Lapis is a delightful stone, the intense blue is so appealing to the eye.
In recent years good quality Lapis Lazuli has been harder and harder to find.
The stone can be mined in Afghanistan, Canada, Chile, Myanmar, Russia and USA, but in my experience the Afghan material is normally the best but of course that has become difficult to acquire.
Lapis is a stone with a rich history, as well as its use in jewellery, Lapis has been used as an inlay for fine furniture. The beautiful and rich stone can also be ground to a fine powder and used to be the basis for the artists’ colour Ultramarine, the ancient Chinese also used this powder as eye shadow.
The gold flecks associated with the stone are in fact pyrite (fools gold), the white inclusions are calcite.
Lapis is reputed to have a number of healing properties, particularly for the nervous system.
I love working with Lapis, the blue contrasts well with white such as in the Monaco necklace and earrings but also is bold enough to be worn alone (see Lapis Cabochon Earstuds).