The Blue John Gallery has proudly handcrafted award winning gemstone jewellery for over 40 years, beautifully capturing the distinctive bands of yellow, purple and blue into stunning sterling silver and gold designs. From classic rings to contemporary pendants to unique one-off pieces decorated with diamonds, our Blue John jewellery collections are a sight to behold. Before you begin exploring all the latest arrivals on our website, let’s dive a little deeper into the world of Blue John…
What is Blue John?
Blue John is a semi-precious gemstone found in an area of Derbyshire in the UK in a small village called Castleton. Despite the stone being a variation of fluorite, also known as fluor-spa, Blue John differs from any other form of fluor-spa for its unique crystal structure and striking coloured veins. Due to its unusual bands of blue, yellow and purple, it is deemed Britain’s rarest mineral with only a few small veins and nodules of the gemstone left over.
It is believed the name for Blue John derives from the French term ‘blue et jaune’ which translates to ‘blue and yellow’, tributing the stone’s distinctive bands of colour. It was first discovered over 2,000 years ago by the Romans and believed to have been taken abroad with one rare Blue John vase found in the excavations at Pompeii. The 19th century in particular saw a rise in popularity for the gemstone with many upper class individuals and royalty coveting the colours for vases, tables, columns and windows. To own Blue John was an honour with places like Buckingham Palace and Chatsworth House boasting ornaments and decorative features created from the rare mineral.
Where does Blue John come from?
Blue John is known for being Britain’s rarest mineral for a reason. It has been found in one location, in the village of Castleton in Derbyshire in the Peak District, England. Hidden within the picturesque hillsides of Castleton are four known locations that have housed Blue John: Peak Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Blue John Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern. Out of these, only two remain as working Blue John mines.
Treak Cliff Cavern is one of these last working Blue John mines and is widely believed to be the very first mine to ever excavate the gemstone. First opening in 1745, Treak Cliff Cavern persists in unearthing pieces of Blue John today, however due to the rarity of the stone, mining only happens on a small scale during the quiet winter months. We highly recommend a visit to the Treak Cliff Cavern in Castleton so you can witness for yourself the birthplace of the rare and famous British gemstone.
The Blue John Gallery
The Blue John Gallery is proud to work alongside the Treak Cliff Cavern, having first choice of the gemstone material that surfaces to use in our stunning Blue John jewellery collections. Our talented team of craftsmen and women work carefully with the mineral, setting it into beautiful designs of sterling silver and 18 carat gold. All our Blue John jewellery is delivered with a Certificate of Authenticity so you can traceback the gemstone to its original source and craftsmanship.
You can shop all our Blue John gemstone jewellery collections on the Blue John Gallery website here or by visiting us in our boutique on Cross Street in Castleton.