The exceptionally rare semi-precious gemstone, Blue John, is treasured among collectors and jewellery enthusiasts alike thanks to its unusual colouring and the scarcity of its availability.
What is Blue John?
Also known as Derbyshire Fluorspar, Blue John is a rare and valuable gemstone renowned for its extraordinary blue, purple and yellow colouring which presents itself in unique crystallised patterns and swirls. Legend says that the name Blue John comes from a corruption of the French term “bleu et jaune”, meaning “blue and yellow” as a reference to its unique colouring.
The only known deposit of Blue John is found deep in the crumbling hillside of the Hope Valley near Castleton in Derbyshire. The majority of Blue John mines are now extinct, however smaller veins are occasionally discovered in the original locality, such as the Ridley Vein in 2015, the fifteenth recorded vein in history.
Blue John has a rich and varied history. Some say it was discovered by the Romans - there are references to a soft ornamental rock with a great variety of colours including “shades of purple and white with a mixture of the two”, which they named murrhine. The earliest categorical reference to Blue John dates to around 1760 in a plaque at the Friary Hotel in Derby, and fireplaces using this stunning mineral appeared in stately homes around this time. The 19th century is considered the heyday of Blue John; the stone was in high demand and seen in homes such as Buckingham Palace and Chatsworth.
Due to the scarcity of this beautiful gem and its incredibly striking appearance, it is prized by collectors. Blue John has been used in a variety of ornamental items not just limited to jewellery, including decorative bowls, goblets and even smooth table tops.
Blue John Jewellery
Every piece of Blue John jewellery is one of a kind, each with its own unique patterns and swirls of glittering golden veining. When you choose to purchase a piece of Blue John jewellery, you’re truly making an investment into a highly sought after and perfectly designed piece of history. These pieces are alluring and captivating, each with its own story to tell.
At the Yorkshire Jewellery Company, you’ll find a tempting collection of Blue John jewellery with the stunning stone set against elegant Sterling Silver, including sleek and contemporary Blue John pendants and stylish Blue John cufflinks that really let the natural patterns in the stone speak for themselves.