Blue is a relatively rare color in nature and perhaps because of this, blue gemstone jewelry has been prized for centuries and worn by the wealthy, the powerful and by royalty.
There are many different types of high-quality blue gemstone available today in varying shades of color intensity and levels of durability for everyday wear. Many are available through James Allen, Blue Nile, Brian Gavin Diamonds and Leibish & Co.
We will show you the most beautiful of them all:
11 Of Our Favorite Blue Gemstones
Here is a complete list of our favorite blue gemstones for jewelry:
- Mohs Scale – 9
- Cost per carat ranges from around $450 to $1,600 and above, depending on quality
- Trivia: The world’s most expensive sapphire is The Blue Belle of Asia, 392.52 carats, sold for $17,305,996 at auction in 2014
Sapphire is the most popular blue gemstone of all and is often seen in engagement rings; Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, previously owned by Princess Diana, is an 18-carat sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds. Sapphires come from the mineral corundum, which is a crystallized form of aluminum oxide. Corundum is an extremely hard substance, so sapphires are extremely durable for everyday wear and they do not scratch easily. They score a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, second only to diamonds.
Sapphires can come in different shades of blue depending on the presence of a slight secondary shade. They can range anywhere from slight green to strong greenish blue, pure cornflower, which are the most highly prized, to a slight purple to deep purplish blue.
In their natural state, sapphires have small inclusions or blemishes, but you can buy a sapphire which has been artificially made in a laboratory. It will be inclusion free and much cheaper though far less desirable than a natural sapphire.
- Mohs Scale – 10
- Price – depending on color depth, from around $15,700 for .3 carat -$75,000 – $200,000+ for .5 carat
- Fun fact: The world’s Most Expensive is the Hope Diamond – 45.52 carats, priceless but valued at around $250 million +
No list of blue gemstones is complete without the blue diamond. There is just something about the mystique of all diamonds that is irresistible, but blue diamonds are in a class of their own. They are 100% real, natural, untreated diamonds which have a blue tone in them due to the presence of boron in their carbon structure.
If you are in the market for a diamond but prefer something with color, a blue diamond should be at the top of your list. They can vary in color from light to deep blue, often with a hint of violet or even greyish green and are found only in a few mines around the world, in South Africa, Australia and India.
The deeper the color blue and the heavier the carat weight, the rarer and the more expensive they are. Because of their relative rarity, they are more expensive than white diamonds.
Tip: If you must have a blue diamond but cannot afford it, you CAN buy a cheaper, heat treated one, but be aware that it will have a much lower re-sale value.
- Mohs Scale – 7.5-8
- Price – $100 – $500+ per carat for an excellent quality & color stone.
- Fun fact: The world’s largest aquamarine is the Dom Pedro, cut from a 100lb crystal measuring over 3 feet in length. Its worth? Incalculable.
Named for its resemblance to the beautiful, translucent pastel color of seawater, aquamarine is a blue variety of the mineral beryl, which includes emerald, morganite and heliodor. Aquamarine gemstones come in a range of different shades of blue from very light to a deep, rich blue, which is generally the preferred color. Not surprisingly, deep, saturated blue aquamarine is the most expensive.
Many aquamarine gemstones are color treated to enhance their look to give them a deeper shade of blue, but this is not unusual in the jewelry industry. If you prefer a natural stone, ask if yours has been given any artificial enhancement. Aquamarine is relatively hard and durable, so it works well in everyday jewelry.
- Mohs Scale – 6.5-7
- Price – Approximately $300 per carat for excellent quality
- Fun fact: Tanzanite is 1,000 more rare than diamonds.
Tanzanite comes in many colors, but blue tanzanite is the rarest and most expensive. Deep blue is the most desired color in tanzanite, although it also comes in light blue.
It is named after the country it was found in – Tanzania. Blue tanzanite coloring can be extremely vivid, so you may be mistaken and think you are looking at a sapphire. Often seen in a blend of purples and blues, tanzanite is only found in a small area around the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and its supplies are slowly being depleted. It will probably run out altogether in time, so that it why it is so greatly valued. Having said that, it is not as popular as sapphire, so prices tend to be reasonable and more affordable.
As it is softer than sapphire, it requires more daily care, but can be a great substitute. Both James Allen and Blue Nile have gorgeous selections of tanzanite rings.
- Mohs scale – 8
- Price – $10 – $40 per carat!
- Fun fact: The Adiel Topaz, mined in Brazil, weighs over 20,000 carats and took a year to cut.
Who doesn’t love the look of blue topaz? It is one of the most popular of all blue gemstones and used in all kinds of jewelry from engagement rings to earrings, necklaces and more. Although most topaz in its natural form is colorless, it can be heat treated to achieve magnificent shades of different blues. If blue is your color, but your wallet objects, check out blue topaz. The most expensive blue topaz varieties are London Blue, Sierra Blue and Swiss Blue, which are darker versions of the stone.
Lustrous, transparent blue and often without inclusions or blemishes, blue topaz is also very affordable, durable and widely available. It has much to recommend it for those who want a beautiful stone but are on a budget.
- Mohs scale – 6-7.5
- Price – $75 -$200 for excellent color
- Fun fact: Zircon crystals date back to about 4.375 billion years ago
Blue zircon is an exceptional brilliant gemstone. It looks almost exactly the same as a blue diamond, so it can easily be mistaken for one. Blue is the most popular color for zircon, and you can find varying shades of blue from a light pastel all the way to a vivid darker blue. Stones with the deepest blue, vivid color are the rarest and therefore the most expensive.
The drawback to zircon is that it tends to be brittle and can get damaged if worn every day, so it should be mounted in a halo or a bezel setting which can better protect it from wear and tear.
Note: Zircon is not the same as cubic zirconia and should not be confused with it.
- Mohs Scale – 7 -7.5
- Price per carat – Paraiba variety – $150 – $16,000+
- Fun fact: The Ethereal Carolina Divine Paraiba is a brilliant-cut oval weighing 191.87 carats. It is valued upwards of $125 million
Tourmaline comes in every shade of blue imaginable. It is found mainly in Paraiba, Brazil. The most famous variety of tourmaline is called Paraiba, which was discovered in 1989. Paraiba tourmaline comes in neon blue, violet blue or a greenish blue. Tourmaline is pleochroic, meaning that it shows different colors from different angles. Paraiba tourmaline is exceedingly rare, so it is costlier than other types of tourmaline. Sometimes, though rarely, blue tourmaline will be found with a cat’s eye where light reflects off the stone in a similar way to the slit eye of a cat. The cat’s eye consists of a large group of inclusions within the stone which are filled with gas bubbles or liquid.
Blue tourmaline is widely used in jewelry and often set with other types and colors of gemstones to accentuate its gorgeous color. Its claim to fame lies in its stunning range of colors which comes in just about every possible shade of blue you can imagine.
- Mohs scale – 6.5 – 7
- Price – $1500 + per carat
- Fun fact: Blue garnets were only discovered in the late 1990s in Bekily, Madagascar.
You will no doubt be familiar with red garnets, but blue garnets are a very recent addition to the world of gemstones. They are extremely rare and are mostly more of a collector’s item rather than a stone seen in the manufacture of everyday, mainstream jewelry.
Blue garnets are color-changing, which means when viewed under the light you will see different colors appear, from blue green to deep purple. This is because of the presence of vanadium in the stone. They are hard enough for daily use but because of their rarity, are difficult to find, despite their beauty.
- Mohs Scale -6- 6.5
- Price $3500 – $6000 for a clear, rare 1 carat
- Fun fact: The largest faceted benitoite is 7.5 carats, on display at the Smithsonian.
Benitoite is one of the rarest gemstones in the world. Gem quality benitoite is found in only one place in the world – San Benito County, California. In fact, since its discovery in 1907 by mineralogist Dr. George Louderback, benitoite was named the official gemstone of California.
The refractive qualities of benitoite are far higher than those of sapphire, and it is a remarkably brilliant stone. Benitoite has one of the highest dispersion ratings of all gemstones, meaning that it takes in white light and disperses it to all other colors of the spectrum – hence its amazing fire and brilliance. The crystals are mostly transparent and range from pale blue to a deep blue or bluish violet color. Benitoite is pleochroic, meaning that is shows color variations within the same stone when moved under a light source. The color change can be gradual or sharp, so careful cutting of the stone is needed to make the most of each stone’s unique coloration. It is often cut as a brilliant or a cabochon.
If you are lucky enough to be able to buy a benitoite gemstone, it will probably be small, due to its high price and rarity.
- Mohs Scale – 3.7 – 3.8
- Price $10 – $100+ per carat
- Fun Fact: Azure’s copper content gives it its characteristic blue coloring
Azurite is a stunning, deep azure blue gemstone and because of its extraordinary color, it does not need artificial color-enhancing treatment. It has been used for centuries as a pigment and for ornaments. As compared with other blue gemstones, azurite is not cut into facets, but polished and cut into cabochons. You may find azurite combined with green malachite in jewelry as the two are often found in the same deposit area. It is mostly found in the US, France and Namibia.
As you can see by its Mohs Scale rating, azurite is soft, so it has to be handled carefully to prevent damage. Azurite’s color can also start to fade over time, and it should be stored away from direct sunlight.
- Mohs Scale – 5-6
- Price – From $1 – $1,000 depending on color and quality
- Fun Fact: Tutankhamun’s iconic burial mask was inlaid with turquoise
Commonly seen in Native American jewelry, deposits of turquoise only develop under certain conditions such as dry and barren regions where the copper-rich groundwater reacts with minerals that contain phosphorus and aluminum. Turquoise is porous and semi-translucent and does not have the sparkle of other gemstones. It ranges in color from dull to bright green to medium-toned, sky blue. People value turquoise highly for its combination of ancient heritage and unforgettable color.
The traditional source for the robin’s-egg blue or sky blue turquoise is Iran, so, quite often, you’ll hear people call this “Persian blue.”
Top-quality turquoise is most often cut into elegant cabochons, but it might also be cut into beads or flat pieces for inlays. Its Mohs Scale is 5 -6, so it is a fairly soft stone and can be easily carved. Care needs to be taken for everyday wear.
Lesser Known Blue Gemstones
- Apatite – translucent gemstone with a bluish- green color
- Blue Chalcedony – a type of quartz found in a range of blues from pastel to vivid.
- Blue fluorite – a rate form of fluorite, often used as a healing crystal
- Sodalite – deep rich blue with gray tints. Also used a healing stone.
Blue gemstones have been prized for thousands of years for their extraordinary beauty and range of color. Today, we have many options from which to choose an engagement ring, bracelet, earrings or any special type of jewelry.
The best thing about shopping for a blue gemstone is that there are spectacular stones to suit any budget, however modest, so there’ll be no need to cry the blues.