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Gemstone of the Month: Blue-John

October 05, 2016 Allison Bray

Blue-John is a semi-precious metal that’s sometimes also known as Derbyshire Spar. If you’re not already familiar with this pretty fluorite, you may be surprised to know that it’s actually far less blue than you may be imagining! Most Blue-John is a gorgeous mix of purple and yellow.

True Blue-John is actually home grown in the UK! It’s mined in very small quantities from the Blue John Cavern and the Treak Cliff Cavern in Derbyshire. 

There are numerous stories behind the Blue-John name. Our favourite is that it came from the miners themselves who came up with the nickname in relation to a zinc ore they were also mining which was colloquially known as ‘Black Jack’.

Though there are stories of the Romans mining Blue-John from Derbyshire, this probably isn’t strictly true! The oldest recorded use of the metal is from the 1760s when it started to be used in ornamental fireplace panels. 

Worn best with… 

As it’s one of the rarest minerals in the world, we think Blue-John looks fantastic as part of a quirky ensemble! Wear it with blue or indigo tones to bring out the colour… or pair it with monochromes to let it really stand out.

Best suited to… 

There’s something very special about pairing the majestic purple tones of Blue-John with classic silver. We think the combination makes the perfect statement necklace!

Famous Blue-Johns…

Only around half a tonne of Blue-John is produced per year. A deposit previously ‘lost’ in the Derbyshire Blue-John mines was rediscovered in 2013, and a brand new vein was discovered in 2015: the first for a hundred and fifty years. 

More inspiration… 

Blue-John Pendant (pictured above) | Blue-John Ring | Oval Blue John Studs | Blue John Studs | Blue John Cuff | Blue John Pendant | Amapola Blue-John Pendant | David Scott-Walker Blue-John Pendant | Celtic Drop Earrings


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