In the United Kingdom, people are often surprised to learn that we have an abundance of minerals and gemstones right here at home. Agates are found in Scotland (renowned for their variety and colours), we have varieties of quartz such amethyst and citrine, and jasper can be found here too. Take a walk along the beaches to the east of the country, and you may even be lucky enough to discover a washed up piece of amber!
The UK is also home to a unique type of fluorite, known as Blue John. Derbyshire in England is the home of this striking gemstone, and it’s only extracted in small quantities each year.
What gives Blue John its uniqueness in the gemstone world is the sublime colouring, which is a distinctive blue-purple, with areas of bright cream and yellow flashing through its veins. This creates a stunning visual effect, and is what makes Blue John so desirable to gem connoisseurs around the world.
Like many gemstones, Blue John can be cut and made into jewellery. It can also be made into other objects too, such as vases, bowls and paperweights.
Recently, a newly discovered gemstone seam in China has revealed fluorite with a similar characteristics to Blue John. However, only the distinctive purple-blue-yellow fluorite mined in Derbyshire can correctly be known as Blue John.
Once you see this wonderful gemstone in real life, you’ll never forget it vivid colouring and beautiful banded patterns – it’s a real gem in ever sense of the word!