EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GLITTERY AND GLAMOROUS GEMSTONE FROM OREGON
The Oregon sunstone is quickly becoming a popular choice of gemstone for engagement rings thanks to its stunning metallic flashes and vibrant hues. But what exactly causes this effect and why are they only found in Oregon? We've got all the answers and more so read on to find out!
WHAT IS AN OREGON SUNSTONE?
An Oregon Sunstone is a yellow, red, colorless, green, bicolor, and rarely, tricolor, gemstone renowned worldwide for its brilliant color and twinkling flashes of light.
Although sunstones have been found all over the world including in Sweden, Russia, Norway, and South Australia, only Oregon sunstones are found in Oregon. (Hence the name!)
WHAT MAKES AN OREGON SUNSTONE DIFFERENT THAN OTHER SUNSTONES?
All sunstones are members of the feldspar group, a group of minerals "distinguished by the presence of alumina and silica in their chemistry". While sunstones mined in other parts of the world have glittery and golden sheens, only Oregon sunstones have copper inclusions that result in a twinkling effect. This effect, known as the Schiller effect is caused by light reflecting off of and through the copper inclusions of the Oregon sunstone.
HOW ARE OREGON SUNSTONES FORMED?
Millions of years ago erupting volcanos formed incredibly hot pyroclastic lava flows that swept up the base minerals of Oregon sunstone, orthoclase, and plagioclase. These minerals were encased in the super hot and calcium-rich magma which as it slowly cooled hardened into the sunstones we know and love today.
Interestingly enough, it is not known how copper inclusions develop within Oregon sunstones. Geologists have dated the copper inclusions and found them to be younger than the outside stone. So, when an Oregon sunstone forms, it gets its copper from somewhere else however, no one knows from quite where.
WHERE ARE OREGON SUNSTONES MINED?
Thanks to the unique geographical history and ecology of Oregon, Oregon sunstones are unique specifically there.
In Oregon, there are two primary locations where sunstone is mined. The first is in Lake County, about 25 miles outside of Plush Oregon. Lake County contains numerous mines that allow the public to participate in sunstone mining.
Harney County maintains privately owned commercial mines that are the primary supplier of Oregon sunstones to jewelers and gemologists alike.
Both Harney and Lake County produce quality sunstones. The primary difference between the two is simply that Lake County involves the public and Harney County does not.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE OREGON SUNSTONE?
Prior to colonization, Indigenous people from the Northern Paiute and Modoc tribes used sunstone in bartering, decorating, and even within burial rituals. Legend states that the sunstone was formed when a single drop of blood from a great Indigenous warrior dropped onto a piece of stone. Thus, the warrior's spirit was carried into the stone resulting in the Oregon sunstone's characteristically brilliant color, sheen, and power.
In the 1900s, Tiffany's purchased a mine and introduced the sunstone into their line of gems, choosing to call them 'Plush Diamonds'. However, as Oregon sunstones only appear in Oregon they eventually decided that mass production was not a strategic business move and soon sold the mine.
On August 4, 1987, the Oregon State Legislature claimed the Oregon Sunstone as its official state gem.
WHAT ARE THE SPIRITUAL PROPERTIES OF OREGON SUNSTONES?
A powerful stone for healing, the Oregon sunstone works on the heart chakra and is an excellent stone for healing emotional wounds.
Oregon sunstone also helps to reduce anxiety and stress, allowing us to relax in our bodies. It can help healers who are feeling overworked or exhausted by helping them feel more energized again.
Finally, Oregon sunstone helps us to be more open-minded and accepting of others' ideas and beliefs. This makes it a great stone for teachers who want to teach their students how to think critically about different points of view.
Regardless of your profession, the Oregon sunstone is a grounding and healing stone that will only bring positive vibrations into your life.
WHAT SETTINGS AND STYLES BENEFIT OREGON SUNSTONES?
SOLITAIRE OREGON SUNSTONE ENGAGEMENT RING
The solitaire setting is an ideal choice because it allows you to show off the beauty of Oregon sunstone while still keeping with traditional jewelry design. This means that you can have the best of both worlds—a traditional look and a beautiful stone.
Our Bluebell Oregon Sunstone is a stunning solitaire ring that is studded with eight melee diamonds on a delicately textured band. With a six-prong setting, the beauty of the Oregon sunstone is visible on every side creating a classically modern ring your fiancée is sure to love.
THREE-STONE OREGON SUNSTONE ENGAGEMENT RING
A three-stone Oregon Sunstone engagement ring is a beautiful and unique way to represent the past, present, and future of your relationship.
The Naples Oregon Sunstone Three Stone Ring expertly pairs a pristine pink Oregon sunstone with two rough Montana sapphires in various shades of blue and teal.
Each stone reflects a special time in your relationship and is a reminder of all of the joy that has yet to come. Plus, with many options of band metal, you can rest assured knowing your partner will love their ring.
NATURE-INSPIRED SUNSTONE ENGAGEMENT RING
Highlight the natural aspects of the Oregon sunstone by pairing it with a nature-inspired band ala the Vienna Oregon Sunstone Solitaire Ring.
Six prongs firmly center and hold the sunstone in place while connecting it to a stunning gold or platinum band that has been cast from real twigs to preserve their intricate features.
A nature-inspired ring is especially wonderful for partners that love the outdoors. The delicate buds of the band will ground your partner and conjure up images of great mountains and flat valleys.
PROPOSE WITH A UNIQUE OREGON SUNSTONE ENGAGEMENT RING
What better way to tell your fiancée that she is your sun and stars than with an Oregon sunstone?
When you propose with an Oregon sunstone, you're telling her not only that she is the light of your life but also that you are going to make sure she feels like it, too. You want her to know that she will always be your first priority and that no matter what happens in life, when she looks up at the sky, she'll think of you. With an expertly handcrafted and unique Oregon sunstone engagement ring by Olivia Ewing Jewelry on her hand, your fiancée will be reminded of your love and commitment all day and night.