There’s an extensive range of blue gemstones of almost every shade of blue you can imagine that is used in jewellery. From blue topaz, in its various shades of blue, to the deep rich blues of sapphires and opaque blue gemstones such as lapis lazuli.
This article looks at some of the more popular and coveted blue gemstones that are regularly used in jewellery today.
The Metaphysical Meaning of Blue Gemstones
According to those who believe in the metaphysical aspects of gemstones, the colour blue represents the throat chakra and promotes clear expression, free speech and truthful communication.
It is said that blue gemstones can help creativity, writing and putting on paper with clarity what you are gaining insight about. It can help focus and direction.
The colour blue is known to soothe and calm and all the blue gemstones are thought to help with this. It helps to bring serenity and tranquillity. Just as people are calmed and gain clarity and vision from being around water, many believe that blue gemstones, whether keeping them near us or carrying or wearing them, may also assist with this. Blue gemstones are used often as the main focal point in jewellery or to accentuate something, as in evil eye jewellery.
Topaz is found throughout the world and appears in a variety of colours – from Sky Blue Topaz, a light, clear blue to Swiss Blue Topaz which is much deeper in colour.
All topazes are heat-treated to achieve the desired colour.
Probably the most popular blue gemstone, sapphire, is a rich, deep blue colour and is the birthstone for September.
Sapphire looks particularly good against gold and, more rarely, silver and is striking when set alongside brighter, whiter gemstones such as diamond.
Sapphires do come in a variety of colours but blue sapphires are the most well-known.
Lapis Lazuli is a denim-blue colour and is an opaque gemstone.
Lapis Lazuli, also known as just Lapis, is actually a metamorphic rock with some degree of veining. Its popularity is growing.
Lapis is one of the birthstones for December.
Lapis can be polished well and therefore is often used as cabochons in jewellery.
Turquoise is the birthstone for December and is a very distinctive gemstone.
It is an opaque gemstone and has a range of colours from bright, turquoise blue colour to blue-green, depending on where in the world from which it was mined. It is often veined.
Turquoise is often set in silver but, in our view, looks particularly fabulous set into gold metals.
In a lovely delicate blue colour, this is a classy and elegant gemstone. It has a softer colour than blue topaz and has overtones of green.
It is a transparent blue gemstone and can be faceted well, therefore can sparkle wonderfully.
Its name, derived from the Latin for seawater, was used by sailors in times past as it was believed to calm sea waters.
Aquamarine was said to enhance marriage and make it happy.
Aqua, as it is sometimes called, is the birthstone for March.
The most intriguing of semi-precious gemstones, labradorite, gives a stunning play of colours called labradorescence. This occurs as the gemstone chemical composition is laid out on a number of planes, throwing out colour at different angles.
A grey-green blue colour, this stone is quite mysterious and every one is unique.
A pair of labradorite drop earrings look absolutely fabulous on, as the play of colour and sheen as the earings move as you move, or in a ring like this one, can be quite mesmerising.
A most intriguing and beautiful stone, in a lovely bright blue colour which is very distinctive with a white mottled appearance.
Larimar comes only from one place in the world, the Dominican Republic and reminds us of those beautiful blue shallow waters around tropical islands.
Tourmaline has a range of colours from light to dark blue. Whilst tourmaline does occur in different colours all tourmaline is pleochroic, which means it seems to show different colours at certain angles.
Some blue tourmalines can appear quite green. The cutting of tourmaline is a very skilled job and, if cut incorrectly, much of the beautiful colour may be lost.
The Paraiba Tourmaline was only discovered in Brazil in 1989 and has gained a lot of attention since it was discovered.
Containing a degree of copper, which gives the tourmaline a neon-like colour, they are very rare and much-loved by collectors and the public alike.
Flourite has been called the “most colourful mineral in the world” as it can take on many colours depending on the chemical impurities within it. The most common are purple and blue.
It is a relatively soft mineral and so is used more in carvings, polished cabochons and beads.
Derbyshire Blue John
As we have discussed in our blog on Purple Gemstones, Blue John is a type of Flourite that is found only in Castleton in Derbyshire, England.
The mineral can be veined and can be purple or blue like the pendant shown here.
Zircon s a natural gemstone with a high degree of brilliance and lustre, hence it it is known to rival diamond in its sparkle.
Zircon occurs in many different colours but blue is the most popular. It was once called “Starlite” by the Tiffany gemologist, George Kunst, but it is more commonly called simply Blue Zircon.
Zircon is one of the December birthstones, along with two other blue gemstones, Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli.
Blue Rainbow Moonstone
A milky blue gemstone, which enjoys a beautiful play of colours, similar to labradorite, is called the “Schiller” effect. This is where the layers inside the gemstone lay at different angles and appear to reflect the light out at different unevenly.
Blue rainbow moonstone is the same semi-precious gemstone as rainbow moonstone but has a covered back and, therefore, reflects most of the blue light and so appears as a blue gemstone.
Spinel, a translucent gemstone, appears in many different colours, but blue is the rarest of them all and is, therefore, highly sought after by collectors.
Spinel offers a good hardness and so is ideal for everyday jewellery, and can be cut and polished well.
With a similar depth of colour to sapphire, it is a rich, striking gemstone, although they can occur as more violet-blue to blue-grey.
We have listed Tanzanite under blue, as well as purple gemstones, as its colour lays between the two.
The conditions under which tanzanite is formed in the earth is so rare that it only occurs in one place on Earth, Tanzania – hence its name.
A beautiful, delicate purple-blue colour, tanzanite is a very feminine and pretty gemstone.
Perhaps one of the rarest colours of all pearls.
Natural blue pearls only occur in Akoya blue pearls, silver-blue South Sea, Sea of Cortez or Tahitian pearls.
The colour can range from grey-blue, with black overtones or a silver-blue colour.
Formed from small silica spheres from rainwater which seeps into cracks and crevices in rocks in any silica rich land in the world.
Every precious opal is unique and contains a rainbow of colours, called a ‘play of colour’.
Despite the (incorrect) old wives tales of opals bringing bad luck, throughout history opals were actually believed to bring good fortune to we wearer.
Such a unique, opaque gemstone, the opal is gaining in popularity again and very popular among the younger generation.
Formed under high pressure in metamorphic rocks, but was tricky to work with in jewellery as its hardness varied so much and it’s cleavage meant it was difficult to facet. Having said that, it is a stunningly beautiful stone and quite rare in jewellery so a great find.
To sum up …
As you can see, there are umpteen blue precious and semiprecious gemstones available as well as the much-loved and recognised blue sapphire. There are blue stones in every shade and depth imaginable. A blue gemstone looks equally good on white metals, yellow or even copper.
We hope this round-up has given you plenty of ideas for your next purchase in your jewellery collection – in writing this article there are plenty that have been added to my list! If we have missed any, please let us know – you can leave a comment below.