Handmade in my small artisan workshop, this is an eye-catching and unusually shaped little natural gemstone pendant. The Blue John fluorite came to me in its raw form and it was such a rich colour and beautifully unique shape that I chose not to play around with it too much. After a careful hand smoothing and fingertip polish, it was securely enclosed in solid sterling silver, using the primitive-inspired hand metal forming methods I've developed.
The result is a fascinating free flowing design that plays with the seemingly chaotic yet harmonious patterns and shapes of nature. The stone shape was inspired by the rocky hills and boulders that can be found in the Peak District, near where this gemstone was mined.
I've attached this one of a kind pendant on to a solid 925 sterling silver chain so you can wear it straight away, and as this is a handmade artisan item, the photos show you the exact item you'll receive.
Pendant size (including bail): small, 1.5cm x 1.5cm
Necklace Length: 47cm (18.1/2 inches)
Gemstone: Fluorite (rare Blue John variety). Please note that there are some noticeable marks, lines and inclusions on the surface of this stone - these are natural and can be seen by the eye.
Gemstone Size: 14x9mm (approx, freeform cabochon)
Gemstone Treatment: untreated, natural
Gemstone Origin: Derbyshire, England, UK
Metal: solid 925 sterling silver
Technical: gemstone cut and polished in UK and pendant handmade in UK. No electrical or gas powered machines were used in the creation of this pendant; I'm an artisan who enjoys using hand tools and hand powered ancient-inspired lapidary techniques to cut natural untreated gemstones and make jewellery. (Please note the chain the pendant is attached to is made in Italy).
Blue John Fluorite is a unique and distinctive form of fluorite found in the Derbyshire area of England, UK. No one quite knows where the distinctive name "Blue John" came from; some say it is because the mineral is blue in the mine and turns a purple colour on exposure to sunlight (which makes sense as other types of fluorite can be UV sensitive too), while many people believe the name to have originated from the French words "bleu" and "jaune," which mean "blue" and "yellow," respectively. However, it's also worth noting that an old Cornish language word for fluorite is apparently "bleujenn", which would also make sense as I've read that a few hundred years ago there were Cornish miners who worked in the Derbyshire area who mined for lead.
This beautiful mineral is formed by a series of complex geological processes, which include the presence of fluorine-rich fluids in the geological environment. With changes in temperature and pressure, fluorite began to crystallize from these fluids, forming in veins, fractures and cavities within the rocks present in the environment. Other geological processes (such as tectonic activity), led to the later uplifting and exposure of these mineralized rocks to the Earth's surface, with erosion over a great many years exposing the Blue John Fluorite veins.
The stunning banding and color patterns within Blue John are believed to be influenced by various factors, including the presence of trace elements and impurities during the crystal's growth (some research suggests the distinctive colour is caused by calcium particles that are dispersed in liquid). The mining of this rare type of fluorite has been a traditional industry in the beautiful Derbyshire area for centuries, contributing to the mineral's cultural and historical significance in the region.
Blue John Fluorite is a soft gemstone, being only 4 on the MOHS hardness scale, so is not really suitable for robust daily wear as it may scratch and chip over time (less often/ occasional wear is fine).
Fluorite care: to keep this gorgeous gemstone in good condition for years to come, it's best to store it away from other gems to avoid it being scratched. It also benefits from being wrapped up well when not in use, as some types of fluorite will fade if kept in direct sunlight for a long period of time. Fluorite can be cleaned by gently wiping it with a damp cloth, drying immediately afterward. Avoid exposing it to heavy knocks as this may crack the stone. If cleaning the silver work, it's best that your silver polish doesn't touch the gemstone, as it may cause surface damage.