The land we live on, the country we call Canada, took four (4) billion years to form. All this massive amount of rock formation, climate change, tectonic activity, volcanoes and continent movement contributed to the formation of gold, copper, zinc and iron, as well as a variety of gemstones such as Diamond, Labradorite, Amazonite, Jade, Ammolite and many more.
Ammolite is exclusive to Canada and comes from a fossil called ammonite. The stone is made of micro layers of aragonite which gives it its irradescence. Because this stone is soft (4 on a Mohs scale) it requires a coating of quartz or spinel to stabilize it and make it more durable in order to wear it in jewellery. Ammolite can be found in Alberta.
Garnet is one of the most prominent gemstones in Canada. It comes in a number of varieties such as Tsavorite (green), Hessonite (orangey brown to brownish orange), Demantoid (yellowish green), Rhodolite (purplish red), Spessartine (orange) and more. One of the best known is Hessonite and the largest locality in the world for the gemstone is in Québec.
The Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Québec, sources most garnets in Canada. The water at the mostly abandoned mine has risen steadily over the years which has caused the garnet section to be submerged, making finding new Hessonite increasingly difficult.
Here is a list of locations where garnets can be found in Canada:
Hessonite: Québec, British Columbia, Ontario, and the Yukon
Demantoid: Québec and the Yukon
Almandine: Québec, Manitoba, British Columbia, Nunavut, Ontario, and the Yukon
Rhodolite: British Columbia
Androdite and Spessartite: The Yukon
Although Labradorite is not exclusive to Canada, it does get its name from its place of origin, Labrador. It can also be found in Newfoundland as well as in Australia, parts of the U.S., Mexica, Russia, Madagascar, Norway, and Finland. It is a fairly soft stone (6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale). Labradorite is considered a phenomenal gemstone because it creates a phenomenal effect by scattering light. This is called labradorescence and it is a broad colour flash that shifts with the gem’s movements. Another type of Labradorite is called Sunstone and it displays a different type of phenomenal effect called aventurescence. This is a glittery effect, also caused by light, reflecting from flat copper inclusions within the stone.