Larvikite

Larvikite is a dark mineral with a secret – patches of feldspar causing an effect known as schiller – a flash similar to Labradorite. It is sometimes used as a decorative facade on buildings.

Larvikite is almost always sold polished – when rough, it is not a particularly interesting looking mineral.

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Uses and History

Larvikite is an igneous rock with inclusions of Feldspar. It is often polished and used for the facades of commercial buildings, banks, and corporate headquarters – including the Devon Tower, the Bank of America tower, and the Burj-Al-Arab.

Historically, many of the churches around the area of Norway where it is found are made of Larvikite, from the 12th century onwards. It was used in a royal castle in Oslo in the 1820s, and as beach defences during WW2.

Nowadays, it is often used for decorative stonework and for facades, gravestones, and sometimes, jewellery.


Locales

The most important locale for this material is Norway, but it is also found in Canada, France, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine and the United States.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
A Sodium and calcium aluminosilicate, Na (AlSiO8) Ca (Al2Si2O2).
Colours and Variations
Blue, green, dark grey backing stone with flashes of blue and white.
Streak
White
Luster
Pearly
Fracture
Crystal habit
Triclinic, massive
Mohs hardness
6.0 – 6.5
Specific Gravity
2.59
Easiest testing method
A visual inspection should be adequate – experience will help you to differentiate between Larvikite and Labradorite. Labradorite tends to be striated and has more colours.
Common Treatments
None known.

Photos of Larvikite

Blue Pearl Granite (larvikite) (Larvik Batholith, 292-298 Ma, Early Permian; near Larvik, Norway) 1 (14620330099)
Larvikite
Bredevoort 434

Larvikite quarry Larvik
Sea defences, Dawlish Warren - geograph.org.uk - 1282629
Bredevoort 389

Hazards and Warnings

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.

When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations

Arabic:

Hindi:

Portuguese:

  • larvikita

Bengali:

Indonesian:

Punjabi:

English:

Italian:

Russian:

French:

Japanese:

  • ラルビカイト

Spanish:

  • larvikita

German:

  • Larvikit

Korean:

Thai:

Gujurati:

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

  • 拉维石

Urdu:


Further Reading / External Links