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Sunstone’s phenomenal varieties show a distinct and lively glitter called aventurescence.

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Tiny copper platelets can cause the prized red hue in Oregon sunstone.

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Color zones

Some sunstones exhibit attractive color zoning.

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Matte finish

Matte-finish facets can provide an interesting and attractive contrast.

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Sunstone’s glittery sparkle shows up even in its rough form.

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Some sunstone rough displays interesting zoned colors.

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Desert Sun

The Ponderosa mine produces many lovely specimens like this one.

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Buyer's Guide

Today’s sunstone market is a diverse one, consisting of upscale jewelry designers, collectors, gem carvers, and tourists to the Oregon desert seeking a precious all-American souvenir.


Use your zip code to find a jeweler near you with GIA reports and GIA-trained staff.


Verify the information on your report matches what is archived in the GIA report database.

What To Look For

Gem-quality sunstone labradorite occurs in a broad range of colors, from pale yellow through pale pink to dark orange and even a deep red. The rarest material is green. These rough stones are from the Sunstone Butte mine in the US state of Oregon. – Robert Weldon
Color is the Most Important Sunstone Quality Factor.

Top-color deep green, deep red, and intense bicolored sunstones are considered extra-fine quality. Red sunstone is often marketed as “spinel red.” Its vivid hue—if not its hardness—rivals spinel and even ruby.

Tiny copper platelets cause sunstone’s glittery appearance.
Clarity Factors for Sunstone Include Helpful Inclusions.

All Oregon sunstones have an extra sheen that’s caused by copper inclusions, even if the inclusions aren’t large enough to create actual aventurescence.

With most gemstones, cutters try to minimize the appearance of inclusions. Sunstones, however, are cut to feature the sparkle and glitter of their inclusions. This pendant contains a 20-ct. sunstone set in 18K white gold. - Maha Tannous, courtesy Anil B. Dholakia Inc.
Cut is an Important Contributor to Sunstone Appearance.

Sunstone is cut into a variety of shapes. It’s a popular material for cut designers to fashion into unique creations. Sunstone is also popular with gemstone carvers.

The Ponderosa Queen is a superb 10.79-ct. deep red faceted sunstone from the Ponderosa mine in Oregon. The copper inclusions that cause the characteristic aventurescence of that mine’s sunstones are clearly visible.
Carat Weight of Sunstone Covers a Wide Range.

Sunstones under one carat are often cut in calibrated sizes to fit standard jewelry mountings. Large faceted stones are uncommon, but gem carvers often use non-facet-grade material for unique creations.

Sunstone Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide