Bytownite (NaAlSi3O8-CaAl2Si2O8) is sometimes referred to as golden labradorite, although it is truly a rare form of plagioclase feldspar. It does not exhibit the shimmering labradorescence common to Labradorites, but when it’s cut into gems, they display an uncommon brilliance. This material is most often seen as faceted gemstones rather than mineral specimens. It is an inexpensive, easy-to-cut material, that produces a truly beautiful stone!
Bytownite is a champagne-colored gemstone.
It does sometimes occur as grey, greenish-white, white, and reddish brown to dark orange.
Several other minerals can be confused with Bytownite, but their localities and cleavage usually tell if it’s the real thing.
How and Where does it form?
Bytownite is most often found as masses, grains, or in compact crystal groupings, although it is sometimes found as a blocky, tubular crystal. It also forms from sodic metasomatism of metamorphic rocks. The original material, a greenish-white substance, was first described in 1836, found in a boulder near Bytown, Canada (now Ottawa, Ontario). In the United States, it can be found in areas of Montana, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. It also occurs in select areas of Scotland, Norway, England, Western Australia and South Africa. The largest deposits of gem-grade material are in Mexico. The Bytownite we sell from Copper Canyon Lapidary comes from Chihuahuah, Mexico.
Bytownite in Lapidary
As previously mentioned, Bytownite cuts bright, beautiful stones and is easy to work with. It has perfect cleavage, with the faces intersecting at right angles, and striations are often present on cleavage faces.
Bytownite usually contains schiller-like silk, but it does not affect the brilliance of the finished stone. When placed parallel to the table, the schiller can actually increase the dispersion. For best performance, raise the pavillion angle 1/2 degree on designs set up in quartz angles. Also, go for a medium fine lap, such as 600 grit, for roughing, as coarser grits can cause some cleavage issues. Be careful so that any sharp corners don’t chip. It polishes well with cerium oxide. High domes, Tzar and Barion designs do the trick to bring out color and sparkle.
Color: Pale yellow to brown
Moh’s Hardness: 6-6.5
Refractive Index: 1.52-1.568
Critical Angle: 41.14°
Specific Gravity: 2.56-2.70
Fracture: Uneven, can be brittle
Birefringence (double refraction): Weak to medium (.005-.01)
Crystal Structure: Triclinic
Right use of will, Confidence, Clarity, Vitality, Purposefulness, Inspired action
Much like Goldstone, teh common translucent to golden color Bytownite encourages us to LET OUR LIGHT SHINE.
These stones radiate the solar-related qualities of Labradorite: Clearer thinking, Vitality! Inner strength, endurance, focus and purposefulness. It can calm the mind and emotions, allowing confusion to part lift away, like clouds drifting on. This opens us to feelings of greater ease and peacefulness. It does vibrate as a Yang/ Male aspect of energy, hence the attributes of inspiring a person into physical activity and taking action, along with courage, extroversion, self-expression, speaking up when the time is ripe (for you), and confidence. Out of all the chakras, Bytownite most strongly stimulates the solar plexus, helping us glean a deeper, more palpable understanding about the right use of will and our personal power (aka your FOCUS!)
This gem can help people who feel uncomfortably shy or lacking motivation to do things. It is a self-esteem stone, that will assist in building confidence, and help you embrace the right to be present in this world, so that you may demonstrate your greatest gifts, talents, and insights. And it does not really “motivate”, so much as INSPIRE a person into right action- a result of your being more open to receive Source energy through your body.
Insecurity fades away. Meeting new people or being in unfamiliar environments becomes much less stressful, if not something to look forward to! Allow this gem to restore your childlike playfulness and JOY. Such states of being are natural to us, but we tend to be trained out of them into adulthood. And then we say “life is hard”. This does not have to be true for you. Life is on your side! Let this stone show you. Wear, carry, or meditate with Bytownite to help you remember these original vibrations that are your birthright, and embrace them more in your every-day life: Carefree, not worrying about what other people think of you, curiosity, adventure, running, skipping, wonder, awe, the desire to learn and see new things… (or simply see things in a new way.).
Life is supposed to feel good to us. Not only that, it is meant to improve, and it IS, continually. Let Bytownite spark more allowing of your good from within you.
According to Robert Simmons, who shares his energetic perspectives on New Moon Beginnings.com: Golden Labradorite takes one not only into communion with the energies of our own sun, but through a thread of Light it also connects with the Great Central Sun, the home and origin of consciousness in the Universe. This is Golden Labradorite’s greatest gift. The Great Central Sun is the spiritual center of the Universe, existing in the etheric realm. It is constantly surrounded by multitudes of orbiting angels, and it is from this domain that the ‘music of the spheres’ emanates. In meditation, one can follow the golden thread of Golden Labradorite’s energy into this realm, and if the journey is completed, one will never forget it. It will permanently infuse one’s consciousness with awe, reverence and gratitude, and a sense of the magnificent perfection of All-That-Is.
PHYSICAL USES: kidneys, gallbladder, stomach and spleen. Purifies and balances the organs, systems that help detoxify the body, and the emotions, especially worry, fear and anxiety. May enhance digestion and strengthen metabolism. For skin concerns, use crystal-infused water when washing, or soak and lay a washcloth over the area of concern. May help with bed-wetting. Place a stone in the room, but probably not close to the bed, as it may keep one awake or disrupt sleep.