Nature has the capability of offering an exuberant number of precious stones, which differ in size, shine, and colour, capturing our attention.
The colour and shine are some of the most valued physical characteristics to choose, work and wear with any gemstone. Color is most relevant for the consumer than even the stone classification (precious or semiprecious).
Blue precious gemstones are one of the most attractive for the jewel market. This color represents everyday nature and gives us a sense of calm and harmony.
Let’s discover together the base of this color and the different gems wearing it.
Blue Colour Meaning
The blue color stimulates in us different emotions and feelings, giving us a sense of tranquility, calm and remembering us about the elements of nature such as the water and sky.
A light blue tone evocates serenity, peace and invites us to reflect.
A dark blue tone relates to moments of strength, like the sky color in the middle of the storm.
Classified as precious gemstone among others as the diamond, emerald, and ruby. Sapphire exists in various tones, however, is the deep dark blue the one most valued (even with little violet marks).
Sapphire value depends on its color purity as well as its size and dimensions.
The sapphire is a blue variation of corundum. The Corundum is a mineral found in igneous and metamorphic rocks and alluvial deposits. It is one of the most exceptional gemstone families; Ruby also comes from it.
Aluminum oxide, lead, iron, and titanium
Occasionally all the gems from this same group are called Sapphire, except for the ruby which is red coloured. However, only the deep blue gemstones fit as sapphire. Other tones like pink, yellow, lilac, violet and green are least valued.
Myanmar (Former Burma) is the source of the best Sapphires due to their color intensity. Other sources regions are Africa, Australia, Brazil, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the US.
This gemstone contains different tones of blue, including some greenish-blue tones, just like the color of the ocean.
This light tone gemstones experience dichroic effects; depending on the point of view its color intensity is perceived differently.
The Aquamarine originates from the beryl family, along with the Emerald. The beryl is a mineral that comes from alluvial deposits and the igneous rocks exposed to high temperatures; specifically rocks like granite (composed of quartz), and pegmatite (rocks with thicker fragments).
Stone derived from the group of Beryls
Its characteristic blue tone is a consequence of the remainders of iron on its composition. This fragment modifies the gemstone’s color ranging between lighter and darker greenish blue tones.
The sources of Sky blue tones of Aquamarine are Brazil, Mozambique, and Afganistan and the darker blue tones come from Nigeria and Madagascar.
This blue gemstone is very popular on the market. Ancient civilizations like the Egyptians used this gemstone to manufacture their ornaments and decorations.
Lapis Lazuli is a gemstone very sensitive to high temperatures and pressure. Its natural state exhibits it in a matte tone.
Lapis Lazuli originates from metamorphic rocks with crystalline isometric shapes. It is translucent and not shiny.
This gemstone presents a mix of different materials on its composition. The characteristic blue color comes from minerals like Lazurite. It also contains inclusions of pyrite and calcite (white and gold respectively) in the form of sparkles accompanying the gem.
Other commons minerals besides Lazurite are Hauyne and Sodalite.
Dark blue, with little sparkles of white and gold.
The best quality gemstone of this kind from Afghans origins. Afghanistan is the principal source of these gems. Other countries like Argentina, Canada, Chile, Myanmar, Russia, and the US are also providers.
This gem is in high demand due to its characteristic blueish-green color. Currently, a clean, intense blue color is the most abundant.
Nowadays, most turquoises have been treated or improved in some way to dye it and improve its color, stabilize it or coat it to make the material much more resistant.
This stone is highly valued and recognized by different cultures worldwide, which has increased its demand by developing a large industry around this gem. It has a triclinic crystalline system and is compact as inlays or veins. It is usually opaque or semi-translucent and has waxy shine (shine that resembles wax) or matte.
Turquoise is a mineral of the class of aluminium and copper phosphates.
The recognized color is this gem is sky-blue or clear, however, it is currently more frequently found, a darker blue color, greenish blue, or even a more yellowish or grey tone.
Previously the region with the biggest and best turquoise production was Persia, but now, it is the United States that carries the flag in the “Sleeping Beauty” mines in Arizona. We also find this gem in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Chile, among others.
This precious blue gem is a powerful and deep color with some veins or white spots due to calcite. It is very common to find unevenly and big, and its name means sodium stone. Sometimes it can be confused with lapis lazuli, in any case, the sodalite is a more opaque color and does not have the particular golden pints, which does contain lapis lazuli.
This stone belongs to the group of Feldspathoids (minerals with less silica content), this mineral comes in lesser amounts in igneous rocks. This gem presents a cubic crystalline system, has a semi-translucent to opaque appearance and a vitreous or waxy luster.
It is a mineral of the group of silicates with a high percentage of sodium.
blue, sky blue, grey, greenish blue, white
Brazil, Russia, South Africa, United States, China.
Diamond is the leading gemstone in the jewelry market. The most common colours are white or even colourless; however, blue tones are also possible to find.
Blue diamond is the most expensive among other tones.
This gem is formed in igneous rocks and belongs to the cubic crystalline system. Regularly, the colourless diamonds are transparent to translucent in appearance and have an adamantine shine, while blue Diamonds rarely have a crystalline and shiny appearance.
Carbon is the only element of the diamond, hence having a compact and stable structure.
The best known is white or colourless; however, we also find blue, brown, yellow, black and red diamonds.
The blue diamond has traces of grey colour due to the presence of boron. When we see treated diamonds, it is also possible to see green tones with inclusions.
Angola, Australia, Russia, South Africa, Zaire.
The topaz is a bright gem, which usually contains inclusions and is quite hard.
Most topaz has been treated to improve the intensity of the color and leave them free of some inclusions. It is also possible to find irradiated blue topazes to obtain a beautiful blue sky tone, which in many occasions is often confused with aquamarine.
Topaz is a mineral that is composed of igneous rocks, volcanic lava or alluvial deposits. It belongs to the orthorhombic crystal system and is transparent or translucent in appearance and vitreous luster.
It is silicate of aluminium, with the presence of elements such as iron and chromium.
blue, yellow, brown, colorless, red, green
United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar
The Labradorite is a gem that is commonly found on the surface of the earth and is visually attractive, which has caused it to be a gem much appreciated by designers and buyers of jewelry.
This gem presents a base of greyish color that reflects shades of blue in an optical effect called iridescence that refers to the penetration of light in internal structures produces flashes and blue colors and also a rainbow effect.
Labradorite is a mineral belonging to the feldspar group, which provides a variety of gems with different optical effects. It comes from igneous rocks and deposits that have been eroded by water.
Its crystalline form is triclinic and monoclinic. It is a precious stone with a translucent effect and vitreous shine.
Labradorite belongs to the feldspar group that is composed of albite and anorthite called plagioclase.
blue, pale green, grayish white
Canada, Madagascar, Mexico, Norway, Russia.
This blue gemstone also has optical effects on it. In this case, the light appears to hide inside the gem and then seems to move according to the shift of the lightness and the stone.
This effect is called the schiller effect.
There are different tonalities in the moonstone and also the flash of light that characterizes it.
This gemstone is translucent with a blue line, which makes it a unique stone for the jewel market.
The moonstone can be translucent or even have a milky color it is usually transparent and crystalline.
This stone belongs to the group of potassium or alkaline feldspars; this group contains elements as orthoclase and albite.
The transparent-based color gem has a blue schiller effect, and the milky-based tone stone has a rainbow effect.
Madagascar, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
Chalcedony receives its name due to the microcrystalline quartz set perceived as a united solid mass, so is its color.
This gem has a very uniform matte color with an opaque effect.
Chalcedony quartz has a fibrous variety and has a solid color with no bands. Its crystalline system is trigonal and is a gem that looks translucent to opaque or milky and has a waxy luster.
It is a silicon dioxide, composed of microcrystalline quartz and morganite (a gem belonging to the group of beryls)
Soft blue, blue with lilac tint, cloudy lavender
The best specimens appear in Brazil and Uruguay. There are also reservoirs in South Africa, Indonesia, and Turkey.
The agate is a group of microcrystalline quartz that has different inclusions, which form different drawings, patterns, and textures, which makes it very attractive to the public.
This gem presents a variety of colors and models. The most common type of agate is the one with stripes; The different colors will depend on the inclusions that it has. Also, it is common to find this gem in the form of druse.
Agate is not a specific mineral. It is composed of small crystals and dendritic inclusions or bands.
It is in the form of volcanic rocks crystalline, its system is trigonal and has waxy to matt shine.
It has a wide range of tones. Regarding blue color, there are tones ranges from light blue to dark blue.
The best specimens are in Brazil and Uruguay. We also find agates in the territories of Egypt, Italy, and Madagascar.
A gem with the ability to change color depending on exposure to light. Its cost can be quite high, so it is necessary to be very alert with possible imitations.
The alexandrite belongs to the group of the Chrysoberyl. The family of the Chrysoberyl provides two other varieties of stone, being the alexandrite the most estimated of the three. Its form is crystalline orthorhombic, Its aspect is translucent, and its brightness is vitreous.
Chrysoberyl variety, belonging to the oxide or hydroxide mineral class.
Under the sunlight, it looks greenish-blue, and under intense artificial light, it seems red-brown.
This effect depends on the different shades of light exposition to the gemstone, as well as how the gem absorbs and reflects the light.
Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka, South of Tanzania.
Tanzanite is a rare gem. The most valuable color is the strong blue, it is very similar to the tone of the sapphire with variations towards the violet.
Different tones can be perceived depending on the angle from which you look. It is very common that the color of tanzanite is treated by heat, to produce a more intense and uniform tone. This gem contains inclusions of very tiny crystals of different shades
Its name was given by the New York jewelry company Tiffany & Co in honour of the source place of the gem, Tanzania. Its crystalline form is orthorhombic, and it has a transparent appearance and vitreous luster.
A mineral of the zoisite group, belonging to the silicates.
Intense blue, bluish violet, or lilac.
This gem comes from only one place in the world, Tanzania.
This gem is fascinating due to its brightness, rareness, and hardness. It is not very common by consumers; however, it is of highly valued by jewelers, since this type of gem has different shades among its alternatives and although red is the most popular, among its diversity of tones, there is blue.
The spinel comes from the same ruby and sapphire deposits. The various inclusions cause diversity in its colors.
Spinel is a mineral that forms in metamorphic and igneous rocks. Its crystalline form is cubic, its appearance is transparent to translucent and has a vitreous shine.
Mineral belonging to the group of oxides and contains traces of chromium, iron or vanadium.
Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Tanzania, among others
Tourmaline is a well-known and unpredictable gem because it has practically all the range of colors, and can even contain two or more colours mixed in the same stone.
There is another variety that is the tourmaline bi or tricolour which are the type of gems that have several colors within the same stone. The combinations can mix many colours and those that have a blue tone next to another color, are usually scarce and expensive.
Its previous name was “turamali” or “touramali” which means: mixed colors. It has a trigonal system, its appearance is generally translucent, and has a vitreous luster.
It is a mineral belonging to silicates. The elbaite mineral is the main component of this gem, which is the origin of all types of tourmalines.
Tourmaline has a wide range of colors. To find it in blue tone is truly rare; however, there are two types of blue tourmaline: one is known as indigolita and contains different shades of blue between light and dark, the darkest tone being the most found. The other type of blue tourmaline is called Paraiba, from a state of Brazil with the same name, its color is a very intense turquoise-blue, this makes it more rare for the market and expensive than the rest of the tourmalines.
Africa, Brazil, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States.
Iolite also is known as cordierite or dichroite. This gem competes for quality and color with many others as the tanzanite or sapphire, however, is not as popular in the jewel markets as the formers
Its name comes from the word violet. Its price is very affordable because there are numerous deposits.
It is a gem not very bright and quite durable. It comes from metamorphic rocks or alluvial deposits. It has an otorhromic crystalline system; its appearance is transparent to translucent and has a vitreous luster.
Mineral belonging to the group of cyclocilicatos of iron, and aluminum.
Very dark violet-blue, light grey, grey with a yellow, green tint.
India, Madagascar, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and the United States.
The zircon is a gem of exceptional luster and commercial value, it has a great variety of colors, among which we highlight the blue zircon.
Some shades of this gem are often confused with diamonds due to their brightness, although it differs because the circuit is a much brittle and brittle gem.
It is one of the minerals found most easily in the earth’s crust; It also comes from alluvial deposits. It presents a tetragonal crystalline form, is a transparent stone and has an adamantine or resinous luster.
It is a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates,
Yellow, orange, violet, blue, dull red, gold.
Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Australia, Brazil.
Amber is a gem of organic origin and is one of the stones that has been used the most since antiquity. Amber is actually a fossilized resin from trees over fifty million years old and can be presented in several colors, yellow amber being the best known and commercialized.
Blue amber is a rare and scarce tone of amber, made famous during the discovery of amber in the Dominican Republic. Its crystalline form is amorphous, and its appearance is commonly transparent and has a resinous shine.
Amber is a substance of organic origin; consequently, its chemical composition includes hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and succinic acid, and this origin makes the amber unique compared to other resins.
The blue color in amber is not a solid tone. Under the sunlight and not against it, a fluorescent blue tone appears, and under ultraviolet light, it looks more opaque.
It is common to find in Santiago in the Dominican Republic. It also comes from Indonesia.
The stones delight us with their never-ending tonalities and particularities. Their brightness, effects, and inclusions make them powerful pieces of art. The blue color, for example, is one of those nuances that fills, captures and captivates, this color comforts us and continually extends an invitation to reflection and introspection.
By Diana Marcela Yepes
The Jeweler´s Directory of Gemstones by Judith Crowe.
Gemstones: Understanding, Identifying, Buying by Keith Wallis.
Gemstones: The clearest Recognition Guide by Cally Hall.