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The blue gem that looks like sapphire, but isn't
02 February 2018
When you think of blue gemstones, the first one that springs to mind for most people is sapphire. Tanzanite is a popular blue gemstone (albeit with a violet tint) and semi-precious gems such as topaz, apatite, lapis lazuli and turquoise are all relatively well known.
But what of Kyanite, a gem that you may perhaps have never heard of?
Kyanite is a spectacular semi-precious gemstone, with a rich blue colour very like that of high quality Ceylon sapphires. Its name is derived from the Greek word 'kuanos' or 'kyanos', meaning 'deep blue'. Other colour variations such as orange, yellow, grey or green can also be found, but these are not as common or popular as the blue variety.
Like most gemstones, Kyanite is found in several locations worldwide, including Austria, Myanmar and Kenya. New discoveries of Kyanite in Nepal have resulted in exceptional colour and transparency gems of Ceylon-blue sapphire colour becoming available in the marketplace.
Kyanite is unique among gemstones as it is the most anisotropic of all gemstones. Anisotropy means a difference in hardness on a crystals horizontal and vertical axes. In the context of jewellery, this means that in one direction the hardness is 4.5 to 5.5, but perpendicular to this the hardness is 6 to 7.
As such, care must be taken not only when cutting and polishing Kyanite, but it also means that Kyanite is best suited to setting in earrings and pendants. If set in a ring, kyanite would look beautiful, but would scratch very easily and could show signs of wear and tear relatively quickly.
Whilst top quality Nepalese Kyanite has a colour almost identical to high quality Ceylon Sapphires, prices are far more affordable and stones can be purchased for prices a fraction of an equivalent sapphire price.
Katannuta Diamonds has several cut and polished loose Kyanite gemstones available for setting in jewellery of your own design. Contact us today to schedule a personal appointment to discuss this stunning blue gemstone.