Being fashionable need not burn a hole in anyone’s pocket (or purse for that matter), though that option is always available. It is possible to be chic, gracefully beautiful and singular with certain adjustment in choices. Any one among the following list of blue coloured precious and semi-precious stones are sure to evoke very passionate responses and some envious glances if worn as a statement piece around the neck or in a ring. It would equally be elegant to wear jewelleries encrusted with any one of these gems as a bracelet, in earrings or necklaces.
If Lord Byron was smitten with, “Oh! ‘darkly, deeply, beautifully blue,” others are sure to follow this perpetual source of delight. Additionally, all of these precious produces of earth are supposed to provide one with metaphysical and health benefits.
Sapphire – A precious variation of Corundum Sapphire derived its name from Greek word ‘sappheiros’. With trace amounts of iron in mineral aluminium oxide resulting in such vivid cerulean colour, sapphire is always thought to be quintessentially ‘blue’ despite having been produced in colours such as pink, green, yellow by mother nature. Sapphire deposits are found in Eastern Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Madagascar, East Africa, and at certain sites in North America in significant amount.
Rutile inclusion of titanium oxide in sapphire sometimes results in asterism. The stones when cut in cabochon with a star near the dome are popularly called star sapphires.
Priceless as it is blue sapphire has always been a gemstone of royalty. It is a stone of wisdom, learning, self-discipline, devotion and enlightenment. A gem often associated with planet Saturn in ancient texts (in Sanskrit it was called Shanipriya and its old-Iranian name was sani-prijam, meaning ‘dear to Saturn’) blue sapphire is believed to repel negative thoughts of the bearer and calm the nervous energies.
Lapis Lazuli – Ironically, it is Lapis Lazuli that Greek believed to be sappheiros or sapphire. During medieval time European lapidaries started referring the blue crystal corundum ‘sapphire’ and thus sapphire gained its own identity.
Lapis Lazuli or lapis as it is sometimes called owes its name to Persian lāžaward, a place where it was mined in ancient time. Lapis or the ‘stone’ is largely formed from mineral lazurite and could be found in marble in Afghanistan, Argentina, Chile, Russia, India, Burma among other places. Afghanistan was the chief source of lapis even during ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations.
The gold flecks coupled with its intense azurite hue make Lapis an adorable stone for jewellery, carving, vases, mosaic, and boxes. Ground Lapis was extensively used in creating pigment ultramarine for tempera or sometimes even for oil paintings. Its relative scarcity in Europe till a synthetic variety was created at the turn of 19th century made it even costlier and an object of desire. No doubt then that the likes of Giotto and Titian adored the depth of blue in Lapis and sought it for their treasured creations.
Lapis is believed to enhance memory of the wearer, diminish repressed anger and promote harmony in relationships. It attracts prosperity and spiritual growth for creative minded individuals.
Larimar – A type of pectolite, this volcanic rock formation can be called a native of Dominican Republic and the Caribbean islands. In 1974, Norman Rilling, a member of the US Peace Corps, and Miguel Méndez, a localite rediscovered this rare pectolite variety near sea shore at the foot of Bahoruco Range. The word Larimar was created by Mendez, who combined his daughter’s name Larissa with ‘mar’ the Spanish world for sea, Mar. The icy blue tinge of Larimar that owes a part of its name to sea is produced through copper substitution for calcium in pectolites.
A healing stone, Larimar aids in the speech and communication skills for anyone who happens to carry the stone with oneself over a period of time.
Blue Zircon – Zircon or zirconium silicate is present in nature in an array of dazzling colours one of which is blue. However, natural deposits of blue zircon are extremely rare. Most of the blue zircons available in market today are in actuality, brown zircons, heat treated to produce the blue colour similar to the brightness of blue firmament. Ubiquitous to earth’s crust, not only zircon has an outstanding brilliance but also a very strong dispersion that endears it quickly to the buyer.
In its powdered form zircon is used in ceramics, glass and metal structure. It also helps in producing the fire resistant clothing used by fire fighters.
Mined in Australia, South America, US, India, China and Ukraine this semi-precious stone helps in eradicating the bodily fatigue when worn on a regular basis.
Blue Diamond – One of the rarer types of fancy diamond is coloured ‘blue’, courtesy its boron impurity. Precious as it is the rare blue variety is connected with royalty and power and even half a carat of such a diamond in good clarity (VS1) may cost around $80,000.00. Its colour ranging from light to more greyish tints it is perhaps worth remembering the story of most famous example of such a diamond, Le bleu de France or Hope Diamond. Now resting peacefully in Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Washington, DC, Hope Diamond has taken a lengthy and circuitous route since its discovery in Golconda, India in 17th century. In the process it also gained the dishonour of being considered a ‘curse’; changed hands from Louis XIV to XVI and then Louis XVI; was acquired by King George IV; and came into the possession of Thomas Hope, a London Banker. No matter how real or perceived the magnanimity of the misfortune was on its owner, Hope Diamond’s value only increased with time.
Paraiba Apatite – Gemstone quality of Apatite is rare and the Paraiba colour among it is even rarer. Often confused with Paraiba Tourmaline this phosphate group of minerals are mined in Burma, Sri Lanks, India, Brazil, Madagascar, Mexico, Canada, US, Norway, Czech Republic and Germany among many other places. In its blue transparency or unique chatoyancy it remains equally alluring.
Blue Topaz – Natural occurrences of blue topaz is difficult to find for which colourless, grey or pale yellow topaz are treated to produce the splendid blue colour. The state gemstone of Texas, US, blue topaz traces the origin of its name from Sanskrit ‘tapas’ meaning heat or fire.
Blue Topaz is every writer’s friend as it is believed to help in creative expression and assist in overcoming writer’s block.
Labradorite – The uncommon play of colour or Labradorescence makes this feldspar so charming. It received its name from Labrador, Canada where it was first found in 1770. The blue semi-transparent variety of labradorite is named spectrolite.
The shimmer of Labradorite shines and penetrates through the darkness and confusion. Metaphysically it also assists in strengthening intuition and stimulating imagination.
Turquoise – Brought from Turkey to Europe turquoise’s resplendent blue-green colour has enamoured everyone since ages. Iran, Egypt, China and US remain important sources of this hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium. Believed to be a harbinger of good fortune turquoise was worn as talisman in ancient times. This opaque gemstone was also used in inlaying ceremonial objects, jewellery boxes and sculptures.
Aquamarine – A greenish blue variety of beryl Aquamarine can be obtained from the mines of Sri Lanka, Brazil, US and Columbia. Literally meaning the water of the sea, aquamarine was used by mariners for protection centuries ago.
Tanzanite – This blue mineral zoisite was discovered in Meserani Hills of northern Tanzania, 1967. Tiffany & Co named this gemstone Tanzanite that was only found near the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro at that time. Naturally found in reddish brown colour this semi-precious stone is universally heat treated to express its dichroism in blue and purple. The captivating blue aura even tempted Michael Scott, erstwhile CEO of Apple Computers, to own the largest faceted tanzanite (737.81 carats) decked up with garnets and diamonds in a tiara for his private collection.
Kyanite – Originating from Greek word Kuanos or Kyanos, the very name of Kyanite sparkles of deep blue. This silicate mineral substance brings forth the soothing aspects of colour blue. Its use is widespread in ornaments as well as in Feng Shui practices due to its tranquil vibration.
Iolite – Iolite resonates in softer note of sapphire blue. For its capability of polarisation it is also called Viking’s Compass as Vikings extensively used it for locating sun in the sky under overcast condition. Abundantly found in Australia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and US, Iolite helps in eradicating sleep-imbalances. It is a stone that also unlocks the hidden creative talents.
Azurite – A soft copper mineral Azurite’s profound blue colour makes it delightful choice for bead jewelleries. The softness of the stone makes it difficult for maintaining over a period of time Azurite is also prone to react negatively in harsh weather conditions. Despite these faults Azurite remains a popular choice not only for jewellers but also for collectors worldwide.
Healing properties of Azurite include detoxification of body and positive effects on liver and thyroid gland.
Blue Coral – Blue coral or Heliopora coerulea is no mineral but skeletal masses of coral polyp. Largest colonies of blue coral are found in Japan. Coral reefs, now bearing the grunts of pollution and overfishing, are considered a protected zone in most parts of the world to ensure no further damage to the ecosystem is being made.
Coral brings happiness in life, helps in soothing skin inflammations, burns and bone related issues.
Cavansite – This distinct blue mineral is found in Deccan traps and in Pune, India. For its pure blue colour and scarcity it is a sought after possession for collectors and jewellers alike. Metaphysically, cavansite is believed to promote the communication between conscious and subconscious minds.
Sodalite – Sodalite was first found in Greenland, 1811. But after its discovery in Ontario, Canada, 1891 in vast amount its status was elevated to that of an ornamental gemstone. This royal blue gemstone enhances endurance and is considered to be an excellent ally for athletes.