True blue lapis!
Imbued with a rich, deep and vivid hue, lapis lazuli is a semi-precious gem with a 6,500-year history. Highly valued by ancient civilisations of Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, it continues to enchant and charm for the brilliance it adds to jewellery pieces.
A metamorphic rock, Lapis is composed of several minerals, including calcite, lazurite, diopside and pyrite. Lazurite lends it its spectacular blue colour. One of the oldest reserves for mining lapis, Afghanistan has produced premium quality vivid blue lapis lazuli for thousands of years. Chile, Russia, Pakistan, and Argentina are also renowned for mining substantial quantities of this gemstone in paler shades of blue.
Gorgeous lapis in shades of deep blue
Lapis lazuli, described as royal, midnight and marine blue, as well as indigo, is loved in all its glorious shades. Round, oval and cabochon cuts enhance the natural beauty of this gemstone. Varying from translucent to opaque, the gemstone’s most desirable and valuable colours range from an even, deep blue to a violet-blue of medium to dark shades. Quality markers for lapis lazuli
Traces of gold colour due to small, scattered flecks of pyrite create shimmering patterns of their own; these are perfectly acceptable in premium quality lapis. With an excess of pyrite, the lapis attains shades of insipid green and appears lustreless. In this form, it is considered poor quality. If calcite is visible as streaks of white on the gemstone, it further reduces its value.
Did you know?
This marvellous gemstone has a history as rich as its colour. Famous Roman artist Michelangelo – and many others from Renaissance – would grind lapis to use it as ultramarine paint for their paintings. Lapis has also been inlaid in gold, along with other gemstones, for the death mask of Egyptian King Tutankhamen.
Lapis is believed to have many healing properties and is often called the wisdom stone. It brings protection, peace and harmony into the wearer’s life and is also known to provide relief for respiratory problems.
Lapis lazuli is a comparatively soft gem and needs to be stored with care to avoid scratches as it falls in the medium range of 5 and 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness. The ideal gift to mark your 9th wedding anniversary, this gemstone is also considered special for those born in September.
You will find lovely lapis lazuli handcrafted jewellery in our diverse collection on thejewelleryroom.com.