Blue gemstones have captivated us for centuries with their beauty and vibrant shades. From popular sapphires, turquoises and aquamarines to rarely seen blue diamonds, there’s a blue gemstone for everyone. In this article, we’ve rounded up 15 of the most popular blue gemstones, so you’ll know which of them work best with different types of jewelry.
- Blue Gemstone List
- How to Assess the Color and Quality of Blue Gemstones
- Which Blue Gemstone Is Right for Me?
- Wrapping Up
Blue Gemstone List
1- Blue Sapphire
Natural Blue Sapphire Gemstone by Prosper Gems. See it here.
The most popular faceted blue gemstone in jewelry, blue sapphire is coveted for its strong color saturation. Its rich blue color is caused by trace amounts of titanium and iron. Blue sapphires come in a variety of shades and the most desirable ones are those with velvety blue to violet blue hues, while those with greenish tints are less appealing.
Most of the time, blue sapphires undergo heat treatment to improve their color and clarity. They’re hard, durable stones ranking at 9 on Moh’s scale of hardness and are highly resistant to chipping and breaking, which is why they’re used in all types of jewelry.
The blue sapphire is one of the most highly sought after colored gemstone for engagement rings. If a natural stone is out of your price range, you might want to consider synthetic versions that are much more affordable.
Natural Faceted Lustrous Aquamarine by United Gemstones. See it here.
A blue variety of the mineral beryl, aquamarine has a gorgeous light blue color and never reaches the color saturation and dark tones of blue sapphires. This gemstone can be found in various shades of blue, from greenish blue to bluish green, in which the more intense the blue, the more desirable the stone. Most aquamarines in the market are heat-treated to lessen their green tints, giving them a pure light blue color.
Most faceted stones in jewelry have good clarity, and those that are too included are often carved, polished into cabochons, or fashioned into beads. When it comes to durability, aquamarine ranks at 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which makes it ideal for everyday wear. It’s also less prone to breakage, though it shouldn’t be exposed to too much heat.
3- Blue Diamond
Rare Pear Shaped Blue Diamond by Talore Diamonds. See it here.
The rarest of all colored diamonds, blue diamonds have high amounts of boron, which is what gives it its blue color. Surprisingly, these gems have a “superdeep” origin, as they’re formed four times deeper in the Earth than most other diamonds and are believed to have derived from ancient oceans. They have the same properties as colorless diamonds and remain the hardest known mineral, but can still break when exposed to hard blow.
These diamonds rarely reach high saturation but can have a strong color with a hint of gray. The famous Hope diamond has a natural Fancy Dark grayish blue color. Still, lab-created diamonds may also display the blue hue. However, natural blue diamonds are very expensive, so you may go for synthetic and treated varieties too.
Blue Purple Tanzanite Pear by Jewels On 47th. See it here.
One of the rarest gems in the world, tanzanite is found only in the African nation of Tanzania, which is why it’s a token of the country’s heritage and rich history. In its natural state, the crystal is brownish, so most blue varieties found in the market are heat-treated. The only exception is the blue tanzanite discovered by Maasai tribesmen, as it was probably exposed to a natural heat source within the Earth at some point.
The color of tanzanite can range from light blue to intense blue and violet hues that can resemble fine sapphire at a fraction of the price. In the US, it’s the second most popular blue faceted gemstone next to sapphire.
Tanzanite has a hardness of only 6-6.4 on Mohs scale which means it can easily break or chip if knocked against a surface. Therefore, it’s mostly used in earrings, necklaces and pins. When used in a bracelet or ring, it should be set in a protective setting so as to prevent it getting damaged.
5- Blue Topaz
Faceted Octagon Blue Topaz by Cabochon King. See it here.
A naturally occurring blue topaz is very rare, so most of the stones found on the market are treated to give off a blue color that looks just like the original. Enhanced gemstones can range from light to deep and vivid blues. While its Sky Blue variety resembles the color of aquamarine, the Swiss Blue variety generally features a greenish blue color and the London Blue has a tinge of gray in it.
With its hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, blue topaz is a great gemstone for jewelry use and can last for many decades. However, since it has a perfect cleavage, which means it has the tendency to crack along its defined planes, it’s more prone to chipping. The best thing about blue topazes is that they’re highly affordable, making them a budget-friendly option if you’re a fan of blue gemstones.
6- Blue Tourmaline
Natural Paraiba Tourmaline by Alifgems. See it here.
Most blue tourmaline comes with greenish tints, with tones that can range from light to dark. Its blue colors can be vivid or less saturated and grayish, but stones with pure blue are highly coveted. In fact, tourmaline’s rich violet blue color can rival even the finest sapphires. Blue tourmalines usually contain traces of iron that give its color, and many of them undergo heat treatment.
One of the rarest types of blue tourmaline is the Paraiba tourmaline, which is highly prized for its stunning neon blue and blue-green colors. Tourmalines gemstones are durable (ranking at 7-7.5 on Mohs scale) and can last a lifetime if taken good care of. Although blue tourmaline in jewelry is quite rare, it’s possible to find stones in small sizes just under a carat. The rarity of the stone also means that prices can go as high as a few hundred dollars per carat.
Natural Turquoise by Realearthgems. See it here.
The only gemstone with a color named after it, turquoise is a copper mineral with blue green to a lovely bright blue color. In the trade, it’s called ‘robin’s egg blue’ or ‘sky blue’. It’s generally opaque and contains dark vein-like inclusions, but stones without any inclusions are the most valuable. Turquoise is common in antique jewelry, but you can also find it in designer pieces.
Turquoise gemstones are often polished into cabochons and fashioned into round beads for strand necklaces. The stone is too soft and porous, especially on rings, bracelets and jewelry pieces prone to abrasion or impact so it might not be the best choice if you’re looking for a piece for daily wear. It requires special care and maintenance and should be kept away from high heat which can cause surface damage or discoloration to the stone.
8- Lapis Lazuli
Beaded Lapis Strand by TaiChungJewellery. See it here.
Well known for its unique, cosmic appearance, lapis lazuli is composed of several layers of minerals, such as lazurite, calcite and pyrite. While lazurite grains give the stone its beautiful blue color, pyrite causes the golden, metallic-looking spots. In some instances, the golden flakes of pyrite aren’t visible, but you can see white calcite streaks. The color of this stone ranges from dark blue to greenish and violet-blue and some even describe it as royal, midnight, or marine blue.
The most valued lapis is known in the trade as ‘Afghan’, which has an intense, slightly violet-blue color with little or no pyrite and calcite. Most of the time, these stones are fashioned into beads, cabochons, carvings and inlays. Lapis lazuli is a stunning choice for jewelry, though it’s prone to scratching and isn’t ideal for daily wear. The best thing about it is, jewelry made with this stone is very affordable and with reasonable care it can last for decades.
9- Blue Garnet
Rare Blue Garnet by FrogRareGems. See it here.
Garnet is a silicate mineral that comes in a variety of colors. The rarest color of garnet is blue, which makes it challenging for jewelers to use it in jewelry designs. In rare occasions, some garnets change color when viewed under different lights, transitioning from blue-green to a deep purple hue. Blue garnets are more on the soft side, with a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, which means it could get damaged if worn daily. This stone is not a mainstream gemstone because of its rarity, but it certainly is a favorite among many jewelry enthusiasts.
10- Blue Opal
Blue Australian Opal by Opalgalaxyaustralia. See it here.
There are many types of opals and not all of them display the colorful flashes known as ‘play-of-color’. The Peruvian opal is a common opal that can be found in Peru and ranges in color from light to dark pastel blue. Precious opals display iridescent colors and looks like the sunlight on the ocean’s surface. There’s also a black opal, which refers to a gemstone with a dark blue, dark gray, or dark green color.
With a hardness of 5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, blue opal is a fragile gem that can easily be scratched and damaged. Still, it’s a stunning gemstone for earrings, pendants and brooches. For rings, opt for a protective setting like bezel over prong that exposes the gem to impact. Proper care will go a long way in keeping your opal jewelry beautiful.
11- Blue Zircon
Cambolite Blue Zircon by LambdaGems. See it here.
Not to be confused with cubic zirconia, blue zircon is a gorgeous gemstone that looks very similar to a diamond because it shares the same properties as diamonds. This is the reason for its attractive sparkle and brilliance. It was widely used as a diamond alternative in the 19th century and is one of the most popular blue gemstones used in jewelry today. Blue is the most popular color of zircon, varying from bright blue to greenish blue and darker hues.
Blue zircons are usually more expensive than other color varieties, but the color is almost always the result of heat treatment. In jewelry, you can find blue zircon in a wide range of sizes, from 1 to 10 carats. It has a hardness of 7.5 on Mohs scale, but since the stone is rather brittle, it can damage easily and should be mounted in protective setting. Although this stone comes with a high end price tag, it’s an excellent choice for jewelry.
Pear Cut Blue Zircon by GemWarden. See it here.
A variety of mineral cordierite, iolite is sometimes mistaken for more expensive tanzanite or sapphire. It can be found in many shades of blue, from pale to vivid, but its most desirable color is a saturated violet-blue. Iolite has a historical importance, since it’s believed to be the sun stone used by Vikings for navigation at the sea.
Iolite ranks at 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, but it’s not very tough due to its distinct cleavage that can cause the stone to crack if dealt a hard blow. Although the stone is beautiful with a stunning color, it’s not highly prized since it’s highly abundant in nature. If you’re on a budget for blue gemstones, iolite serves as an inexpensive and gorgeous alternative to the more expensive stones like sapphires.
13- Blue Spinel
Blue Burmese Spinel by CecileRaleyDesigns. See it here.
Dubbed as ‘the great imposter of gemstones’, spinel has been confused with sapphires and rubies for many centuries. They can be found in almost every color, but blue spinel is one of the most popular colors of spinel for use in jewelry. The vibrant blue hue in this gemstone is caused by trace amounts of cobalt in its composition.
Ranking at 8 on the Mohs scale, spinel is a highly durable jewelry stone for daily wear. It’s a rare gemstone which makes it quite affordable. Blue spinels are commonly used as simulants for more expensive gems, but they’re also exceptionally beautiful on their own.
14- Blue Labradorite
Polished Labradorite Gemstone by Labradoritestones. See it here.
Prized for its stunning play of colors, labradorite was once thought to be the Northern Lights captured inside rocks. The gemstone typically has a dark gray or black body with strong iridescence of blues, greens and purples. It can be transparent to opaque, but translucent varieties are highly sought after as they display much ‘labradorescence’ or iridescence.
The feldspar gem only ranks at 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, meaning that it’s softer than quartz. On the upside, it isn’t brittle like other stones and is durable enough to be used in jewelry. With its unique beauty and abundance, labradorite can be a part of any jewelry collection.
Natural Azurite Druzy by MansooriGemPalace. See it here.
Named for its azure color, azurite is a copper carbonate mineral that often forms with malachite. It can be similar in appearance to lapis lazuli, but typically has a dark, blue color and green secondary tones. Sometimes, it’s used in druzy jewelry, celebrating the natural look of the stone.
Azurite cabochons bring bold pops of color to jewelry pieces, making them look striking in earrings and pendants. However, the stone only has a hardness of 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale, which is very soft. This is why it isn’t an ideal gemstone for engagement rings and bracelets. Azurite jewelry is quite rare and finding the perfect piece can be challenging.
How to Assess the Color and Quality of Blue Gemstones
In general, blue gemstones with high saturation or intensity are the most desirable. The ideal shade of blue varies in each gemstone, but the hue and tone should also be taken into consideration. While pure blue is the most desirable, sapphires with hints of violet hues are still top color.
When it comes to tone, opt for medium-dark tones, since something too light will appear washed out and something too dark will look inky. Clarity comes second to colored stones, since the color itself can mask inclusions, making them less visible.
Which Blue Gemstone Is Right for Me?
Some blue gemstones are a great choice for engagement rings, while others should be saved for non-impact jewelry such as earrings and necklaces. The durability of the gemstone will determine if it’s ideal for everyday wear or occasional wear. Aside from that, everything else depends on your budget, the availability of the stone, and your own so we hope our article helped you in make a choice preferences.
If you’re looking for a blue gemstone for an engagement ring, opt for ones that rank at least 7.5 on the Mohs scale, since these are tougher and more resistant to scratches. Some of the gemstones ideal for everyday wear are blue diamonds, sapphires, tourmalines, aquamarines and spinel.
Other blue gemstones that are soft, porous and prone to chipping and scratches, makes them ideal for wearing every now and then. Turquoises, blue garnets, azurites, tanzanites, lapis lazulis, iolites, opals, zircons, topaz and labradorites will suit best for earrings, pendants and brooches. You may also have them in rings and bracelets, but it’s recommended to use a protective setting.
Blue gemstones have taken over the jewelry world, especially since the color blue is one of the most popular colors for jewelry. When searching for the right blue gemstone jewelry, you’re likely to find hundreds of different pieces on the market so you’re sure to be spoilt for choice.