The inclusions that give the stone its copper tone are… sometimes actually copper! The inclusions can be hematite or goethite as well. These different inclusions can vary the color of the sunstone, typically red, yellow, green, blue or a copper shiller, though any colors other than oranges and yellows are difficult to come by. Shiller is referred to as aventurescence, because the stone shares properties with aventurine, and is sometimes simply called “aventurescent feldspar.” Sunstone is also one of those rare materials where inclusions actually enhance the gemstone’s worth, as this improves the aventurescence. The Sunstones with copper inclusions tend to be the highest quality, because the metallic specks in the stone refract light. We carry multiple qualities of Sunstone, from A grade Golden Sunstone, to more affordable strands in multiple shapes.
Sunstone has been known by Oregon Native Americans for some time, and was collected, and traded within certain tribes. This history can be credited for the growing interest in sunstone, as they were some of the first to use it as a precious material. The stone is simple to carve, as it is not too hard, and it provides a unique appearance to works of art.
Because of the increased popularity surrounding the stone, there has been several attempts to make synthetic alternatives and pass them off as genuine rare coloring of Sunstone. These dupes came in reds and greens, which at the time had not yet been discovered in the area, and was incredibly rare everywhere else. They were quickly debunked as false, but not long after, actually red sunstone was discovered in Tibet and confirmed by gemologists.
Perhaps the best mines for Sunstone are in the United States, which is where we source our stones. These mines are very well known for producing some very high-quality sunstone, and have a high quantity of sunstone with copper inclusions. Some areas of these mines are open to the public, such as a mine in Lake County and Harney County, Oregon, as the sunstone can sometimes sit on the ground within arms’ reach. There you can search for and collect your very own sunstone. If you are considering this opportunity, we recommend you research the proper safety necessary, and familiarize yourself to the look of the natural stone.