Updated: May 30, 2021
Beautiful blues – Four blue gemstones
Blue is quite a rare colour in nature, but luckily we have plenty of choice when it comes to jewellery. We all know about sapphire, tanzanite and even blue diamonds, but these are all extremely costly. There are plenty of options out there for those who want the blue look, but don’t want to ruin their bank balances.
Below are four of the blue stones I regularly use in my jewellery. I give a little information about each one along with their supposed metaphysical properties (although these do not necessarily reflect my own beliefs).
This is a beautiful and rich blue stone which has been prized for many thousands of years – the earliest artefacts dating to around 7570 BCE…. almost ten thousand years ago! Lapis was mined in ancient Afghanistan and exported to the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt and has been mined continuously right up to the modern day.
A good example of how Lapis Lazuli was used can be seen in the famous death mask of the Egyptian boy pharoah, Tutankhamun. The dark blue lines in his mask are made of fine Lapis all the way from Afghanistan. The ancients also used Lapis in the making of cosmetics - ground Lapis was used to make Queen Cleopatra’s eyeshadow.
Later, in the Mediaeval and Rennaisance eras, Lapis Lazuli was ground to make the pigments used in ink, paint and when making frescos - which have kept their vivid blue colour until the present.
One feature which makes Lapis so prized in jewellery making, apart from the richness of the blue, is the fact it contains gold coloured flecks of iron pyrites. This was valued in ancient times as our ancestors associated the blue with the sky and the gold with the sun.
Metaphysical properties of Lapis are said to include stress relief and protection from psychic attack. It is also said to promote inner peace, self awareness and clarity of thought.
To see all Lapis Lazuli earrings click here.
Topaz is a silica based gemstone which can be found in many places around the World, although the largest producer of Topaz is currently Brazil. Its natural colour tends to range from brown to a yellow colour. To get the vivid blue of Blue Topaz, the gem is heat treated and irradiated.
Topaz is a hard stone and so can be cut into a range of different shapes making it ideal for jewellery making. It can also be faceted which gives it extra sparkle.
Our ancestors valued Topaz and the Romans believed that it could provide protection for travellers. In Mediaeval times people thought that carrying a piece of Topaz could ward off the “evil eye”. Another lingering superstition in England, holds that Topaz can cure a person of mental illness.
Turquoise was valued by the Ancient Egyptians as long ago as 5000 years, both to make jewellery and magical figurines and amulets. It has been prized by many cultures at different times in history, but is now especially associated with the Zuni and Pueblo peoples of the South Western USA. It has had many names through history, but the current name comes from the end of the 19th Century – named by the French due to the fact that many imports came through Turkey.
Turquoise is now becoming increasingly rare and it is becoming more common to synthesize it by reconstituting it out of Turquoise dust. It is also common to sell dyed Howlite as a substute for Turquoise. I use both, but will always make it clear which material I am using.
Turquoise is the traditional birthstone for the month of December. It is also thought by some to promote friendship and to provide a way of connecting with the spirit realm.
The first deposit of Sodalite was first discovered in Greenland in 1811, but was not widely used for ornamental purposes or jewellery until a much larger deposit was discovered in Ontario, Canada in 1891. Although it is a very hard stone, it has a tendency to be brittle.
It is reminiscent of Lapis Lazuli, but does not have the flecks of pyrites. Sodalite tends to have white veins or speckles.
Some people associate Sodalite with mental objectivity, rationality and clarity of thought.
Fortunaearrings is a handmade jewellery store featuring a wide range of unique earrings made of gemstones and sterling silver. As well as gemstone earrings which will appeal to the gemstone collector, you will also find a range of earrings made of Venetian glass lampworked at my Devon workshop. See my full handmade jewellery portfolio by clicking the shop link at the top of this page.