What is the X in X-mas?
a gemstone variety of feldspar that has minute platelike inclusions of iron oxide (hematite or goethite) oriented parallel to one another throughout. The reflections from these inclusions give the mineral (usually the plagioclase feldspars albite, oligoclase, or labradorite, but sometimes the alkali feldspar orthoclase) a spangled appearance and often a reddish glow. The stone is often cut en cabochon (i.e., with a rounded and convex polished surface). Sunstone occurs in Tvedestrand, Nor.; near Lake Baikal, Russia; and at Middletown, Pa., and Statesville, N.C., in the United States.