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What Causes The Color In Oregon Sunstone?

What Causes The Color In Oregon SunstoneSunstone occurs in a range of colors that begin with colorless and ranges through to yellow, orange and red. The color is determined by the abundance and size of the copper platelets within the gemstone. The copper platelets impart a green, pink or reddish color to the stone. Some exceptional stones can show more than one color. It can start off pink and on the other side of the stone be bolder and strengthen in color which could be orange.  Sunstone is an amazing specimen. It is translucent to transparent Feldspar that produces bright metallic flashes when light interacts with tiny plate-like mineral inclusions within the stone. When light enters the stone it reflects a flash of light in the eye of the observer who views the gemstone at the correct angle. This is also known as aventurescence. The aventurescence flash of light produced by a Sunstone can be observed by three different actions.

  1. Moving the stone in the light
  2. Moving the position of the light
  3. Moving the eye of the observer

The value of gem quality Sunstone can be determined by its color, transparency and the quality. Colorless and yellow stones are the least expensive and the value of the stone increases for colors like pink, orange and red. Bright red stones, green stones and nice bi color stones have the highest value and transparent stones attract a premium price.

What Causes The Color In Oregon Sunstone

Oregon Sunstone Colors

Oregon Sunstone can also be found as a clear gem quality Plagioclase Feldspar. This type of Oregon Sunstone will change color depending on the light source and this effect is called Pleochroism. It comes in a variety of colors such as yellow and clear. The yellow is usually quiet light and the color can get so pale that the stone is nearly as clear as water. 

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Pink can either be the stone base color or be produced by a haze of schiller. The orange color shades go from orange-yellow to orange-red which is described as copper or copper red. Another color is ‘root beer’ which is the deep reddish brown, slightly orange to almost pure red to even slightly blue. Green varies from green to dark grass green, yellowish green to bluish green and blues are usually teal or turquoise shades. There are also bi-color and tri-color Oregon Sunstones which is where two or three color zones are present in one single gemstone. What Causes The Color In Oregon Sunstone

Oregon, USA is the only place in the world where gem grade Sunstones are found containing Copper. The amount of Copper within the stones varie, which produces colours ranging from water clear to yellow and orange, pink, red, green and blue.

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