Friday, 28 October 2011

Lapis lazuli ~

Lapis lazuli is a notable mineral with a long history of many uses, one of them being as an artists pigment.  It has also long been used for carved ornaments as well as jewellery. 

Like many gems it can easily be faked or coloured to order, so if you want the genuine article it can be wise to do business with a known and respected dealer.  It is commonly flecked with small amounts of pyrite, a gold coloured mineral, as you can see in this detail from the above image:

It can have white calcite inclusions but I've never seen this.  The flecking and colour varies considerably, so an evenly matched set of beads will be more costly than one that is not.  However, they are also more likely to be artificial, so proceed with care as it can be costly!

The charming bracelet shown below provides us with no such qualms: the variation of colour in the lapis pieces included is reassuring, and it was not costly.

Wikipedia states that: 
Lapis lazuli is a rock, largely formed from the mineral lazurite.

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