Anyone who grew up in Sheffield will have had at least one day out to Castleton to see one of the Blue John mines. As someone whose dad’s main interest are mines, rocks, and more rocks, I probably spent more time than most as a child investigating this curious rare blue fluorite (I knew that word without looking it up, these things stick) which is only found in the small Derbyshire village of Castleton and is the only semi-precious stone still mined in England. Following a massive fashion for it in the 19th century, it was mined excessively and is now quite rare – Wikipedia says only a few hundred kilograms are mined each year these days, which explains why it’s now so valued.
I hadn’t given Blue John much though since childhood – there’s only so many trips to Treak Cliff Cavern one can undertake before it starts to get boring – but when I was in Sheffield this weekend my boyfriend’s mum mentioned some jewellery she’d recently bought and my interests were PIQUED. I’m now on a mission to pick up anything I can, although the fact I only wear gold jewellery (or should that be, gold plated) means it’s quite pricey. Still, here’s some highlights – lest we forget my birthday is a mere two weeks away.
All the above from Parriss Jewellers.