Ceruleite, the vivid sky blue gem, is a rarity not often seen outside museum collections.
A rarity, even among collectors, it's not common to see specimens of ceruleite on the market. A gemstone that appears sky blue to pale blue in color, it can frequently be mistaken for turquoise. In fact, one of ceruleite's earliest applications was as imitation turquoise!
Mined nodules can range from one to several inches long, but it's unusual to see large finished specimens. The material is tough to work with, requiring a skilled hand to shape it correctly and maintain the most generous yield. As an opaque stone, ceruleite is fashioned into cabochons. When polished, the material possesses an earthy, low-key luster. Ceruleite may sometimes also be carved into interesting shapes.
Comparisons to Turquoise
The visual quality of ceruleite is superb, with little to no inclusions or blemishes present in finished cabochon gems. This purity frequently draws comparisons to Sleeping Beauty turquoise and Kingman turquoise regarding its visual appeal.
Caring for Ceruleite
Once processed, cut, and polished, the faceted gems are remarkably eye clean. This means inclusions within the stone are not visible to the naked eye. Polished stones possess a sparkling luster that reflects like glass. Skilled cutters are needed to produce the best specimens, due to the stone's scarcity.
Durability of Ceruleite
Ceruleite ranks five to six on the Mohs scale, so care is suggested with wearing this gem to prevent accidental scratching. Cleaning should be done with mild dish washing soap and lukewarm water. The material may be impregnated with resin to stabilize it and increase durability.
Consider ceruleite jewelry if you're already smitten by soft blue gems such as turquoise, larimar or Oregon blue opal. It bridges the gap in hue between these stones and more intensely colored stones like lapis lazuli and azurite. Any lover of blue can appreciate the even hue of this unique jewel!
The Ceruleite Name
• Ceruleite is named for the word cerulean, in reference to the sky-blue color frequently seen within the gemstone. Cerulean has its roots in Latin and describes a particular shade of blue.
Location: Guanaco, Chile
Ceruleite was first identified in the early 20th century, showing up as a curiosity in mineralogical journals of the time. Originally discovered at the Emma Louisa Mine of Guanaco, Chile, the location continues to be an important primary source of the gem.
The Emma Louisa Mine of Guanaco, Chile
The Emma Louisa mine primarily produces gold, though copper is found too. In fact, like turquoise, malachite, and other copper-related minerals, ceruleite is found alongside copper deposits. The pale blue tones of the gemstone are the result of copper being present in its chemical composition.
Ranks from five to six on the Mohs scale.
Color presents as an even sky blue to pale blue.
Sourced from Emma Luisa Mine in Guanaco, Chile.
The material may be stabilized to increase its durability.