The Blues Are Allright
Blue Jewelry, That is
One of my first wire wrapping projects was a set of matching blue lapis earrings. The stones were a gift from a neighbor’s mother who was visiting from Brazil. The deep blue color with gold streaks is typical and highly prized. When I wear them, I always have someone ask me to make them a pair just like those
Lapislazuli, Lapis for short, is an opaque stone. It is mainly composed of the mineral, Lazurite, and also contains calcium (white) and pyrite, which gives the stone a sparkly golden look.
Lapis ranges in value from $1 to $150 per carat. If you buy lapis lazuli, look for a deeper blue color with the least amount of white and the sparkle of pyrite throughout
Lapis is relatively soft and is easily scratched or chipped, so it’s best used for necklaces and lapis earrings.
The best lapis comes from a mine in Afghanistan. It has been mined there for 7,000 years. Lapis lazuli is found in Chile, Siberia, Burma and Colorado, as well.
Be aware that lapis is sometimes enhanced with dyes, or treated with wax and resin to improve color or mask white streaks. This could fade with time.
Besides jewelry, lapis is used for decorative carvings and when crushed, can be used to get the blue color in paint.
Here are some lapis earrings that I have just created.