List of Blue Gemstones – Names, Meanings, & Interesting Facts
In the world of gemstones, blue is the most popular color. While many highly popular and incredibly well-known blue gemstones exist, some breathtaking blue gems aren't as widely known. As a result, there's plenty to explore if you're a jewelry fan or collector looking for unique stones to add to your collection.
Blue gems are also incredibly intriguing and often associated with unique meanings and benefits. Here's a closer look at blue stones, including a list of blue gemstones you may want to add to your jewelry collection.
Blue Stones Meaning
First, it's critical to understand that each blue gemstone is typically associated with a unique meaning—however, many share specific commonalities due to their similar colorings. Many see blue stones are viewed as a source of harmony. Due to the color being close to ocean waters and summer skies, some also think blue gemstones are refreshing stones.
Blue gems are also commonly connected to tranquility and peace. Some also feel that the blue color represents purity and modesty. Hope, trust, and intuition are also frequently associated with blue gemstones, while some think the stone's meaning focuses on abundance.
Blue Gemstone Benefits
Generally speaking, most people believe that blue gemstones promote a sense of calm and serenity, essentially connecting them to a soothing energy. As a result, some think they can temper anxiety or make navigating conflict easier.
Many people also think that blue gems promote mental clarity. In this case, they're believed to make it easier to achieve mental focus, including during times of stress.
Depending on their exact hue, blue gemstones are also associated with the throat and third eye chakras. Lighter blue stones are more commonly associated with the throat chakra, while deeper blue gems often connect more closely to the third eye chakra. As a result, they're often said to promote balance and enhance insight, wisdom, and communication.
Frequently Asked Questions About Blue Gemstones
What Is the Most Expensive Blue Stone?
Many rarer blue gemstones can command incredibly high prices. However, when it comes to the most expensive blue gem, most believe that honor goes to the Paraiba tourmaline. While the price varies depending on the individual stones' quality, Paraiba tourmaline can cost $50,000 per carat or more.
What Are the Different Blue Birthstones?
Many birthstones come in shades of blue, particularly if you include a mix of modern and traditional birthstones. Aquamarine is a birthstone for March, a light blue stone. Sapphire is the September birthstone, and it's classically a vibrant, deep blue color.
December is associated with several blue birthstones, including blue zircon, blue topaz, tanzanite, turquoise, and lapis lazuli. June has pearl and moonstone as birthstones, and both can come in shades of blue.
While colorless diamonds usually come to mind for the April birthstone, diamonds can be blue, too. The same is true of spinel, an August birthstone; tourmaline, an October birthstone; and topaz, a November birthstone.
What Are the Types of Blue Pearls?
Generally speaking, there are three types of blue pearls. Those include blue Akoya, silver-blue white south sea, and blue-overtone Tahitian pearls. Blue Akoya pearls and silver-blue white south sea pearls are usually lighter, while blue-overtone Tahitian pearls tend to have darker coloring.
Depending on lighting conditions, they can all exhibit a rainbow of hues, too, though the exact shades vary by pearl type. However, the base hue is always a shade of blue.
List of Blue Gemstones - Names, Facts & Usage
Apatite is a phosphate mineral that comes in a wide array of hues, including several shades of blue. There are light and dark blue apatite gemstones and versions that are closer to shades of teal. It usually has an excellent luster and strong transparency.
Overall, apatite isn't overly rare. However, most of the gem-quality stones on the market originate in three countries: Brazil, Mexico, and Myanmar. It is only a 5 on the Mohs hardness scale, though, so it's wise to exercise some caution when it's worn.
Aquamarine (Blue Beryl)
Aquamarine is the birthstone of March and is technically a type of blue beryl. The hues tend to mimic the seas, ranging from bright blue to vibrant blue-green. In years past, sailors believed that aquamarine gems could keep them safe during their journeys, and while that use isn't common today, the stone remains highly popular.
Most aventurine is green, but there are blue versions, too. It's technically a type of chalcedony, and there are also golden flecks in the stone due to the presence of mica inclusions. It's also known for its aventurescence, a glittery or shimmery quality many people enjoy.
Usually, the pure blue hue of aventurine occurs when the stone features dumortierite, another blue stone. However, some pieces of aventurine that are closer to a shade of green do lean slightly blue.
Azurite is a stone that gets its blue coloring thanks to the presence of copper. It's a relatively soft stone, so it's popular for carvings. However, its softness creates cleaning challenges and can make it ill-suited to daily wear, particularly on high-contact pieces like rings and bracelets.
Usually, azurite is a pretty deep blue, and some pieces may lean toward the violet blue side of the spectrum. There can also be segments of lighter blue. Additionally, its coloring can change over time when the stone is exposed to light, heat, or even air circulation. It sometimes shifts into green territory, though it may also simply lighten.
Overall, benitoite is a rare blue stone that gets its coloring due to the presence of titanium. Due to its rarity, it's valuable. Plus, it can exhibit a blue fluorescence when exposed to sunlight, making it one of the more intriguing blue gemstones.
The coloring tends to be fairly deep, and it usually comes with strong clarity. It's critical to note that genuine benitoite only comes from one place, a single county in California. As a result, if the gemstone is said to originate elsewhere, it likely isn't benitoite.
Cavansite is a striking gemstone in hues ranging from medium sky blue to turquoise. It also exhibits pleochroism, which makes this rare gemstone stand out. The pleochroism causes the stone to appear to have other hues when viewed from different angles, depending on the lighting conditions.
By and large, cavansite is a collector's or display stone, as it's pretty soft. Since it's typically a 3 or 4 on the Mohs hardness scale, it generally isn't well-suited to jewelry.
Chalcedony can come in a range of hues, including some blue crystals. Some versions lean toward gray or violet, while others may come in shades of blue-green. Often, they all have magnificent translucence, which is why they're increasingly popular for jewelry. But since they aren't fully transparent, you usually see cabochons or carved pieces over faceted ones.
Chrysocolla is a blue-hued chalcedony that's more valuable than other chalcedony gemstones. Typically, the coloring is a vibrant blue hue that leans slightly green, not unlike the turquoise gemstone, and it tends to be more opaque than some other types of chalcedony.
In fact, chrysocolla can resemble turquoise to such a degree that it's often confused for the other gemstone. However, chrysocolla doesn't typically have the same patterning as you'd find on turquoise when dealing with pieces with several colors. As a result, it's a more common mistake when the gemstone is purely blue.
One of the more expensive blue gemstones around, blue diamonds are relatively rare. They also come with excellent fire, which makes them quite popular. When it comes to the coloring, it can vary, and some naturally-occurring blue diamonds are treated to enhance the saturation. For a lower-cost alternative, lab-created blue diamonds are also breathtakingly beautiful but not nearly as expensive as their naturally-occurring brethren.
Dumortierite is a rare, dark blue gemstone, typically a type of quartz, featuring aluminum and iron in the mix. The coloring is usually incredibly deep, often reading as a navy blue. The hue can be mottled or speckled, adding some visual interest. It's also classically on the opaquer side of the transparency scale, so it's usually polished or turned into cabochons instead of faceted.
When it comes to durability, dumortierite isn't overly delicate. However, since it's a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, it's usually best to exercise some caution if it's worn.
Exhibiting shades ranging from sea green to turquoise, grandidierite gets its coloring due to the presence of iron. Pleochroism is also part of the equation, seemingly allowing a single stone to show up to three colors. As a result, it's incredibly intriguing.
Typically, grandidierite is highly translucent or transparent, so faceting the stone is preferred. Plus, faceting helps showcase the pleochroism. As a jewelry piece, it's generally suitable for occasional wear, but it tends to be brittle, so it's wise to stick to low-contact items like earrings or pendants.
Fluorite is a gemstone that comes in a variety of colors, with blue versions originating from parts of the US, as well as specific regions in Chile, China, and Mexico. A blue hue occurs due to the presence of particular impurities and radiation exposure. Usually, the shades can range from light to dark and are typically relatively true blues.
One issue with blue fluorite is that it can be pretty soft, often rating near a 4 on the Mohs hardness scale. As a result, it's more of a decorative or collector's stone than one suitable for jewelry.
While many people don't recognize the name halite, they're likely more familiar with the mineral than they realize. Halite is technically sodium chloride, which is the scientific name for table salt. While halite is usually white, there are blue varieties, and the coloring can range from light to deep across a single specimen.
Halite only comes in as a 2 to 2.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, so this isn't a gemstone you'd wear. However, particularly attractive pieces can work as collector's stones.
Hawk's eye – also known as blue tiger's eye or falcon's eye – is a quartz pseudomorph that comes in shades of deeper blues, potentially with a greyish tint. Typically, the transparency ranges from opaque to translucent. Additionally, the stones exhibit chatoyancy due to fibrous elements in the structure.
Usually, hawk's eye is turned into cabochons or beads, as those allow the chatoyancy to display best. Typically, the stone is durable enough for casual wear and affordable enough to be accessible.
Hemimorphite is a lighter-hued stone that typically comes in bluish-green shades. The luster is usually silky, and it's often a translucent stone. Often, there is some color variation within the gem, leading to deeper or lighter sections across it.
Overall, hemimorphite is a bit delicate, as it's only 4.5 to 5 on the Mohs hardness scale. Since that's the case, it's more commonly a collector's stone and not usually used in jewelry pieces.
Iolite is a silicate mineral naturally deep blue, usually leaning slightly toward violet. It can also exhibit pleochroism, causing it to look clear from some angles or giving portions of the stone a grey or yellow tint. It may also demonstrate chatoyancy in some cases.
Historically, iolite is strongly associated with the Vikings, as it's said the stone was used to create polarizing filters to assist with navigation. Today, it's primarily a jewelry gemstone and durable enough for special occasion use.
When it comes to jadeite, blue is the rarest color. The hues may range from a striking pale blue-green to aqua, and some deeper-hued stones even look teal. The transparency can run the gamut, and you can often see fibrous white flecks within the stone.
Typically, blue jadeite from Guatemala is the most valuable version. As a result, those stones can be pricy compared to those from other areas.
Jeremejevite is one of the rarest minerals on the planet, typically exhibiting a light to mid-toned blue coloring close to a cornflower blue. The stone is usually transparent with a glassy luster and comes with feathery-looking inclusions in most cases. It's a moderately durable stone, so it's more commonly considered a collector's piece since it may not stand up well to wear.
Kyanite is a gemstone that typically comes in shades of blue ranging from a soft robin's egg to a deep royal blue. It usually forms in bladed crystals, which are generally translucent to transparent.
One challenge with kyanite is that it can have two hardnesses, with the Mohs hardness score coming in at a 4.5 to 5 parallel to a crystal's length and 6.5 to 7 perpendicular to the crystal's length. That makes it harder to cut, but it's still often faceted.
Additionally, kyanite shouldn't be submerged in water. If it is, the gem may dissolve, so it's best to keep it dry.
Labradorite is a blue gemstone best known for its labradorescence, a type of play-of-color. Twinning causes the stone to exhibit a wide array of hues and also adds a sense of depth. Typically, the more shades that are seen, the more valuable the labradorite gemstone is.
According to a legend, the Northern Lights were once contained within the stone but were freed when a warrior stuck the gem with a spear. However, some of the light remained, giving labradorite its unique look.
Usually, labradorite jewelry features cabochons or similar polished stones. It's also used for carvings, and some specimens are also collector's pieces.
Lapis lazuli – which is also simply referred to as lapis – is technically a metamorphic rock. The presence of lazurite leads to the striking blue coloring most commonly associated with the stone, and pyrite inclusions can lead to a slightly glittery look.
Overall, lapis lazuli is a softer stone that tends to be opaque. As a result, it may be turned into cabochons or cut flat for jewelry pieces, though it's also carved into shapes at times.
Larimar is known for its light, water-like hues with color variations and white ribbons that make the stone's surface look like the sea. Both cobalt and copper lead to the wonderful coloring, and the hue can lean greenish blue in some cases, depending on the exact composition.
Generally, larimar is an ornamental or collector's stone. The hardness can vary dramatically, ranging from a 4 to a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. As a result, jewelry pieces are potentially suited for occasional wear.
If you enjoy moodier blue gemstones, lazulite can fit the bill. Depending on the light or angle, it tends to feature rich blue coloring that can appear indigo, teal, or peacock blue. The stones usually have good transparency and a vitreous luster, so faceting the gemstone is popular. However, it only comes in at a 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs hardness scale, so it's critical to exercise care if it's in a jewelry piece.
Moonstone is a June birthstone known for its adularescence, giving it a unique optical effect. As with many other blue gemstones, moonstone doesn't just come in one color. However, many people prefer blue moonstone since the core color is a medium or lighter-toned blue, causing the adularescence to add flickers of silver, white, and other blue shades.
Moonstone isn't an overly soft stone, but it usually comes in at a 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. As a result, it's suitable for occasional wear, though it's usually best to stick with low-contact jewelry pieces like pendants or earrings as a precaution.
Opal is a type of silica that serves as a birthstone for October. While many people are familiar with white opals, opals come in a variety of colors, including blue. Typically, blue opals do have a fantastic play of color. Sometimes, it's a bit subtle, showing lighter or darker blue swirls. However, it can also result in a rainbow of hues.
There's also a blue opal version that has tints of green. Peruvian opal contains copper, leading to a slightly greener hue. However, most are closer to a true blue.
Sapphirine is a rare gemstone that gets its blue coloring due to the presence of iron. Typically, the base color is close to the blue shade people associate with sapphires. However, it can also exhibit pleochroism, causing it to display other hues, such as purple, pink, brown, or green.
One benefit of sapphirine is its high durability. However, facetable crystals are rare, so finding jewelry featuring the gemstone is potentially difficult.
Overall, blue sapphire is the most popular option for faceted blue gemstones. One reason is that it serves as a birthstone for September and is also increasingly used for non-traditional engagement rings.
Blue sapphires get their coloring thanks to the presence of titanium and iron. Many sapphires do undergo heat treatments to enhance their color, which can also boost clarity.
Scorodite comes in several colors, with lighter blue versions originating from Germany being the most desirable. However, even when a specimen is attractive, it's not typically turned into jewelry because it contains arsenic, a toxic material. However, scorodite has industrial uses, as it's technically a type of hydrated iron arsenate, allowing it to function as an arsenic stabilizer.
Shattuckite is another gemstone that gets its coloring due to the presence of copper. The hues can range from vibrant turquoise to deep royal blue, and you can also find pieces closer to a sky or robin's egg blue. Usually, there is some patterning across the stone, as well, such as mottling or webbing.
Typically, shattuckite is a collector's stone, as it is pretty soft and susceptible to damage. However, it does appear in jewelry; it's just critical to exercise care if worn.
Sillimanite originates in Delaware and comes in a few colors, with the vivid blue versions being the most popular. Since it only comes from one place, it's generally quite rare. However, it offers excellent transparency and can be suitable for faceting. Plus, it comes in as a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, so it works for collections and casual wear in jewelry.
At times mistaken for hemimorphite, smithsonite is a rare gemstone that can come in colors in the seafoam to light sky blue range, as well as shades of grey, white, and brown. Since it's not overly durable – often scoring near a 4.5 on the Mohs hardness scale – it's usually treated as a collector's stone. However, it was once used as a reliable source of zinc, though that ceased in the 1880s.
Sodalite is a translucent gemstone best known for its vibrant blue coloring, even though it comes in other hues. It can also exhibit a slight orange fluorescence when exposed to UV light, and that fluorescence is generally considered a defining characteristic.
One of the major sources of sodalite is Ontario, and a piece of sodalite from the mine – which was located in Bancroft – was even gifted to the Princess of Wales during the 1901 World's Fair in Buffalo, New York. She was so enthralled that she had more than 100 tons of the stone sent to her English royal home, causing the mine to end up dubbed the Princess Sodalite Mine in honor of the occasion.
Spinel is another gemstone that can come in a rainbow of hues, including various shades of blue. Spinel has recently become a modern birthstone for August, which helps increase its popularity. The coloring of blue spinel can vary, with cobalt blue versions usually being the most valuable. However, you can also find them in softer shades, including colors closer to denim.
Tanzanite is a December birthstone that typically comes in shades close to indigo. Some stones are lighter colored, while others have intense saturation. The stone is usually transparent, so it's often faceted for jewelry pieces. Additionally, that approach can highlight the pleochroism that the stone often exhibits.
Overall, tanzanite is rare, as it only comes from a small part of Tanzania. As a result, jewelry pieces containing it can be a bit expensive.
Tourmaline (Indicolite and Paraíba)
Tourmaline technically comes in practically any color, but the pure blue versions are the rarest. Blue tourmaline is also called indicolite, and the stones are typically highly valuable due to their rarity. Even high-quality versions may contain inclusions.
Paraiba tourmaline is one of the most valuable versions of blue tourmaline. They occur when indicolite specimens also have traces of copper, leading to a bright hue that stands out dramatically. These are exceptionally rare, so they're often far more expensive than other blue tourmaline gems.
Turquoise is known for its vibrant coloring, with the shade usually mimicking summer skies. Along with being a December birthstone, turquoise is often associated with Native American cultures of the US Southwest, so it has a long history of ornamental use.
The hardness of turquoise gemstones can vary dramatically, but many pieces are quite soft. While this assists with carving, it can mean the stone will also scratch easily. Additionally, lower-grade turquoise is frequently treated to enhance stability, and some are dyed to strengthen their color. It's also a commonly replicated stone, so buyers must exercise caution to ensure they get the real thing.
Vivianite is a stone that includes iron and manganese, causing previously colorless crystals to take on hues ranging from navy blue to forest green over time, with some coming in shades of deep blue-green. The gemstone is rare, as it only originates in the United Kingdom.
Generally, vivianite is a collector's stone. Primarily, that's because it only scores a 1.5 to 2 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it ill-suited to jewelry.
Zircon comes in a variety of colors, including particularly dazzling shades of blue. The coloring is often light to medium sky blue, but some can veer into teal territory, too. Usually, blue zircon has exceptional fire, making it excellent for faceting. Heat treatments are also commonly used to enhance the coloring.
Overall, blue zircon is incredibly durable. Since it's usually near a 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, it's typically suitable for everyday wear, even on high-contact jewelry pieces.