Posted on by Nevil Agrawal

In many folklore, the sunstone has been described as a symbol of God. In Egyptian and Greek cultures, it signifies the Sun. Certain indigenous communities believed it was a fallen piece of the Sun itself. It is said that ancient Vikings would wear this stone as a protective talisman to help them navigate.

Today, this gorgeous stone is highly prized for jewelry across the world. There's even a State in the US that has named it their official stone. But why? Let's explore the alluring, sparkling history of the sunstone gem.

What is Sunstone?


Sunstone crystals are a gem-quality member of the feldspar family of minerals. Created in lava flows from millions of years ago, these gems were put onto the Earth's surface through a volcano.

The lava is weathered away or broken apart, which then releases shimmering sunstone crystals. This gem is perfect for earrings and pendants. It's a bit delicate to be worn as rings, but it could work if fashioned in a protective-styled setting.

Other names for sunstones include Oregon sunshine, orthoclase sunstone, star sunstone, oligoclase sunstone, and labradorite sunstones.

Where Is Sunstone Found?


This stone can be found in a variety of locations across the world.

The sunstone's largest deposits can be found in south Norway. The best-known area to mine these is Tvedestrand, near Arendal, in Southern Norway and Sweden. Large masses of these stones occur here, where they're embedded in quartz.

This sought-after jewel can be found in many states across the US. Oregon has even named it their official stone. Other locations include Middletown Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and Statesville in North Carolina. A particular 'orthoclase sunstone' variety can be found in Crown Point and many New York and Virginia areas.

It can even be found in Lake Baikal in Siberia. This particular crystal is also home to the stunning Pleistocene basalt flows at Sunstone Knoll in Utah.

They can be found glittering along the beaches across South Australia's mid-coast. It's also found in Madagascar, India, Canada, and Russia.

Types of sunstone


Oregon sunstone: The official state stone of Oregon – this sunstone is a special red color with elemental copper. These crystals can be large and with deep tones. They're called plagioclase Feldspar. Oregon sunstone can also be orange, clear, champagne, yellow, pink, and salmon. The rarest is the blue-green sunstone crystal.

Oligoclase sunstones: These display the aventurine appearance that gives them a metallic shine. These are a composition of oligoclase feldspar that contain hematite or goethite inclusions.


The 4 C's of Sunstone


Color: Color is a very telling feature on a sunstone gem. It reveals the quality of the gem. The highest quality sunstones possess a deep red color. These red sunstones are as scarlet as rubies or spinel. The next best quality of stone has a green secondary color.

Most sunstone crystals are yellow, orange, or brown. Most of them have a reddish or golden shine on top of a body color. Yellow and colorless stones are usually the least valuable. Values increase through pink, orange, and red.

Usually, the color is darkest in the sparkling middle and becomes lighter towards the edges. Some stones are pleochroic – which means their color changes when viewed from different directions. Another sought-after version of this stone is the bicolored pieces. These can have a color gradient within a single stone. Or have sharp color changes from one side to the other.

Clarity: Oregon sunstone crystals have copper speckles that create an intense sheen. They can be hexagonal, rhombic, or irregular in shape. These inclusions aren't big enough to create actual aventurescence. But the larger specks create beautiful, glittery reflections. These inclusions can be various minerals, such as hematite and copper.

Cut: While not as hard as ruby or spinel, sunstone gems are still quite hard. The sunstone Moh's Hardness Scale is a 6.5-7.2. Expert artisans cut them into a variety of shapes for jewelry. They're also popular with gemstone carvers. Most caliber-cut stones weigh 1 carat or less. 

Sunstones are usually cut en cabochon, tumbled, or polished into beads. The beaded gems are the best for making necklaces and bracelets. Many cut the faceted stones into a variety of fancy shapes.

Carat: Expert jewelers cut the smaller sunstone crystals that weigh under a carat into measured sizes to fit usual jewelry mountings. Facets versions of larger stones aren't commonly found. Usually, gem carvers use non-facet-grade sunstones for unique designs.

Treatment of sunstone


Some enhance pale-colored feldspar to improve its color, clarity, and hardness. Beware of an imitation called 'goldstone'. That's not a gem; rather, it's a piece of glass containing small and flat copper crystals.


How do I keep my sunstone clean?


Don't handle it roughly. You can use warm and soapy water to keep it clean. Scrub it very gently to cleanse it.


Sunstone uses


Sunstone is a durable gemstone and used for the jewelry you can wear daily. It's popular with gem carvers, too.


Sunstone meaning and healing properties
  • Spiritually speaking, the sunstone crystal has links to the Earth's ultimate life-giver – the Sun.
  • In Egyptian mythology, it represents Ra, and in Greek mythology, this gemstone represents Helios.
  • The sunstone crystal has magical properties and brings luck and good fortune to the wearer.
  • It reduces stress and fear. Therefore it improves your self-confidence.
  • Those battling with anxiety and depression would benefit from wearing or carrying a sunstone crystal.
  • Sunstone's healing properties include curing sore throats, stomach bugs, and relieving ulcers.
  • It may even promote spinal healing.
  • Sunstone has also been used as a treatment for rheumatism. Patients would sit in the Sun and surround themselves with these gems.
  • It can aid symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
  • It could help in stopping nightmares and phobias.

Sunstone metaphysical properties and chakra connection

  • Sunstones have many metaphysical properties. Wearing or carrying this helps you develop your 'yang,' or your more masculine qualities.
  • It will make you more assertive and enhance your leadership qualities.
  • Carrying raw sunstone will help you overcome challenges that you must face alone.
  • The chakra most connected to this gemstone is the sacral chakra.
  • They carry the power of orange-toned frequencies and stimulate your creative centers. They also enhance your leadership abilities and strengthen your sexual energy.


Sunstone birthstone


Sunstone doesn't fit into any traditional birthstone chart. However, it could bring fortune to those born between July 22nd and August 21st. It's also a great stone for those born between October 22nd and November 20th. As it symbolizes the Sun, it's most suitable for the Virgo and Aries signs.


Where should you buy a sunstone?


You should always buy sunstone crystals from trusted sources. Many may try to sell you fake stones or inferior quality gemstones. A few precautions you could take is to select an outlet that has excellent customer reviews. Also, look for sellers who have a refund policy.

If you'd like to reach out to an established retailer of precious and semi-precious gems, do contact us. We possess premium quality natural sunstones in a variety of cuts and colors.