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If you’re looking for a unique, blue gemstone, kyanite might be just for you. Very similar in appearance to blue sapphire and topaz, kyanite is an affordable option that not many know about. It’s highly sought after by mineral collectors but isn’t a mainstream gemstone. Kyanite makes for beautiful jewelry and is also highly valued by those who believe in crystal healing.
In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about kyanite before you buy.
What is Kyanite?
Kyanite, sometimes called disthene, is known for its vivid blue color. Most kyanite is sourced from Brazil, Burma and Cambodia, with some mines in the United States as well. Kyanite has recently been found in Nepal, and these gemstones tend to have excellent transparency and color that rivals the look of more valuable gemstones like blue sapphire, topaz and tanzanite.
In terms of composition, kyanite is made of aluminium silicates, forming in layers. What makes kyanite stand apart from other gemstones is its anisotropic quality, which means that the stone exhibits different properties based on its orientation.
Kyanite has variable hardness, which depends on how its cut. If the stone is cut along its horizontal axis, the Mohs hardness ranges from 4 to 4.5, making it quite fragile. However, if cut in the opposite direction, along its perpendicular axis, the hardness ranges from 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale.
Kyanite is a gemstone known for its blue color. The name kyanite comes from the Greek word kuanos which means dark blue. Kyanite’s blue hue ranges from pale to dark.
However, kyanite is also found in a range of other colors, including white, gray, yellow, green, orange and colorless. These aren’t as common as the blue variety, with the colorless variety being the rarest.
In the past, kyanite was sold as blue sapphire and for a long time was used as a sapphire imitation.
Kyanite ranges in clarity from transparent to translucent. It’s hardly ever opaque. However, kyanite is very rarely flawless, and almost all kyanite show some flaws. These range from zoning, which results in varying shades of color, as well as various natural inclusions.
When buying kyanite jewelry, make sure you’re looking at images or videos of the actual stone so you know what to expect. While inclusions are acceptable, it shouldn’t interfere with the beauty of the jewelry design.
Kyanite Cut and Carat
Kyanite is typically cut into cabochons to emphasise its luster and color, and while it can be faceted into typical gemstone shapes, this is very rare. Because kyanite is rather brittle and has perfect cleavage, it can be difficult to cut and shape. Cutters need to be aware of the cleavage when shaping the stone to avoid it fracturing.
Free form kyanite jewelry is also quite popular and is a good way to get a bohemian look while saving the kyanite rough.
In general, kyanite is found in sizes under 2 carats. Large kyanite stones are rare and difficult to come by.
Is Kyanite Valuable?
Although kyanite is found in many regions around the world, high quality evenly colored specimens are very rare. Even so, it remains an affordable gemstone, and you can find most kyanite jewelry for under $50.
Having said that, there are luxurious and very expensive jewelry designs made from high-quality kyanite, like this 9.25 carat cat’s eye kyanite ring in a diamond encrusted setting. The kyanite in that example is highly lustrous, of even color and above average in size and comes with GIA certification.
It all comes down to the quality of the kyanite and the setting it’s mounted in.
Kyanite vs. Sapphire
While kyanite doesn’t have any imitations or isn’t usually treated in any way, it’s sometimes passed off as an imitation of the more expensive blue sapphire gemstone.
Telling apart a mounted kyanite from a blue sapphire can be very difficult. Often, the best option is to take the stone to a professional to have it tested.
Two ways in which kyanite differs from sapphire are:
- Hardness: A sapphire is one of the hardest gemstones, ranking at 9 on the Mohs scale. Kyanite, on the other hand varies from 4 to 7.5 (depending on the angle of its cut). This means that kyanite can easily be scratched whereas sapphire is quite scratch resistant.
- Inclusions – Kyanite typically has white streak-like inclusions. Sapphire can have similar inclusions called needles, but these are often not as visible as the inclusions of kyanite.
Although kyanite is a beautiful gemstone and looks stunning when crafted into jewelry, it’s not a mainstream stone and you’ll be hard-pressed to find it at your local store. The best decision is to take your search online but even then, you’ll have limited options compared to other gemstones.
Kyanite is used in rings, earrings, pendants, and bracelets. It can suit a range of jewelry styles, from classic and chic to boho and natural. Just like blue sapphire, kyanite goes well with yellow gold, and white metal colors. Yellow gold and kyanite pair well for a classic, warm look while white gold gives the metal a modern, cool touch.
If you’re considering a kyanite engagement ring, we wouldn’t recommend it, simply because it’s harder to maintain than other harder, tougher gemstones. However, if set in a protective ring setting and given reasonable care, there’s no reason a high-quality kyanite engagement ring couldn’t last a long time.
How to Care for Kyanite Jewelry
To clean kyanite jewelry, simply use warm water and a soft cloth along with some mild soap. Don’t use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on the stone. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner as the vibrations can cause crazing or fracturing. After cleaning the kyanite jewelry, wipe well to remove any soapy residue and store it.
When storing kyanite, keep it separate from other stones to avoid scratching and damage. It’s best to store it in a fabric pouch or fabric-lined box.
When engaging in vigorous exercise, always take off kyanite jewelry. A hard blow can cause the stone to fracture along its cleavage. In general, it’s best to treat kyanite as you would any other softer gemstone.
Kyanite Meaning and Symbolism
Kyanite is believed to be a powerful stone, especially in helping to develop intuition and clear the mind. It has great value to those who believe in crystal healing.
Kyanite is said to bring peace and relaxation and is excellent for those with busy lifestyles who want inner balance. Kyanite is believed to be a stone that doesn’t absorb negative energies. Instead, it’s thought to enhance balance and remove negativity.
When kyanite is worn close to the body, it’s found to be soothing and beneficial. Many prefer to wear the stone in its raw form for this reason, as this is thought to be the most relaxing variety.
Often viewed as a traveler’s stone, in the past, kyanite would sometimes be used as a compass when traveling. This is why kyanite makes an excellent symbolic gift to someone about to embark on a journey.
*Disclaimer: Jewelry Shopping Guide does not guarantee or validate any of the claims related to the metaphysical and alternative healing powers of this or any other gemstone. This information should in no way be used as a substitute for medical advice.
Where to Buy Kyanite Jewelry
Because finding kyanite jewelry in store can prove difficult, it’s best to search online for the most options. If the kyanite jewelry is expensive, make sure you ask for the origin and certification of the gemstone. This is only applicable if you’re going to spend a hefty sum on the piece.
Most kyanite jewelry doesn’t come with any certification as the value of the stone would be much less than the cost to certify it!
Always check customer reviews and after sales policies prior to purchase, and make sure you’re buying from a reputable, trusted retailer.
We recommend starting your search with Etsy’s hand-crafted, artisan range of kyanite jewelry at a range of prices and in a variety of styles. Click here to browse.