Colors can move us in ways we don’t always understand. We recognize that color plays a prominent role in mood, and even eating habits. While we may not articulate it, often we’re drawn to blue objects which subliminally hint at water like the Caribbean for instance, or an overall sense of refreshment and calm.
A Global Fave
So we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that blue dominates preferences as a universally adored color across 10 countries and 4 continents, according to YouGov.com. It’s worth noting that the color blue is somewhat more popular among men than women and remains the winner across ethnic demographics and all age groups.
Of course jewelers already recognize the appeal that blue stones have among their customer base. So while blue is one of nature’s rarest hues, it’s in big demand as a gemstone color for jewelry. A pure saturated blue gemstone ranks amongst the most illusive varieties in existence. Rarity notwithstanding, many natural blue stones can boast their lack of treatment to attain that dazzling tint.
Give Your Customers a Bit of Rarity
Since collectors are already leaning towards blue gemstones, it’s a terrific idea to introduce them to Peruvian Blue Opal. This pretty stone is a recent addition to blue stones sold in the US. But it was first found and treasured by Spanish conquistadors centuries ago. They called this lovely jewel “El Azul de Peru”, or the Blue Stone from Peru. To them, it ranked up there with emeralds, at least the greener variety. That’s because this natural jewel appears in a range from dark blue to limpid greenish-blues, and tones similar to turquoise.
While the modern supply of Peruvian blue opal is not immense, it’s collected for its alluring blue to aqua tints and often its ability to shift its hue when light hits it just right. In the early 20th century, Peruvian miners accidently stumbled upon blue opal in a mine near the town of Huancavelica. Today, it’s become a coveted alternative to precious opal with its play of color.
This intriguing opal variety, like precious opal has an amorphous crystal structure. A silica rich mineral, it also boasts a high water content which is endemic to other opal varieties including precious opal.
The Rarer the Better
One thing collectors often seek is unusual traits in their jewels. These distinguish their stones from the rest, making their jewelry more personalized. Gemstone cutter, wholesaler, and opal authority Frank G Shaffer, of FGS Gems, offers insight into the Peruvian variety.
Some opal specimens including Peruvian Blue Opal have unique traits, he points out. “The intricate organic shaped inclusions, often referred to as ‘fern’ or ‘tree’ appearing in Peruvian Opal comes from metallic oxides of iron or manganese. They can be seen in the blue or a less color saturated Opal. The material containing these Dendritic Inclusions is actually a harder find in nature than the Blue Opal without these beautiful inclusions.”
Lucky you if you can find these highly individual stones – or any Peruvian Blue Opal for that mater. You’ve hit the Trifecta – beauty, rarity, and a fascinating story!