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Blue John Fluorite - History & Properties

Blue John Fluorite is probably the most famous of all British crystals and minerals. It is a variety of Fluorite, but what makes this so special is that is can only be found in one place in the world - Castleton in Derbyshire, England. Blue John, also known as Derbyshire Spar (after the alterative name for Fluorite, Fluorspar), It is known for its distinctive blue-purple, yellow and white banding, which form when different mineral impurities are present during the crystal's formation.

Where the name "Blue John" came from will have a different answer depending on who you ask, but the most likely story is that is came from the French "bleu et jaune", which translates to "blue and yellow", after the colours of Blue John.

The Blue John sites are one of the few mining sites that are open to the public for visiting in the UK (though sadly you can't dig there!), two of the options for tours are the Blue John Caverns, and the most well known of all - Treak Cliff Cavern, where mining has been carried out for over 300 years and approximately half a tonne is mined each year. The different veins yield slightly different patterns, all in all there are 14 currently known varieties, one of the currently mined veins. 

Blue John Fluorite has been prized for its beauty and rarity for centuries, and during the Victorian era, it became extremely popular as a decorative stone for use in homes (for those who could afford it!) and public buildings, including  some of the most famous buildings in the country, such as Chatsworth House and Buckingham Palace. It was highly valued for its unique coloration and translucency, which made it a striking material to carve decorative objects such as vases and lamps from.

Blue John Fluorite was also popular among Victorian jewelry makers, and continues to be so today, often seen set in silver and gold. However, Blue John will often need to be stabilised before it is cut, making it a difficult crystal to use and therefore rarely seen in jewellery.

We are extremely fortunate to have a connection who buys Blue John direct from Treak Cliff Cavern, and he sends it off to be cut and polished so we often have this beautiful British crystal available, see our current selection here:


 Browse all our available Fluorite: https://thecitrinecircle.com/collections/fluorite

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