There are many different types of blue gemstones, each with its own unique properties. Some of the most popular blue gemstones include:
Sapphire: Sapphires are the most popular blue gemstone, and they come in a wide range of shades, from light blue to deep blue. Sapphires are known for their durability and hardness, and they are often used in engagement rings and other jewellery. Understanding why sapphires are so popular isn’t hard. It’s their hardness that makes Sapphire such a good choice for rings worn every day. Resistant to scratches, a sapphire ring will not lose its dazzling good looks, like a softer stone.
Turquoise: is a blue-green gemstone that is often used in jewellery and carvings. Turquoise is a relatively soft gemstone, so it is important to handle it with care. Did you know that Navajo babies receive a string of turquoise beads at birth and the stone is used at other significant life milestones, such as puberty, marriage and death, since turquoise is associated with healing and protection? It is said of cracked turquoise that ‘the stone took it’, meaning that the turquoise fielded a blow that would otherwise have harmed its wearer.
Lapis lazuli: is a blue gemstone with flecks of gold or pyrite. Did you know that lapis lazuli is not a mineral like the majority of other gems, but rather a metamorphic rock composed of several minerals? The main component of the opaque, deep blue main body of lapis is a silicate material called lazulite. Among others are calcite, which gives some lapis lazuli its white streaks, sodalite, which is responsible for the darker blue patches, and pyrite, which provides the gold-coloured specks. Because it measures only 5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, lapis is best used in earrings and necklaces, where it is less likely to be damaged by knocks and scratches.
Kyanite: is a blue gemstone that is often found in shades of blue, blue-green, and violet. Kyanite is a relatively rare gemstone, but it is prized for its beauty and durability. Increasingly seen in jewellery since reserves of excellent quality were found in Nepal, kyanite is used as a less costly alternative to sapphire. Kyanite is an interesting gem because it’s the most anisotropic of all gemstones.
Anisotropic gems are gems whose hardness differs depending on how they are cut. This phenomenon is called hardness anisotropy. All gemstones are anisotropic to at least some extent, but kyanite measures only 4.5 to 5.5 on the Mohs scale when cut parallel to the longer side of the crystal. When cut on the shorter side of the crystal, however, the hardness is 6 to 7, making it much more suitable for jewellery.
British jewellery designer Monica Vinader currently has some gorgeous and affordable jewellery featuring kyanite
Aquamarine: The name of it comes from the Latin phrase meaning "water from the sea," and it is typically a light blue or blue-green. Aquamarine is a relatively soft gemstone, but it is prized for its beauty and affordability. Aquamarine is a type of beryl mineral that comes in a variety of attractive colours. This gemstone was especially popular among people who worked at sea, such as sailors, fishermen, and members of the Navy. Aquamarine was found in Siberia, Russia, in 1723. It has been associated with a variety of powers and beliefs throughout history. Moreover, it is believed to be able to calm the sea, alleviate toothaches, and bring happiness to marriages.
Blue topaz: is a blue gemstone that is often found in shades of blue, green, and yellow. Blue topaz is a relatively soft gemstone, but it is prized for its beauty and affordability.
Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine that occurs as a colourless stone as well as in shades of yellow, orange, golden-brown, brown, pink and, rarely, red. Though you’ll find a huge amount of blue topaz on offer in jewellers’ shops, this colour is almost always caused by heat treatment of colourless or very pale blue topaz. Natural blue topaz is vanishingly rare.
With a measurement of 8 on the Mohs scale, topaz is a tough stone that will cope well in jewellery worn every day. Remember, however, that you should not wear gemstone jewellery for activities that are likely to involve knocks and scratches.
Smithsonite: is a beautiful and interesting mineral, but it can get confusing because it has a few different names and can look like other rocks. It's a mineral, similar to quartz or calcite, but it's special because it's one of the main sources of zinc that humans use for things like batteries, paint, and even medicine.
The mineral smithsonite was named in 1832 by François Sulpice Beudant in honour of English chemist and mineralogist James Smithson (c.1765–1829), who first discovered and identified the mineral in 1802. And guess what? He's also the guy who founded the Smithsonian Institution, that wonderful museum in Washington D.C.!
Tanzanite: It's a dazzling blue stone with hints of purple, kind of like a blueberry under a blacklight. But unlike most gemstones you find all over the world, Tanzanite is super rare, hiding out in just one tiny spot in Tanzania, Africa.
Tanzanite wasn't discovered until the 1960s, making it a young gem in the world of precious stones. Tiffany & Co even named it after Tanzania, the country where it was founded! A gem that changes colour depending on how you look at it. One moment it's a deep, velvety blue, the next it winks with flashes of violet and even hints of purple. The gemmological term for that is "trichroism." That means it shows three different colours depending on how the light hits it.
Kim Rix GG GIA
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