Blue John Back in Demand
Prices for antiques and collectibles are determined by many things that change with time — age, availability, condition, decorative value, fame of maker, artist or past owner, and even who is bidding and if there is a bidding war. Most of these things change with time, so rare Beanie Babies that cost hundreds of dollars for the few years they were in demand are sold today in a dump display for a few dollars.
In the early 18th century, an attractive new stone was found in Treack Cliff Cavern near Derbyshire, England. It was a rare form of the mineral fluorite with bands of purplish-blue or yellow. It came to be called “Blue John.” Matthew Boulton, a famous manufacturer in the 1700s, made many urns and other decorative objects using Blue John. The stone became a symbol of British art and was wanted by the elite. Recently, a new vein of Blue John was found, the 15th known, and new jewelry and objects are being made.
A pair of antique Blue John and rock crystal obelisks recently auctioned for $2,176.
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