Kyanite can be cut into faceted gems when it has translucency, or shaped into cabochons with either translucency or opaqueness. Faceting kyanite stones is difficult not only because of the stone's makeup, but also because translucent kyanite specimens that are large enough to cut down are very rare - they are much more common in very small sizes, 2 carats at most. Michael Schramm, a kyanite importer, estimated only about 1-2% "of all kyanite rough is suitable for faceting."
While translucent, faceted kyanite stones the color of sapphires are few and far between, there is plenty of mid-grade kyanite to go around, often found at gem shows in beads and cabochons in a denim to sky-blue color. Often, in kyanite cabs, you can see the dark blue patches glide along the needle-inclusions of the stone. Because kyanite is so directional, almost like a plank of wood, due to its long, almost fiber-like crystalline makeup, kyanite beads are more often found in flattened and long oval shapes.
The best kyanite presently comes from Nepal and Tibet. Other sources of gem-quality kyanite include Brazil, Kenya, the United States, and Russia. Lesser-quality kyanite, which is fairly abundant across the globe, is often used in ceramics, spark plugs, electronics, and abrasives.
Terri McMahon wrapped this occluded quartz crystal in sterling silver and copper wire, and accented the piece with 3 kyanite needle beads.