Unboxing Blue Gemstones | Topaz, Zircon, Tanzanite and more!
Join our gemstone hosts in unboxing and exploring several beautiful blue gemstones. Learn some gemstone trivia while seeing extraordinary specimens of blue gemstones like shattuckite, azurite, lazurite, lapis lazuli, tanzanite, blue zircon and blue topaz!
Our first blue gemstone unboxed is shattuckite, a pseudomorph of malachite, and gets its name from the Shattuck Mine in Arizona. Here, shattuckite was discovered in 1915 and can be occasionally found with quartz!
The next blue stone featured is azurite which its name refers to its natural blue color. Azurite was originally called chessylite and was named after the Chessy-Les-Mines mine in France. Historically, azurite was used in paints and dies by the ancient Egyptians.
Next up is lazurite, a completely opaque gem that is one of the key ingredients for lapis lazuli. Lazurite is also from the isometric system (also known as the cubic crystal system) and traces its name from the Arabic word for heaven. Lazurite was first identified in Afghanistan, a major source of lapis, in 1890. After mentioning lapis lazuli enough, our gem hosts unveil a large specimen of lapis. For a lapis specimen to be labeled as lapis lazuli at least 25 percent of it has to be made of lazurite. For thousands of years, lapis has been used in fabulous works of art and cultural significance like King Tut's face mask and used as ultramarine pigment during the Renaissance worth more than its weight in gold.
Tanzanite is then shown with its dark blue color and glassy appearance. As the name suggests, tanzanite comes from Tanzania in Africa. What makes this gemstone so special is that it's a thousand times rare than diamond and comes from one sector of the country and nowhere else in the world. Peacock tanzanite (green tanzanite) is also shown for its bluish tint and pleochroism, a directional change of color depending on the axis through which its viewed shows a different color. Tanzanite is also dichroic meaning it only shows two different shades of color.
The second to last gemstone unboxed is blue zircon, a highly birefringent stone that allows light to enter it and split into two different directions. This process allows your eye to see optical doubling (double of its back facets). Zircon is also an ancient mineral of around four and a half billion years old. Lastly, most zircons are found in a reddish brown color and require heat treatment to create blue zircon. The last blue gemstone unboxed is blue topaz which most earn their blue hue from being irradiated. While blue topaz can occur naturally, it's exceedingly rare and very valuable! Topaz is also an allochromatic gemstone which means it's naturally colorless without heat or impurities.
To learn more about these fabulous blue gemstones, watch the video above or search them on the site's gemopedia!