Kyanite Is the Gemstone Designers Just Can’t Quit

A big takeaway from the jewelry shows in Las Vegas? Blue is the color to invest in, from opals to turquoise, but I’ve been quietly tracking the prevalence of another, more humble but still very beautiful blue gemstone since late last year: kyanite.

It’s mainly popping up at the studio designer level. The best examples display a gorgeous cornflowery shade of blue and streaky inclusions, and the stone is just as irresistible faceted as it is in its rough or cabochon states.

But in speaking with designers, I’ve learned that the stone is kind of a heartbreaker. As in, it’s been known to shatter on the bench. And it’s not cheap, which makes working with it kind of a gamble.

California-based jewelry designer Margaret Solow agrees. “Yes, kyanite is a pain,” she says. “With the lower-quality, earthier-looking kyanite, it can crack when bezeling the stone. So kyanite takes effort to source because you have to be super careful when selecting the stones. When it’s super-high quality, it can be really expensive, and the customer doesn’t always perceive the value. Although, I find it is the one stone that customers don’t seem to mind if it is full of inclusions.”

But somehow the color conquers all.

“It’s like staring into the ocean,” says Solow. “Kyanite really can fill a yearning for sapphire. And the lower-quality, lighter bicolor variety is so nice and down to earth, with so many different hues of blue.”

See the completely seductive spectrum of shades in the edit below. Because nothing ventured, nothing gained. The heart wants what it wants.


Elizabeth Moore kyanite and labradorite bracelet
Stretch bracelet with facted labradorite beads, kyanite, and pavé diamonds in sterling silver, $385; Elizabeth Moore


Emilie Shapiro waterfall stairway pendant
Waterfall Stairway pendant with rough kyanite in recycled brass, $198; Emilie Shapiro
Eva Noga kyanite earrings
Tilia earrings with kyanite, sapphires, and diamonds in 14k yellow gold, $990; Eva Noga
Jacquie Aiche kyanite necklace
Necklace of kyanite beads with free-form mother-of-pearl pendant, pavé diamond heart charms, and pavé diamond beads in 14k rose gold, $10,000; Jacquie Aiche
Jamie Joseph kyanite ring
 Ring with oval rose-cut kyanite in 14k gold on a sterling silver groovy band, $750; Jamie Joseph
Margaret Solow kyanite earrings
Kyanite drop earrings in 14k yellow gold, $405; Margaret Solow



Theresa Kaz kyanite lapis diamond necklace
Luminous necklace with marquise-cut lapis center stone framed in diamonds and lapis, kyanite, onyx, and turquoise tapered baguettes in 18k gold, $5,200; Theresa Kaz
Sam Woehrmann kyanite ring
Ring with kyanite in 22k yellow gold and silver, $630; Sam Woehrmann


Lynn Mercein kyanite necklace
Necklace with kyanite, moonstone, and black diamonds on a 32-inch 18k yellow gold chain, $2,800;  Lynne Mercein


Pam Eisner kyanite and blue topaz pendant
Pendant with blue topaz, kyanite, and baguette and pavé diamonds in sterling silver on a necklace of faceted agate beads, $3,800; Pam Eisner


Rachel Atherley kyanite earrings
Tail Feather earrings with kyanite in 18k yellow gold, $1,310; Rachel Atherley


Robin Labb kyanite earrings
Caramel horn drop earrings with blue kyanite and gold diamond beads in 18k yellow gold $1,150; Robin Labb


Top, clockwise from left: Kyanite pendant in 18k yellow gold on a nylon cord, around $300, Margaret Solow; Vinca earrings with kyanite, iolite, sapphires, and diamonds in 14k yellow gold, $1,012, Eva Noga (image via: @evanogajewelry); cocktail ring with kyanite surrounded by green onyx and freshwater pearls in oxidized sterling silver, $595, Tashka by Beatrice


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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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