Iridescent Inclusions in Scapolite
A 2.21 ct phenomenal scapolite (figure 1), reportedly from Tanzania, was recently examined by this author. Of particular interest was its striking resemblance to Oregon labradorite feldspar, which displays aventurescence and is known in the trade as sunstone. Raman microspectrometry confirmed the stone’s identity as scapolite. Vibrant thin-film iridescence created by brownish orange exsolution platelets (figure 2) was revealed by microscopic examination; these platelets are responsible for the stone’s orange bodycolor. The exsolution platelets are presumed to be hematite based on their color, morphology, and high levels of iron detected by energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF), although it was not possible to confirm this identity through Raman analysis. This scapolite’s aventurescence and pleasing orange bodycolor make it an interesting collector’s gemstone.