If something shiny and blue is your thing, then you've come to the right place.
This latest review article is your ultimate guide in finding what's hot and what's not in the world of precious blue gemstones.
Let's make it easy with my product review guide, where you’ll learn:
- What blue gemstones are
- Where you can buy them
- And the most popular types of blue gemstones
What Are Blue Gemstones?
The color blue is quite beautiful and gemstones within this color range are becoming more and more popular. Blue gemstones have their origins in making jewelry during ancient times, particularly for crown jewels and earrings.
Arguably, the most sought after blue gem is sapphire. Its deep blue hue is simply beautiful even though gemstones like Lapis lazuli, Zircon, and Kyanite also have this shade.
Blue resembles the color of the sky and waters, which are associated with stability, intelligence, inspiration, freedom, and imagination. Blue gemstones will fit into any kind of jewelry and can be worn in both formal and casual outfits.
What Metal is Best for Blue Gemstones?
Anyone can wear blue stones and look great. However, there are certain metals that color science says they look best in. The color blue is considered a cool toned color. White metals like white gold, platinum, and sterling silver will look best with blue gems.
However, darker blue tones can look striking in yellow gold or rose gold colors too. Many blue stones set in colored metals give off a vintage vibe. Light blue tones will not look as appealing in strong colored metals.
Cool skin tones love cool toned colors. They look best on people with cool undertones in their skin and lighter skin tones. Bright blue stones will look eye-catching on dark skin tones too.
What are the Different Types of Blue Gemstones?
Blue is rarer for gemstone colors than other colors. The precious blue gemstones available on the market are blue diamonds and blue sapphires. Majority of blue gemstones are going to be semi-precious stones. Not all blue gemstones are good for daily wear.
1. Blue Diamond
Diamond has a wide variety of colors, and the blue variety is one of the rarest. The blue diamond is also one of the most beloved gemstones as it comes with a perfect hardness score of 10 Mohs.
Blue diamonds are very rare. They obtain their hues from trace elements of boron impurities in the crystal. Not only are they rare in general, pure blue hues are almost unheard of. Most of the blue diamonds in the market are very light colored gems under 1 carat, yet still highly expensive due to their rarity
The reason why the lightest shades are still tens of thousands of dollars is because of the requisites it takes to get a saturated blue diamond. Boron is rare to come into contact with diamond in general. The impurity also has to be saturated throughout the entire gem with
The most popular blue diamond in the world is the Hope Diamond. It also comes a backstory of a curse to anyone who owns it. The Hope Diamond can be viewed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
A blue diamond is one of the gemstones with the highest refractive indexes in the world and is, therefore, a great choice in almost any type of jewelry.
Diamonds are well-known for high prices, but a blue diamond is even pricier because of the rarity and treatment which is used to enhance the stone. Naturally blue diamonds are the most expensive and a single carat could cost more than $200,000.
2. Blue Sapphire
This precious stone is the most popular in the realm of blue gemstones, which is great news if you're looking to buy sapphire jewelry online.
Being a very tough gemstone (9 Mohs), it’s even become an alternate option for diamonds, especially in engagement rings.
Blue sapphire is the most popular, but sapphire also exists in a wide range of colors.
Blue sapphires are valued for their pure blue shades, but violet blue colors are very rare and command the highest prices. Teal Montana sapphires are very popular in the market and come from Sapphire Mountain in Montana, US.
The deep blue hues of blue sapphires is due to the presence of titanium and iron during the processes that led to its formation. Sapphire is highly resistant to scratches and breaking-probably tougher than diamond!
Read also: Best Sapphire Wedding Bands
Aquamarine is a well-known light blue gemstone from the beryl family. They grow in large blue crystals, but most stores will have you believe they are supposed to be very pale. Light blue gemstones are the least valuable.
Aquamarine occurs in very large crystals and has a bright sparkle when exposed to light. With a hardness of 7.5 to 8 Mohs, Aquamarine is a tough gem and does not break easily. This blue gem is quite durable and would be a perfect choice for everyday wear.
Most of the best aquamarine engagement rings available on the market are heat treated to bring out to intensify the light blue color of the stone. Fine cut and colored gems can run around $500 per carat. Treated gemstones are very affordable.
4. Blue Topaz
Topaz occurs in a range of colors, most valued for its red and yellow gemstones. Blue topaz is also very popular.
Natural blue topaz is more of a rare gemstone to find. Heat-treating is a common process in blue topaz gemstones. Additionally, the stone is pleochroic and the stone can have different colors depending on the angle you view it from.
Topaz is regularly an eye-clean, so many people desire to use it in jewelry. There are few different shades of blue topaz that are popular in jewelry.
Swiss blue topaz is a bright blue. Sky blue topaz is a little darker than that. London blue topaz gemstones have darker colors. They more often are blue green colors, but with dark green hues.
5. Lapis Lazuli
Lapis Lazuli is quite different from other gemstones. It is not really a mineral.
Instead, Lapis Lazuli is a rock containing several minerals including calcite, lazurite, and sparkling pyrite flakes.
Lazurite is the mineral that brings out its dark blue color. In ancient times, lapis lazuli was used as a major source of dye.
Lapis lazuli mainly occurs in shades of blue but, in certain cases, white/gold inclusions of marble intrude the stone.
It is not a very hard stone (5 to 6 Mohs) so some extra care is needed when handling the jewelry. Lapis lazuli gemstones are always cut into cabochons mainly used in making pendants, necklaces, and bracelets.
7. Blue Opal
Opals are famous for their milky white base color and rainbow play of light as precious opal. Opals occur in multiple varieties. Blue opals have a cornflower to sky blue color. Most dark blue gemstones are considered to be black opal.
The rainbow play of light in an opal looks more greenish blue over the blue base of the opal. Opals are soft stones and get easily damaged if not well cared for. They have a 5.5 to 6.5 hardness and are sensitive to extreme temperature changes.
Opals aren't valued price per carat, but more on the appearance of each individual stone. The play of light is a big factor. If an opal has blue green colors in their play of light, they can be up to $250 per carat.
You can find beautiful Ethiopian opals at Helzberg Diamonds.
Read also: Best Opal Engagement Rings
Tanzanite is a newly discovered gemstone as the earliest deposits were found in 1967. However, the stone is still a popular favorite because of its deep blue to violet color.
The stone’s color may range from deep blue to other pale shades which are not as popular. More often, the paler shades go through heat-treatment to enhance their colors.
Tanzanite, most of the time, is used as an alternative to other blue gemstones that are highly priced. However, tanzanite’s reasonably low hardness (6.5 Mohs) makes the stone delicate and mostly used in earrings and pendants.
Although discovered recently, tanzanite may not be in huge deposits in the near future. So, prices may rise in the next decades.
9. Blue Akoya Pearls
Akoya pearls are best known for their ivory white colors and sensational luster, but they can be a soft light blue as well. Akoyas are often dyed to pure blue shades, but blue pearls can be completely natural. They just aren't a vivid blue color. They may have gray or pinkish overtones
All pearls are soft, so they don't make good for everyday wear in rings. Low impact jewelry is best for them. Pearls are easily scratched with a hardness of 2.5-3.5. These are rare colors, so they can go for high prices.
10. Blue Tourmaline
Most blue tourmaline cost lower than $500. Blue Tourmaline (also known as indicolite) is one of the rarest kinds of tourmaline. It comes in light to dark shades of blue.
There are other luminescent blue variations like Paraiba tourmaline. They’ll barely weigh up to one carat. These beautiful gems have a vivid blue green color. Fine color paraiba tourmaline is extremely rare and very expensive. It can go for up to $15,000 per carat. It's considered one of the most valuable gemstones in the world.
Blue tourmaline may have green secondary hues although the most valuable are purely blue.The stone is generally hard (7 to 7.5 Mohs) and has above average durability. If well taken care of, blue tourmaline can last decades without wear.
On rare occasions, blue tourmaline can have a cat’s eye, where the light mirrored off from the stone resembles the still eye of a cat. Tourmaline is a common gemstone in jewelry making and the blue variety is often used with other color-gemstones for variety and complement.
11. Blue Zircon
Don't confuse this natural blue stone with the man made cubic zirconia. Both cubic zirconia white zircon may be used as diamond alternatives, but zircon is its own gemstone.
Blue zircon is considered the modern December birthstone. However, these saturated blue gems is often turned down in favor of other blue gemstones. Many blue zircon stones have strong green hues too. Fine color blue zircon goes for around $250 per carat.
12. Blue Spinel
Like other blue gemstones on our list, spinel occurs in a rainbow of colors, including blue. Most blue spinel material is a deep blue color. The darker tones don't make great stones as the blue is hidden. Medium blue tones are most desirable.
Blue spinel can be both natural gemstones and synthetic. It has a hardness of 7.5-8 and no gemstone cleavage. That's rare for a brilliant faceted stone. Natural blue spinel stones can be expensive and valuable gemstones in bigger carat sizes. Best color blue spinel costs around $1200 per carat.
Turquoise is a semi-precious gemstone often with black inclusions occurring as veins. Turquoise is an ancient gem and popular for its vivid sky green blue shades.
Turquoise jewelry may not have the brilliance of many blue gemstones, but the stone’s rich greenish blue color makes it a popular gem for centuries. Pure blue turquoise is the most valuable, though it may be called sky blue or robin's egg blue turquoise.
This blue stone is often cut in cabochons and beads when used for jewelry making. Because turquoise is a soft blue stone (5 to 6 Mohs), it is preferred in pendants and other less delicate jewelry pieces. It’s also not very durable and extra care is needed when handling this gem.
Iolite teeters on the edge of purplish blue gemstones, similar to tanzanite. More people are recognizing these blue stones, but they aren't sold on the regular in jewelry stores.
Iolite also has pleochroism. For iolite gemstones, you may see yellow at some angles against the purplish blue body color.
It has good wearability and rates a 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale. It's highly affordable at around $30 per carat.
Read also: List of 14 Most Popular Purple Gemstones
Kyanite is a cool gray blue stone. It's not often faceted into wearable jewelry, due its its range of hardness on the Mohs scale. The hardness of kyanite is between 4-7, depending on the crystal structure. This makes the gem difficult for cutters to facet. Pieces that have been faceted are heavily included.
It's rare that kyanite is a bright blue gem, but they do exist. Most kyanite out on the market are in specimen form. It doesn't cost a lot to obtain kyanite, so there's no real price per carat.
16. Blue Lace Agate
Agate is a form of chalcedony and portrays in a wide variety of deep colors, including blue.
Agate is distinct in its banding form, leading to a wider spectrum of blues from one stone to another. It is an abundant stone and easily found all over the world.
Agate is also one of the most pocket-friendly pieces. It is used in jewelry making, largely as pendants for necklaces.
It is best used in pendants to portray the banding qualities of this blue gemstone. These bands are often comprised of different colors.
17. Blue Jadeite
Jadeite is most known for its green variety. Not many people know it comes in other colors too, including blue. While not used in faceted jewelry, jade is known for being used in art carvings and ornamental pieces.
The blue variety of jadeite is a rare gemstone, because it only occurs in Guatemala. It is a durable gemstone when used in jewelry. Instead of cracking when it, natural gemstones will ring like a bell. Jadeite also has a hardness of 6.5-7.
18. Blue Garnet
A lot of people don't know that blue garnets exist. Garnets occur in different colors besides the traditional red January birthstone. Blue garnets are extremely rare, as they are a variety of another rare garnet: the color change umbalite garnet.
The public loves colored gemstones that change colors, like alexandrite. Blue garnet comes out the same way. It was only discovered in 2017 and has a hardness of 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale. Currently, there's no price listed on these blue gems.
Apatite is an affordable blue gemstone that occurs in a few different colors. However, it's well known for its blue hues. Apatite in best color is blue green, but many enjoy its swiss blue shades.
This gem is very affordable, due in large part to its poor wearability. It's a very soft stone, at 3.5-4 hardness. It is a very brittle stone to cut and they are sensitive to heat treatment too.
Although beautiful, you won't want to make this blue gem your engagement ring center stone. Apatites are best left in low impact jewelry like earrings or pendants worn occasionally.
Azurite is a popular choice for jewelers due to its dark shades of blue and has been used as a pigment for years.
This blue stone has a pretty low hardness (3.5 to 4 Mohs), hence making it harder to cut the these blue stones into facets. It is usually cut into softer edges as cabochons. The gemstone also needs to have protective settings to ensure these blue stones last longer (e.g, bezel).
With time, azurite can fade its color from blue to green. It’s therefore important to avoid placing the gemstone exposed to light for long hours.
Probably one of the world’s rarest gemstones is benitoite.
For one, it’s only found in one place in the world. It also exhibits the highest dispersion ratings of all gems, including diamond. The stone has excellent brilliance and fire properties.
Benitoite is used in jewelry rings but in small portions due to its rarity and value.
22. Hawk's Eye
If you've check out our other colored stones articles, you might be familiar with cat's eye gems by now. This blue gemstone is actually the blue variety of the popular yellow-brown gemstone, tiger's eye.
Tiger's eye is really popular, but most people don't know about hawk's eye stones. They are deep blue stones that are cut and polished in cabochons. It has a hardness rating of 7 and considered to have good wearbility. Hawk's eye is also affordable in large sizes, like tiger's eye.
Read also: List of 18 Most Popular Brown Gemstones
Sodalite is another blue gemstone primarily used for metaphysical purposes rather than used in jewelry. It's a dark blue gemstone that is carved in beads, cabochons, and carvings due to its opaqueness.
Like most opaque stones, sodalite is affordable. Pieces may cost more depending on size and artistry of carvings. Because of this, these blue stones don't have a price per carat.
Where to Buy a Blue Gemstone?
If you're in the market for a blue sapphire, you can find them easily, both locally and online. Natural sapphires that are untreated are harder to find locally. Mall jewelry stores like Kay and Zales will carry cheaper lab-created versions, or overpriced natural ones.
I recommend buying a blue sapphire online. For the most affordable ones, James Allen is a great option. They also carry blue diamonds. The grading reports will let you know if they are treated.
Brilliant Earth is another excellent choice if you're in the market for a synthetic blue diamond for a more affordable option. They also carry Montana sapphires, which are very popular right now for their blue green hues. You will also find loose aquamarine and all different varieties of blue topaz gems.
If you want the best blue diamond money can buy, I recommend Leibish & Co. They will also carry untreated sapphires. I forewarn you, these are very expensive.