Lapis lazuli jewelry: the anomaly of the gemstone world

Lapis lazuli jewelry: the anomaly of the gemstone world

Lapis lazuli jewelry is the anomaly of the gemstone world. Not only do we see variations in its spellings – often also spelled as lapis lasuli – but unlike most gemstones that are minerals, lapis lazuli is a rock.  This means it’s composed of more than one mineral – predominantly lazurite, calcite and pyrite.

Lapis lazuli has mostly been mined in Afghanistan, and been a good source in terms of quality and quantity. However, recently, Chile has also become a strong producer of the stone.

Lapis lazuli colour

Top quality lapis resembles a clear, starry night sky, with an even deep blue colour. It will also have finely dispersed golden pyrite srstayls but will remain free of the white calcite. A really good picture is shown below.

Lapis lazuli

Lapis lazuli meaning

Its name is a hybrid one: ,’lapis’ meaning stone in Latin and ‘azul’ meaning blue in Arabic (think azure). This gives us a clue as to how long lapis has been around for – some 6000 years in jewelry and ornamental objects.

The stone is considered one of friendship and truth, and promoting harmony in relationships.

Lapis lazuli designs

Like amazonite which we discussed in this blog here, lapis is best when in a smooth or round shape such as a cabochon. Its relative softness (5-6 on Mohs scale of hardness)  also means that it doesn’t it lend itself to being faceted. Similarly to amazonite, it has a beautiful lustre and sheen when polished.

For this reason, we have created some new designs working to accommodate this smooth round shape. Here we see the lapis lazuli silver pendant.

Lapis lazuli silver pendant


And here – our preferred option – the cabochon ring in yellow gold. The gold flecks in the lapis lazuli really are offset beautifully by the yellow gold setting.

Lapis lazuli round cabochon yellow gold ring


However, it’s always down to personal preference – do you prefer the silver or gold?

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