When most people think about a blue gemstone, Sapphire is usually the first gemstone to come to mind, but there are a large number of other blue gemstones available today.
Natural blue gemstones come in a number of various colors, from dark to light. Currently, lots of blue gems are generally made in a laboratory to enhance the color and to create different colors. Some gemstones have been given multiple names often times to create the perception of higher value. As an example, many people think that Australia Sapphire is a blue sapphire. Actually it is Kyanite. The color and appearance is almost the same but they are very different. Do not be fooled!
Before you buy a gemstone, think of the exact shade of blue that you’re interested in and what you’ll be using it for (jewelry, collection, craft, etc.). The hardness of a specific type of gemstone will often define its use. A softer gemstone is probably best suited as a pendant, but not in a ring. You’ll find that each kind of gemstone has its own unique properties and attractiveness.
Blue Gemstone Meaning
Some people think that the blue color of the gemstone symbolizes the sky and sea, and that this means truth, sincerity and inspiration. An old legend says that offering a blue gemstone engagement ring can bring continuity in their marital life.
Various colors, tints, and hues of blue are said to have different meanings. As an example, Dark Blue can is often viewed as sophisticated, prosperous, innovative, smart, and old-fashioned, whereas Royal Blue symbolize brilliance, while Light Blue symbolizes loyalty and credibility.
Metaphysical Properties of Blue Gemstones
A large constituent believes that blue gemstones will enhance calmness and relax tattered feelings, deliver comfort to people who have insomnia or who may have bad dreams, help generate creativity and boost the quality of conversation.
Further, it is said that the shade blue has beneficial influences around the brain and the entire body. Blue Gemstones may create relaxation and force the human body to generate toxins which are comforting and emanate inner thoughts of peace. Blue helps to slow our metabolic process, is cooling naturally and helps with stability and self-expression. Blue is usually a hunger controller.
Some people think that the power of Dark or Indigo Blue Gemstones generate vibrations that help foster wisdom, develop intuition, strengthen the eyes and ears, and strengthen memory. Meanwhile, Light Blue has a power to produces vibration that helps to smooth talk and sing, improve the health of the neck, throat, shoulders and help people become more thoughtful and compassionate.
Agate is a layered form of Chalcedony Quartz. It is known to occur in a wide variety of colors and interesting patterns, including many shades of light to dark blue. Some popular trade names used for blue agate include Blue Lace Agate, Mohave Blue Agate and Blue Banded Agate. Many agates today may have been dyed, but unlike many other gem types, the dyeing of agate does not normally affect its value. However, any such treatment should always be disclosed by gemstone traders.
Being a variety of Quartz, Agate has excellent hardness (7 on the Mohs Scale) and durability, making it one of the most versatile blue gemstones today.
Some include Agate as traditional birthstone for May and June. In astrology, Agate is the birthstone for Gemini.
Geode Image Source – Tomomarusan via Wikimedia Commons
If you love magic, especially the magic of science, you’ll love Alexandrite, the color-change gem. Outside in daylight, it is a cool bluish mossy green. Inside in lamplight, it is a red gem with a warm raspberry tone. You can watch it flick back and forth by switching from fluorescent to incandescent light. The value of the gemstone increases as the color change becomes more distinct.
It is truly spellbinding to see the spectacular changing colors in this wonderful gemstone; you just might feel some of the mysterious magic and lore ascribed to it. It’s said to strengthen intuition, aid in creativity and inspire the imagination.
Alexandrite is a variety of Chrysoberyl, a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale and is a traditional birthstone for June.
Gem Image Source: Salexmccoy via Wikimedia Commons
Unlike other gemstones, Amber is a product, not of geologic activity, but of the fossilization of resin, i.e., tree sap. Beside yellow and green, Amber also occurs as blue stones, which is rather rare and highly sought after. This blue gemstone comes mostly from the Dominican Republic.
In astrology, Amber is a birthstone for Taurus.
Beside green, yellow, violet and pink, Apatite also occurs as blue stones. This blue gemstone is a phosphate mineral. While used primarily in the manufacture of fertilizer, Apatite frequently produces gem quality blue crystals, which are glassy in clarity and luster.
Apatite is the defining mineral for 5 on the Mohs hardness scale and as such is not suited for placement in rings. Given its relative softness, it should only be used in pendants or earrings.
Apatite is known to occur in a wide variety of colors including yellow, green, pink, purple, violet, clear, and a ‘Paraiba‘-like blue-green. Apatite is normally untreated, but one blue-green variety known as ‘Moroxite‘, is routinely heated to enhance its color. In fact, its Greek name means “cheat” because it’s often passed for other more valuable gems. Apatite streaks white to white yellow. Some rare Apatite gemstones may exhibit cat’s eye chatoyancy.
Gem Image Source: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com
Aquamarine, one of the few naturally blue untreated gemstones, is a member of the Beryl family and is colored by traces of iron. Its color can range from very light blue, bluish-green and a deep, richly saturated blue. It is typically very subtle, especially when compared to more vivid and intensely colored blue gemstones such as Blue Topaz. Occasionally the green shade of Aquamarine is incorrectly called Emerald.
Aquamarine is also known to occur with rare cat’s eye chatoyancy. The more saturated, darker blue gems are the most expensive.
Most people don’t know that there is another blue beryl. It is a very dark blue gem known as “Maxixe” (pronounced mashish). Its color is produced within the Earth by exposure to natural radiation. However, its color is unstable, and it quickly fades to a pale color with exposure to light.
Aquamarine is usually found in large deposits with minimal impurities. It is a relatively hard mineral, holding a hardness of 8 out of 10, equal to topaz.
For centuries, this timeless gemstone has been a symbol of youth, hope, health and fidelity. Since this gemstone is the color of water and the sky, it is said to embody eternal life. It was long thought that Aquamarine has a soothing influence on married couples, making it a good anniversary gift. Reportedly the gemstone’s energy could cut the difference between husband and wife, so that the life of the couple became permanent.
Though traditionally the birthstone for October, Aquamarine is the official modern March birthstone, and is the birthstone to the zodiac sign Scorpio.
Aragonite is made from calcium carbonate and found in sedimentary rocks. It is usually collected as a brownish-orange crystal mineral specimen. Named in 1797 by Abraham Gottlieb Werner for the type locality, the village of Molina de Aragón, Spain, and not the province of Aragón. Colors include clear (when free from impurities), yellow, blue, and even pink. Aragonite can be found in Turkey, France, United States, the Bahamas and many other places around the world.
Aragonite has a hardness of 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale and is not suggested for jewelry.
Aventurine is a variety of Quartz containing glistening fragments (usually Mica, such as Fuchsite, but also Hematite), which can be cut and polished as a gemstone. Most commonly when the general public encounter this stone it is in the form of green stone beads that can be anywhere from a pale to a medium green color. Frequently these beads have been treated with oil to make the stone look a darker color than it would naturally or even dyed to make the color more attractive. Though most popularly green, Aventurine also occurs as blue stones. Like other Aventurine species, the blue gemstone is characterized by aventurescence, a shimmering effect caused by the platy inclusions of chrome-bearing Fuchsite.
Due to the inclusion of other minerals, Aventurine is not as hard as pure Quartz and as such has a hardness of 6.5 on the Mohs scale.
In astrology, Aventurine is a planetary stone for Taurus.
Azurite is a copper carbonate mineral closely related to Malachite, which is green. The blue rock is exceptionally deep in shade, and in that sense makes very attractive jewelry. The weakness of this blue gemstone lies in its hardness, which is only 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale.
This mineral is sometimes ground up into a fine powder and then used as a die. This was a very common practice throughout the Middle Ages. It’s also used to indicate the presence of copper ore.
This is a typically a collector’s stone, and though sometimes used in jewelry, its low hardness rating prevents it from being more popular. It’s most commonly used as beads. When polished into a sphere, it is said to resemble the earth because of its blue color and small green patches.
The word “azure” means bluish purple in Old French and Middle English. In Spanish “azul” means blue.
Crystal Image Source: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com
Benitoite is a rare mineral first discovered in California by James Couch in 1907. It is a fine blue barium titanium silicate. It is one of the rarest gemstones available today and accordingly one of the most expensive.
Benitoite has a higher light dispersion rating than diamond and is known to display impressive brilliance and fire. Though the mineral Benitoite has been found in various locations around the world, the gem-quality and facetable material have only been found in San Benito, California.
This blue jewel was named after the San Benito River as the gemstone was found near its headwaters. The blue crystal ranges in shade from pale blue to bright blue but also has variations in purple, pink, and clear. Under UV light it fluoresces a bright blue/white. This gorgeous mineral was originally confused for sapphire when it was discovered, but its unique qualities led to its becoming California’s state gem in 1985.
Because of its rarity, this gemstone is an expensive one, and most regular folks will have an exceedingly difficult time even finding it in the market. This gemstone really is a collector’s item.
Crystal Image Source: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com
Celestine appears as blue, brown, colorless, green, gray and colorless. It is transparent to translucent and has two directions of cleavage. It is very brittle and has a vitreous to pearly luster. Celestine fluoresces yellow and white blue.
It has a hardness of 3 – 3.5 on the Mohs scale and as such is not suitable for jewelry.
Chalcedony belongs to the Quartz group of minerals and therefore has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale. Technically, ‘chalcedony’ is the umbrella term for all cryptocrystalline Quartz such as Onyx, Carnelian and Chrysoprase. It can occur in a wide range of colors, sizes and patterns. In the gemstone trade however, the term ‘Chalcedony’ is typically used only to refer to ‘Chalcedony in the narrow sense’ or ‘actual Chalcedony’, which is the solid colored, translucent light-white to bluish gemstone.
It has been recently discovered that Chalcedony Quartz is actually a combination of Quartz and a polymorph known as Moganite. Chalcedony takes an excellent polish and high quality materials can exhibit a glowing luster.
Chalcedony was a traditional birthstone for June, though the ancient Hebrew calendar designated the gemstone as a May birthstone. In astrology, Chalcedony is associated with the zodiac sign Cancer.
Chrysocolla is a gem-quality hydrous copper silicate that forms as stalactite masses, in radiating groups, or closely-packed aggregates. It appears similar to both Azurite and Malachite. Although Chrysocolla is most famous for its vivid blue to cyan green color, it can also be found in a wide variety of unusual and unique combinations of blue and green. It forms in the oxidation zone of copper deposits and occurs with Azurite, Malachite, and Cuprite.
Chrysocolla is colored by Copper and is often confused with Turquoise because of its similar color and appearance. It ranges in clarity from translucent to opaque. However, this blue stone is quite soft, with hardness pegged at 2.5 to 3.5 in the Mohs scale, making Chrysocolla rather unsuitable for jewelry.
Crystal Image Source: Rob Lavinsky, iRock.com
Diamond is the hardest known natural material on earth, rating 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. and is prized for its rarity, exceptional hardness, high refractive index and high light dispersion rating – the ability to split white light into its component colors.
Its name comes from the Greek word ‘adamas’, meaning invincible. Diamond is composed of pure carbon, the same material that makes up graphite, a very common material used in the production of pencil lead and various other industries.
Blue Diamond is typically irradiated to obtain its color, though some very rare crystals may be completely natural and untreated, and are among the most expensive of Diamonds. The color of the blue comes from the intrusion of Boron into the otherwise clear mineral. Most blue Diamond will exhibit a secondary greenish hue.
Diamond in general is the traditional and modern birthstone for the month of April, both in the Western and Hindu calendar. In astrology, Diamond is a birthstone for Aries.
Gem Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Blue Quartz is rare indeed, making Dumortierite Quartz one of the rarer varieties of Quartz available. Its unusual and distinct blue color is owed to the mineral inclusions of Dumortierite. Its color can range from very light to dark-blue and in some rare cases, reddish-brown.
Like all quartz, Dumortierite has excellent hardness and durability, making it suitable for any type of jewelry. It is also often used for the production of porcelain and ceramics, as it turns pure white when heated.
Euclase is a beryllium aluminium hydroxide silicate mineral and appears as long or short prismatic crystals, flattened and transparent. It is related to Beryl and other Beryllium minerals. It is a product of the decomposition of Beryl in pegmatite. Euclase crystals are noted for their blue color similar to Aquamarine, ranging from very pale to dark blue. The mineral may also be colorless, white, or light green. Its hardness (7.5) is similar to Beryl (7.5 – 8), and a bit less than that of Topaz.
It was first reported in 1792 from the Orenburg district in the southern Urals, Russia, where it is found with Topaz and Chrysoberyl. The primary source today is the Southeast Region of Brazil, where it occurs with Topaz but crystals of a very fine dark blue (from iron) have been found at the Miami Mine in Zimbabwe.
Crystal Image Source: www.mindat.org
Fluorite is one of most popular collector’s gems in the world, second only to Quartz. In fact, it is often referred to as ‘the most colorful mineral in the world’. Beside red, yellow and green, Fluorite also occurs as blue stones. A popular Fluorite variety is the “Blue John”, which was mined in the Blue John Cavern, Castleton, Derbyshire, England (hence the name).
Fluorite was first described in 1530 and was originally referred to as ‘fluorspar’. The term ‘fluorescence’ came from Fluorite because Fluorite was one of the first fluorescent minerals studied. The fluorescent colors of Fluorite are extremely variable, but the typical color is blue. Faceted Fluorite is rare and most Fluorite is cut into cabochons.
The weakness of Fluorite in general lies in its hardness, which is pegged at 4 on the Mohs scale. Although its hardness limits its jewelry applications, it can be used for pendants, earrings, or other kinds of jewelry that experience less wear and tear. Consumers should be wary of damaging Fluorite jewelry as it can chip or break easily.
Though most valuable in green, Demantoid Garnet also occurs as blue stones, which are in fact the rarest. Like Alexandrite, this blue gemstone changes color, from blue at daytime to red or purple under an incandescent light. This blue gemstone is among the most valuable gemstones in the world, with prices of around $1,500 per carat.
Gem Image Source: Tritonal via Wikimedia Commons
Hauyne is a blue feldspathoid rock-forming mineral, one of four members of the Sodalite mineral group. It is a complex mineral of Sodium, Calcium, Aluminum Silicate, and Sulfate. Hauyne forms very bright and attractive blue dodecahedral or pseudo-octahedral crystals which can be transparent, translucent or opaque. Some of this material has been reported to show an orange-red fluorescence. It also occurs in shades of grey, yellow, green and clear or white. Hauyne has a hardness of 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs Scale.
Specimens are found in the lavas of Vesuvius and the volcanoes of Lazio, in tuffs in the Alban hills and at Monte Vulture – all in Italy. It has also been found in volcanic bombs in the Rhineland, in lavas in Morocco, and in andesites in France.
Hawk’s Eye is a rare blue-gray to blue-green form of fibrous Quartz. Further, Hawk’s Eye is actually a pseudomorph of Quartz. A pseudomorph is one mineral that changes into another mineral over time. In the case of Hawk’s Eye, it began its life as Crocidolite and was later transformed into Quartz. Crocidolite is a fibrous blue mineral considered to be one of the several forms of asbestos. Since the blue Crocidolite is not yet completely silicified in Hawk’s Eye, the color of the gemstone remains blue.
Hawk’s eye is typically multicolored with golden stripes or wavy patterns and is famed for its chatoyancy, (also known as the cat’s eye effect, but in the case of hawk’s eye, it is considered to be a bird’s eye). The chatoyancy can be seen as small rays of light reflecting off the surface of stones, even when flat-cut.
Similar to Quartz, Hawk’s Eye hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. Hawk’s Eye can be found in many locations around the world including Arizona and California.
Gem Image Source: Ra’ike via Wikimedia Commons
Hemimorphite is one of two rare zinc silicates formerly referred to as Calamine. Hemimorphite is closely associated with another blue to blue-green gemstone known as Smithsonite. For many years, both Hemimorphite and Smithsonite were classed together as ‘Calamine’ because of their close resemblance and gemological properties. Hemimorphite has a hardness of 5 on the Mohs scale and can occur in various tones of blue, green and white. Most Hemimorphite is blue to blue-green with a color similar to Chrysocolla. Sky to swiss blue Hemimorphite is most desirable, often exhibiting bands of blue with white streaks.
Although it is more of a collector’s gem than a jewelry gem, with proper settings and care, Hemimorphite can be used to make extraordinary gemstone jewelry.
Hematite – var: Rainbow
While commonly a metallic gray or black, a variety of Hematite exists that displays a rainbow of colors similar to that of oil spilled on water. Known as Rainbow Hematite, this gemstone displays prominent patches of blue.
The blue stone is mined in Minas Gerais, Brazil and Minnesota. It has a hardness of 6.5 on the Mohs scale.
Beside green and yellow, Idocrase also occurs as blue stones. This blue gemstone is better known as Cyprine, which is found in Franklin, New Jersey. The pigmentation of this blue crystal is caused by the inclusion of copper. The luster of the blue stone ranges from glassy to resinous. Idocrase has a hardness of 6.5 on the Mohs scale.
Indicolite is the blue sodium-rich variety of Tourmaline, and may, due to the presence of Iron, come in all shades of blue, from light-blue, violet-blue to deep red or deep green.
Like most tourmaline, it is strongly pleochroic, meaning it shows different hues when viewed from different directions. An Indicolite will appear significant darker when viewed down the C-axis of the crystal and this must be taken into account when cutting the material. Poor cutting can result in a loss of transparency and brilliance, especially in darker specimens.
Indicolite is a relatively hard mineral with a 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale.
Indicolite Tourmaline is occasionally found wherever there are major Tourmaline deposits. The main sources are Brazil, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Madagascar, California and Maine.
Iolite has a history that dates back hundreds of years, but the actual gemstone is considered relatively new and lesser-known. Iolite is a transparent, gemstone quality form of the mineral Cordierite. It has a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, making quite suitable for jewelry-wear.
Iolite changes colors (pleochism) depending upon which angle it is viewed from and the gems are cut to take advantage of that. When cut properly, Iolite is typically blue to purplish-blue.
Known in mineralogy as Cordierite (named after French geologist P. Cordier), is a silicate of aluminum and magnesium, with an orthorhombic crystal system that occurs as crystals or grains in igneous rocks. Though the name Cordierite is used by mineralogists, the name Iolite has become well established among gemologists.
Iolite is found in Sri Lanka, Burma, Australia’s Northern Territory, Namibia, Brazil, Tanzania, Madagascar, Connecticut, Wyoming and Canada.
Rough Iolite Image Source: Parent Géry via Wikimedia Commons
Though also available in yellow and colorless, Jeremejevite is most popular for its light blue variety, which is among the most valuable of blue gemstones.
Jeremejevite owes its value to the extreme rarity of the blue stone, which is known to occur in a few thousand crystals, most of which is not suitable for cutting.
Crystal Image Source: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com
Kyanite is a very unique gemstone famed for its unique coloring. The name is derived from the Greek word kuanos, meaning “dark blue”, although it can occur in green, yellow and pink as well. The most desirable Kyanite gemstones exhibit a Sapphire-like blue color, but most stones will display noticeable light and dark color zoning, along with some white streaks or blotches.
Kyanite’s typical habit is a bladed crystal, although it sometimes occurs as radiating masses of crystals. Its vitreous to pearly luster makes it a very attractive gemstone.
Kyanite is also known for its distinct significant variable hardness; when cut perpendicular to the long axis it has a hardness of 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale, but when cut parallel to the long axis its hardness is only 4 to 4.5. Proper cut orientation is essential.
The mineral is used to make porcelain, serves as an abrasive, and occasionally as a gemstone. Kyanite can be found in a number of places but one of the best sources of quality gemstone Kyanite is Nepal.
Kyanite is an affordable gemstone that looks great and can be used as a reasonably good substitute for Sapphire as they share similar hues.
Labradorite belongs to the plagioclase group of Feldspar gemstones. Its basic body color is normally dark-smoky to gray, with a remarkable metallic sheen typically royal blue in color. Some specimens of Labradorite exhibit a schiller effect, which is a strong play of iridescent blue, green, red, orange, and yellow colors. Labradorite is so well known for these spectacular displays of color that the phenomenon is known as “labradorescence.” Specimens with the highest quality labradorescence are often selected for use as gemstones.
Labradorescence is not a display of colors reflected from the surface of a specimen. Instead, light enters the stone, strikes a twinning surface within the stone, and reflects from it. The color seen by the observer is the color of light reflected from that twinning surface. Different twinning surfaces within the stone reflect different colors of light. Light reflecting from different twinning surfaces in various parts of the stone can give the stone a multi-colored appearance.
Labradorite has a hardness of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, making it sufficiently hard for most jewelry use. However, Labradorite breaks in two directions with perfect cleavage. This makes it subject to breaking with impact and not a good candidate for rings, bracelets or other objects that could be subject to impact.
Labradorescent material is most often cut into cabochons. The labradorescence phenomenon is best exhibited when the base of the cabochon is parallel to the layers in the material that produce the labradorescent flash. Careful study of the material is required so that the finished stone will be oriented to produce a full “face-up color.” If the stone is cut at any other angle, the layers that produce the labradorescence will be inclined when the stone is viewed from directly above. This will yield a labradorescent flash that will appear to be off-center.
Labradorite is named after its location of discovery on the Isle of Paul, near Nain, Labrador, Canada. It was discovered there in 1770 by a Moravian missionary. Labradorite is mined in Finland, Madagascar and Russia. Small amounts are produced in India.
Several mines in Oregon produce transparent orange, yellow, red, blue, green, and clear Labradorite without labradorescence. These can be cut into very nice faceted stones. Some of this material has platy inclusions of copper in a common alignment that can produce an aventurescent flash when played in the light. These materials are marketed under the name “Oregon Sunstone” and have attracted a strong following from local designers and the tourist trade.
A less common variety of the blue gemstone exhibits a richer range of colors. This multicolored gemstone is called Spectrolite.
Lapis Lazuli, or just ‘Lapis’ as it is affectionately known, is one of the most popular blue gemstones of all time. Its use in decorative ornamental jewelry dates back thousands of years. In ancient times, Lapis Lazuli was the highest representation of blue gemstones, and was treasured as the stone of royalties. In fact, the ancient pharaoh Tutankhamen was actually reported to have Lapis Lazuli decorating his funeral mask. The finest Lapis is said to originate from Northern Afghanistan, where it has been mined for over 6,000 years. It was only after the advent of the Roman Empire that Sapphire took the place of Lapis Lazuli as the exemplification of all blue gems in the world.
Technically, Lapis Lazuli is defined as a rock and not a mineral. Many Lapis stones may contain as many as 15 different minerals in a single stone. With Lapis, the primary constituents include Lazurite, Calcite and Pyrite. Lazurite gives Lapis its vivid blue color. Calcite is a white mineral responsible for its white marbling, and Pyrite lends lapis its distinctive gold speckles and glitter.
Lapis is considered to be fairly soft, rating just 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness, but it is still very popular in jewelry designs primarily as cabochons and beads. This stone has been found in Afghanistan, Siberia, Russia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Italy, Chile and Mongolia.
It is said that the power of this stone can help strengthen the bond between the hearts and minds. It can help boost immunity to disease such as fever, lung and throat. Therefore, some expert suggest wearing a necklace of Lapis lazuli stone.
In astrology, Lapis Lazuli is a birthstone for Libra.
Larimar is a semi-precious blue variety of Pectolite, a Sodium Calcium Silicate Hydroxide. It was discovered in the Bahamas and Dominican Republic in the 1970’s, and today it is only available in the Dominican Republic. This blue stone ranges in shade from light blue, green-blue to deep blue. The color of this blue gem, the result of Cobalt substitution for Calcium, is photosensitive, and fades in intensity with too much exposure to sunlight.
The name “Larimar” comes from a combination of Larissa and Mar and was given to the stone by a Dominican who named the stone after his daughter Larissa and Mar, the Spanish word for sea. Although Pectolite is found in many locations around the world, none have the unique blue of Larimar mined in the Dominican Republic.
Larimar is rather soft, rating just 4.5 to 5 on the Mohs scale, but its use in jewelry remains quite popular. Larimar is very popular in the Caribbean, but it is extremely hard to find in any other area of the world.
Moonstone and Rainbow Moonstone
Ancient Romans believed that this shimmering rock was formed from frozen moonlight, giving it the name Moonstone. The phenomenon is known as adularescence and is a result of Moonstone’s unique structural pattern. Though most Moonstone exhibits a bluish-white sheen, many other colors can be seen through its adularescence.
Moonstone is the best-known variety of orthoclase potassium feldspar, but Rainbow Moonstone is technically not a true Moonstone at all. Rainbow Moonstone is a trade name for a special variety of Labradorite, which is plagioclase feldspar that exhibits a bluish adularescence similar to the potassium feldspar Moonstone. Found in India and Madagascar, Rainbow Moonstone has a variety of colors, from pink to yellow, to peach, purple, and blue.
Moonstone colors range from colorless to gray, brown, yellow, green, or pink and clarity that goes from transparent to translucent. The best Moonstone has a blue sheen, perfect clarity, and a colorless body color.
The most important moonstone deposits are from Sri Lanka and India. Other notable sources include Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Myanmar, Madagascar, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, Tanzania, and the United States.
This dark background color makes the “fire” of black opal much more obvious. The contrast of iridescent fire on a dark body color is what most people like about Black Opal.
The gem in the photo is a nice solid black opal with a strong blue face-up play-of-color. It was mined near the tiny community of Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia.
The town of Lightning Ridge was founded in 1922 after the first Black Opals were discovered nearby. Even though it has a population of less than 3000 people, it is known as the “Black Opal Capital of the World.” The town is in a very remote area, and almost everyone who lives there earns a living mining black opal or working in closely related businesses.
In ancient times, the Opal was known as the Queen of Gems because it encompassed the colors of all other gems. Each Opal is truly one-of-a-kind; as unique as our fingerprints. Some prefer the calming flashes of blues and greens; others love the bright reds and yellows. With its rainbow of colors, as you turn and move the Opal the color plays and shifts, giving you a gem that can be worn with a plethora of ensembles.
Australia and Ethiopia are large producers of Opal. The ideal Opal is one that displays broad patterns covering the surface, with all the colors of the rainbow, including red. Since Opals are the most individual gemstone with its range of colors be sure to choose one that showcases your color preference and pattern.
Opal is one of the birthstones for October. In astrology, opal is a birthstone for Libra.
Whether white or black, pearl gives off an iridescence that reflects different shades of colors, including blue and green. While blue is a common enough color for a mother-of-pearl — which is the same material that makes up a piece of pearl — Blue Pearls are still very rare that it would take years to collect enough of the blue gem to complete an entire string. The name Blue Pearl in particular refers to pearls obtained from the mollusk abalone exclusively found in New Zealand waters.
Image Source: Worldexplorer82 via Wikimedia Commons
Phosphophyllite is a very rare mineral, a hydrated zinc iron manganese phosphate with a monoclinic crystal system. It appears as long, thick tabular crystals. It is colorless to deep bluish-green. It is highly prized by collectors for its rarity and for its delicate bluish green color. Phosphophyllite is rarely cut because it is fragile and brittle (hardness of 4 on the Mohs scale), and large crystals are too valuable to be broken up.
Quantum Quattro gemstone was discovered in Nambia, Africa in 1996, and is a combination of at least five different minerals. This blue stone is made up of Shattuckite, Chrysocolla, Dioptase, Smoky Quartz and Malachite all combined in one swirling mix of colors, which are responsible for the patches of royal blue, light blue, dark green and light green respectively. The variety of colors and combinations in each slab is unending and every piece is different
Quantum Quattro has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale.
Sapphires are not only blue, they come in almost every color of the rainbow: pink, yellow, green, orange, peach, and violet colors. The most sought-after color fancy Sapphire is the rare and beautiful Padparadscha: a pink-orange corundum with a distinctive salmon color reminiscent of a tropical sunset. These ultra-rare, ultra-expensive stones are among the most coveted gems in the world.
Since Ancient times the Sapphire represented a promise of honesty, loyalty, purity and trust. To keep with this tradition Sapphires are one of the most popular engagement gemstones today. Those who use the Sapphire say it can bring joy, peace, and wisdom to their owners. This gem can also help to resolve obstacles and find answers.
Today, blue Sapphire from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is considered most desirable, but previously, finds from Kashmir and Mogok, Myanmar, were known to be the finest quality. Blue sapphire from Cambodia (Pailin) and Thailand were also known to be of distinctive purity. Many even consider Pailin Sapphire to be close in quality to Kashmir, Myanmar and Sri Lankan (Ceylonese) Sapphire. Sapphires are also mined today in the Missouri River as it passes by Helena, Montana, producing colors of light pinks, purples, oranges, yellows, and greens, to pale blues.
Since sapphire is a gem-quality form of corundum, it is incredibly hard and durable, with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale.
Sapphire is the September’s birthstones. In astrology, the blue gem is traditionally held to be the birthstone for Taurus.
Crystal Image Source: Rob Lavinsky, iRock.com
Serendibite is a very rare glassy gemstone from Sri Lanka. While first discovered in green and is most commonly black, Serendibite also occurs as grayish blue stones. This blue crystal got its name from Serendib, the old Arabic name for Sri Lanka. Owing to its rarity, the blue gem comes at a very expensive price.
Sillimanite is a grayish-blue aluminum silicate with an orthorhombic crystal system. It is significantly similar to Andalusite and Kyanite. Strangely enough, all three have the same chemical compound but their atoms are arranged differently thereby creating three different crystal forms. Sillimanite appears as long, slender crystals without distinct terminations, in off-white, gray, yellow, brown, pale green, slate-blue and blue-green.
Smithsonite is a rare gem-quality zinc carbonate. Smithsonite is sometimes also referred to as ‘Zinc Spar’. Beside white, yellow, green, pink and purple, Smithsonite also occurs as blue stones similar to Hemimorphite. It is a very popular collector’s gem, owing to its extreme rarity.
Smithsonite was named after James Smithson, a highly esteemed chemist and mineralogist. The famous Smithsonian Institute was actually named after Smithson, who funded the building with a donation made through his living will.
Smithsonite appears with curved faces, like a thick creamy aqua-green mixture poured on rock and left to aggregate in clusters shaped like bunches of grapes, rounded, kidney-like, or to form like elegant icicles
Like Hemimorphite, Smithsonite is rarely used in jewelry owing to its rarity, but with care and proper design, Smithsonite can make stunning wear.
Sodalite’s color is typically very deep blue, similar to Lapis Lazuli. It also exhibits interesting white veins or patches that are due to calcite inclusions. Sodalite is sometimes traded as ‘Alomite’ or ‘iditoite’.
Like Corundum, Spinel occurs in a range of colors, such as rose pink to rich red; lavender to deep violet; light to deep blue, orange, yellow, brown and black. Some Spinel colors are considered rarer and more valuable than others. In general, fine red Spinel is considered to be the most valuable, followed by rare blue Spinel. Cobalt-blue is the most desired shade of blue Spinel.
Spinel occurs with Ruby and Sapphire, and significant deposits have been found in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Thailand. Other locations where Spinel deposits have been found are Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania and the USA.
Unlike Sapphire, Spinel is typically never treated in any way. Spinel is just slightly softer than Sapphire. Nonetheless, it has a very high hardness, 7.5 to 8 in the Mohs scale. Therefore, it is perfectly suitable for any type of jewelry application.
Tanzanite, first discovered in the 1960s, is one of today’s most popular gemstones. It is an intense violet-blue gemstone variety of Zoisite found in only one location in the entire world – the Merelani District of Tanzania near Mount Kilimanjaro.
Tanzanite may be colorless, pink, gray, yellow-green, brown, or blue to violet. The vivid and distinct violet-blue color is like no other gemstone available, but like many blue gemstones, Tanzanite obtains its radiant color through routine heat-treatment.
Tanzanite is also pleochroic, meaning it can show different color when viewed from different angles. As a result, careful positioning is required when faceting this gem.
Tanzanite is not as durable as Sapphire. Sapphire has a Mohs hardness of 9, while Tanzanite has a hardness of about 6.5. Tanzanite is best used in earrings, pendants, and pins, where abrasion and impact are unlikely. If it is used in a ring, bracelet, or other impact-likely item of jewelry, a design that guards the stone should be used. Care should be taken to protect Tanzanite from knocks, pressure and extreme temperature changes. Do not use a home ultrasonic to clean jewelry with Tanzanite.
Tanzanite is the newest gemstone to make it on the AGTA’s modern birthstone list as one of December’s birthstones.
According to Colored Stone Magazine, blue Topaz is the second most popular colored gemstone behind Sapphire. Blue Topaz can occur naturally, but it’s a very light shade of blue. Like many gemstones today, the radiant blue shades
of Topaz are obtained through an artificial irradiation and heat enhancement process.
The colors of blue Topaz are generally classed as three different ‘levels’ or shades; London Blue Topaz is a rich deep-blue color and is considered to be the most desirable shade. A medium blue shade is known as Swiss Blue Topaz is the second most popular followed by a lighter Sky Blue Topaz
Topaz is a silicate of aluminum containing fluorine and hydroxyl which occurs in a variety of delicate colors, nicely added by impurities. These impurities produce yellow, green, peach, gold, red, brown and pink Topaz.
Deposits of Topaz are found in the regions of Russia, Siberia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Africa and China, Japan, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Australia, Mexico, Texas and Colorado.
Its hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale makes it very durable and thus suitable for all forms of jewelry, and its combination of beauty and affordability make Topaz a hard gemstone to pass up.
Blue Tourmaline is the general term applied to two rare varieties of Tourmaline: Paraiba Tourmaline and Indicolite Tourmaline. Pure blue Tourmaline is exceptionally rare, since most blue Tourmaline exhibits a noticeable secondary green hue.
Paraiba Tourmaline is considered to be the most valuable variety of Tourmaline and was named after the locality of its original discovery in Brazil. Paraiba Tourmaline obtains its neon green-blue color through traces of copper.
Technically, the term ‘indicolite‘ can be used to describe any other form of blue Tourmaline. Indicolite’s color can range from light to deep-blue. Any blue Tourmaline is considered to be very rare and anything over 1 carat is especially rare. Tourmaline is both hard (7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale) and durable.
Tourmaline is October’s birthstone. In astrology, Tourmaline is a birthstone for Leo.
Turquoise is one of the best-known gemstones. It has existed for ages and has been worn by people of various cultures across the globe. Its name actually means “Turkey” (like the country). That’s because it was originally discovered and brought out of Iran and Turkey to Europe.
Pure blue Turquoise is quite rare. Like many blue gemstones, Turquoise will typically have a noticeable touch of green. Many Turquoise gemstones are greener than they are blue. A sky-blue turquoise with minimal veining is typically considered to be the most valuable, though in some countries, blue Turquoise with black veins or complex matrix patterns are more desirable.
The blue in Turquoise comes from traces of copper, and green comes from traces of iron. Although Turquoise is rather soft compared to many other jewelry gemstones (5 to 6 on the Mohs scale), it is very often used in jewelry.
The southwestern states of Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico produce enough turquoise to make the United States a world leader in Turquoise production. Turquoise was first produced here thousands of years ago by Native Americans, and the gem is still associated with their work.
Untreated Turquoise is becoming increasingly rare. Most Turquoise today has been enhanced through dying, waxing, impregnation or stabilization.
Turquoise is one of December’s birthstones. In astrology, Turquoise is birthstone for Sagittarius.
Most people think of a bright sky blue when they hear Zircon, but it is also available in beautiful earth tones of green, dark red, yellow, brown, and orange. Today, the most popular colors of Zircon are the vivid blue and bright Caribbean Sea colors.
It has a higher refractive index than Sapphire, Tanzanite and Spinel. Blue Zircon also possesses a very high level of dispersion; the splitting of white light into the spectral colors.
Zircon is considered to be reasonably hard (7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale) though it can be brittle, resulting in facet edges wearing down over time. As a result of pleochroism, blue Zircon can often exhibit a slight greenish hue when seen at different angles.
Although Zircon is a natural mineral, blue Zircon is produced by the heating of brownish Zircon from Cambodia and Myanmar.
Zircon is a traditional birthstone for December in the Western calendar, while the Hindu calendar assigns the blue stone to the month of September.
The spectrum of beautiful colors, its rarity and affordability are why it is becoming more popular today. Some gem collectors seek out Zircon from different locations capturing gems in every color of the rainbow – colorless, green, blue, yellow, brown, orange, dark red, and all the colors in between.