From the ocean to the sky, shades of blue gemstones encompass all things serene and inspiring. Are you more into electric blue and scintillating gemstones or calming deeper blue sparkly stones... which is your best-matched blue?
This stone was first discovered in 1967 near the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania, on the border with Kenya. This is still the only small strip of land in the world where the stone can be found.
Tanzanites are found in hues ranging from blue to bluish purple to bluish violet. Its most rare and sought-after shade is a powerful indigo. In fact, the closer it comes to a deep, blue sapphire-type of blue, the more valuable the stone will be.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE TANZANITE
Hints of purple in most tanzanite stones strongly appeal to buyers and allows it to stand out among the rest. Its colour saturation and stability are well worth the buy. And it can be a great substitute for the more expensive blue sapphire!
HOW TO WEAR TANZANITE
While tanzanite is a beautiful stone, it's a 6-7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale which means you'll want to take some extra care of it. Generally, when you intend to wear a gemstone ring daily, you'd better go for coloured gemstones of hardness 7 and higher.
For that reason, tanzanite is best suited for a pair of lovely earrings, a pendant or a cocktail ring where it is less likely to be damaged. In other words, the stone can still be used in a ring, but then make sure to choose a setting and design that will protect the stone and to wear it as a cocktail ring instead of every day.
⭐️ For summer, try a lighter blue hue in earrings that will sparkle while you wade through pool or ocean waters. Often, untreated tanzanites come in a lovely light blue or blue-green colour, perfect for a day on the beach.
⭐️ For winter, go deep with the most valuable indigo blues set in a sparkly ring. This shade is most sought-after for its powerful healing properties (besides you being one of the few people wearing this intense, deep colour).
A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF TANZANITE
One of the newer gemstones, tanzanite has only been known for a little more than half a century. It was discovered after a bush fire, when the Masai people found that these once brownish stones had become a vibrant blue after this involuntary heat treatment!
The name 'tanzanite' was first used by Tiffany's about a year later when they brought the stone to market in 1968. The name was chosen as a nod to the area where it is exclusively found. The original name of the species, "zoisite", was not considered helpful for marketing purposes because it could remind people of the word suicide... not great for marketing!
The largest tanzanite ever sold at auction brought in $300,000 and was a 423.56 carat tanzanite. All proceeds were donated to build a school in Nepal.
DID YOU KNOW?
⭐️ The largest tanzanite, mined in 2005, was a 16,389 carat-rough weighing more than 3.2kg...
⭐️ Most natural tanzanite is found in muddy yellows and greens and is heat treated to reveal the more vibrant hues underneath - know it's a totally acceptable treatment for gemstones and practically standard for tanzanites provided you are aware of it at the moment of purchase.
⭐️ While approximately 80% of tanzanite undergoes heat treatment, the rarest and most valuable of the tanzanite colours are found with natural deep blues and violet-blue which occurred as a result of natural heating within the Earth - but this distinction is very hard to test for a lab.
⭐️ Tanzanite is a trichroic gemstone which means it shows three different colours when viewed from various angles!
2. PARAIBA TOURMALINE
Exclusive to the Brazilian state of Paraiba originally. That mine is virtually exhausted now but similar gemstone material can be found today in Mozambique and Nigeria.
Neon-bright, electric blue, green or violet (almost like an extraordinary turquoise, swimming pool-blue!).
WHY YOU’LL LOVE PARAIBA TOURMALINE
The vivid glow that appears to light up the stone from within makes it one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world.
HOW TO WEAR PARAIBA TOURMALINE
This incredibly rare, stunning stone deserves the spotlight so why not feature it in a jaw-dropping necklace or a set of sparkling earrings? This is another stone that is best suited for a jewellery piece that doesn't encounter a lot of wear-and-tear as it can be more fragile.
Also here, if you do like to wear it in a ring - who am I to say no ;) - do choose a protective ring setting, either with a bezel setting or by setting other stones around the paraiba gemstone. Or simply wear the stone set in a fab cocktail ring for special occasions (life's hard I know 😉).
⭐️ For summer, pair it with your brightest beach attire or glam evening looks.
⭐️ For winter, glow up any little black dress with this dazzling stone. Warning: to be worn with caution as it will cause some envious glances your way.
EXTRA NOTE OF CARE FOR PARAIBA TOURMALINE
Due to their pyro- and piezoelectric properties, tourmaline gemstones need to be wiped down frequently as they tend to attract more dust particles than other gemstones. You can also use warm soapy water and a soft cloth to clean.
A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF PARAIBA TOURMALINE
Even newer to the scene than the tanzanite, paraiba tourmaline was first discovered in the late 1980s based off the hunch of Hector Dimas Barbosa. He spent years digging, with just a feeling he would discover something new and special. It wasn't until 8 years later that a group of his friends came upon the stone while he was at home recovering from an illness...
The original source of paraiba tourmaline was exclusive to the state of Paraiba in Brazil but the mine was exhausted quite soon after... Luckily, about 5 years later miners moved to the adjacent state, Rio Grande de Norte. And today, the stone is being found mostly in eastern Africa, in Mozambique and Nigeria.
DID YOU KNOW?
⭐️ 1 gem-quality paraiba is mined for every 10,000 diamonds - talking about rare!
⭐️ A high quality paraiba tourmaline weighing over 3 carats is almost unheard of and can easily be found with a 5-figure price tag. Per carat.
⭐️ In 2003, a similar new dazzling blue-green stone was found in Mozambique and Nigeria. Interestingly enough, there has been evidence that at one time, Africa and South America belonged to one continent and so that makes sense. While these stones are "paraiba-like", there are a few minor chemical differences that set them apart.
Purists believe that only those found in Brazil can be considered paraiba tourmalines while the mainstream of gemological labs do consider those other specimen also as paraibas provided the stone fulfils 2 conditions:
1️⃣ The labs’ gemologists regard the colour of the stone as ‘electric' or 'vivid blue or green’, AND
2️⃣ The stone contains the chemical elements of both copper and manganese which cause its colour.
3. BLUE SAPPHIRE
Sri Lanka (the old Ceylon), Myanmar (the old Burma), Madagascar, Tanzania, Australia and Thailand
Sapphires come in every coloured except red → a “red sapphire” would be called a ruby. Rubies and sapphires belong to the corundum family. In other words, when a corundum is red, we call it a ruby. When it comes in any other coloured, it's called a sapphire with the colour prefix attached, so a 'pink sapphire, green sapphire, blue sapphire', etc.
You’ve got to love the varied colours blue sapphires come in… from pale blue to the famous, rich royal blue. The most mythical one being the ‘Kashmir blue sapphires’, which were found in the remote Great Himalayan mountains of northwestern India in the 1800s. The stones from this historic origin were mostly of a fine quality with a superb, velvety ‘cornflower blue’ colour. This mine has been exhausted since 1888 though... but rare pieces do sometimes show up at auctions.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE BLUE SAPPHIRE
Sapphire is an extremely durable stone with very good hardness and high brilliance, which makes it one of the world’s top gemstones - on par with rubies, diamonds and spinels.
HOW TO WEAR BLUE SAPPHIRE
Getting engaged? Try a stunning blue sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds (you've seen something similar in a certain famous royal engagement ring that now decorates Kate Middleton's finger 🤔) or try a large, natural blue sapphire in a beautifully organic setting with small diamonds twisted around it. If you'd like to know more about my bespoke ring service, go here.
⭐️ For summer, try a pair of stunning earrings in a cool, deep blue hue.
⭐️ For winter, opt for a dazzling statement ring paired with your favourite cold-weather attire.
A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF BLUE SAPPHIRE
The stone has been associated with royalty and romance for centuries. In fact, royalty gave blue sapphires over diamonds as engagement rings because they’re known to be far rarer than diamonds.
Ancient Greeks and Romans were convinced that these stones protected their owners from envy and harm, while in the Middle Ages, the clergy wore sapphires to symbolise heaven and the common people believed them to attract heavenly blessings.
If you've never seen a high quality blue sapphire in your life, expect to be blown away by its intense, fashion-forward blue hue!
DID YOU KNOW?
⭐️ This stone is known as a symbol of nobility, sincerity, truth and faithfulness.
⭐️ Sapphire's striking blue colour is the standard against which all other blue gemstones (such as blue topaz or tanzanite) are measured against.
⭐️ It can take months to find a high-quality, untreated blue sapphire of more than 2 carats! And as to the historical velvety Kashmir blue sapphire whose mines have been exhausted for over 100 years: very, very occasionally, one can still be found on the market or at auction...
Brazil, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Mozambique, Pakistan, the Ural Mountains of Russia, Tanzania, Colorado (USA), and Zambia
Light blue, blue and bluish-green
WHY YOU’LL LOVE AQUAMARINE
Instant glamour comes with this cool, ocean-hued stone. It is also considered a "love" stone that helps rejuvenate relationships and attract new friends helping the owner sustain a fulfilled life.
HOW TO WEAR AQUAMARINE
Up your glamour factor while adding instant polish to your outfit with this beautiful pastel blue gemstone.
⭐️ For summer, a sparkling bracelet adorned with refreshing blue aquamarines makes for a beautiful summer accessory to dazzle from poolside to rooftop.
⭐️ For winter, add a touch of brilliance to your cozy winter wardrobe with a must-have pair of earrings like the Unbearable Lightness from my ready-to-wear collection.
A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF AQUAMARINE
The aquamarine gemstone is rich in history dating back long before its first documented discovery in 1723 in the mountains of Siberia! The early Christians associated the aquamarine with the Apostle St. Thomas because of its sea-like colour. The Saint made long journeys by sea, all the way till India and other countries to try and convert people. And so the clear, beautiful blue of the aquamarine is a symbol of the sea that he traveled across and the sky that he traveled under.
It was also widely known as the antidote to poison in the late 1300s as mentioned in William Langland's "The Vision Concerning Piers and the Plowman". This made aquamarine in popular demand at the time as poisonings amongst royalty were fairly common 🤓
DID YOU KNOW?
⭐️ The name aquamarine originated in the early 1700s during the Georgian era of jewellery and comes from the phrase "water of the sea".
⭐️ Brazil is the aquamarine capital of the world. In fact, the world's most beautiful aquamarine is still considered to be the Santa Maria aquamarine, from the Itabira mine in the Brazilian province of Minas Gerais.
⭐️ Necklaces, earrings, rings or bracelets are all excellent jewellery choices featuring this gem.
⭐️ Aquamarine was once known as the "Sailor's Stone" because it was thought to protect sailors from the dangers of the open water.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of which blue jewel is perfect for you!