Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Blue's Your Thing?

Jewelry buffs often think of sapphire or topaz when considering a blue stone. But  . . . there are opaque stones with quite a punch and often more intrigue than calibrated transparent stones.

Take lapis. I mean really, take it. Lapis Lazuli is an ancient and much lauded stone that has been collected since as long as people kept track of anything. It was being mined for 6,000 years in Afghanistan. The Afghani's were early adapters of this richly hued stone, and found bundles of uses for it besides personal adornment. It found its way onto inlays for residential and public décor. It was carved into bowls and other apparatus like official seals where style and pizzazz were required.

Besides Afghanistan, lapis has been mined for years in the in Chile, Russia, Siberia, Burma, even Canada and the US, besides other exotic locales.  So it is available. The variety that shows its flecks of pyrite, appearing as tiny gold inclusions are most appealing.

European painters of centuries ago loved this distinctive vivid blue so much, they pulverized the stone and made it into oil paint.

Note the distinct pyrite inclusions in the yummy ear pendants. This further enhances an already charming stone; one that inspires designers like Ippolita who created these modern earrings.

See what it looks like in a large cut slab? This size allows one to observe the original veining and other natural characteristics which a designer will study to determine the most interesting place to make a cut. You are in good company with ancient Egyptian rulers, and early aristocratic folk with luxurious lapis.
18K yellow gold lapis lazuli teardrop earrings by Ippolita. SRP $1,495.00



1 comment:

karenthe artist said...

I love lapis, and think of it as a rare and special stone. Have some from Afghanistan and Chile, too. The shades of blue vary slightly, the Afghan being a really dark ultramarine usually.