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Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is the staple for high-quality jewelry and is used in the craftsmanship of all of Lapis Lazuli House’s unique pieces. Sterling silver is the most popular silver alloy because it improves on the metal’s properties without affecting its value.  Pure silver is quite soft and malleable, meaning that its easily damaged when used in jewelry handicraft.  Sterling silver is composed of over 90% pure silver, mixed with any other metal.  The most common metal used is copper.  This combination produces a metal that is just as beautiful as pure silver, but more stable and durable.  The presence of..  - Read More

Lapis Lazuli in Religion

Of all of the various meanings and sentiments given to lapis lazuli since its discovery, perhaps the most significant is its inherent divinity.  The stone’s whimsical coloring, often resembling a starry night sky, undoubtedly evoked an image of the heavens and led to a long-standing relationship between the stone and its use in religious ceremonies. The use of lapis lazuli as a religious ornament goes back to ancient times.  One of the oldest myths, that of the Sumerian Goddess of Love, Inanna, depicts her entering the underworld wearing a lapis lazuli necklace.  In Sumerian culture, lapis lazuli was said to..  - Read More

Lapis Lazuli Metaphysical Properties

Because of its stunning color, lapis lazuli has long been associated with various mystical and metaphysical properties. Whether or not these claims have any merit, people have coveted the azure stone through the years, believing in its various healing and enlightening powers. These properties make lapis a popular component in many amulets and talismans. Lapis lazuli is well known for its healing energy. As a deep blue stone, it is typically associated with calming and relaxing. Lapis is said to improve circulation and cardiac rhythm. It can also lower blood pressure and relieve insomnia. Rubbing lapis on afflicted areas can..  - Read More

How to Spot Fake Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli has become one of the most commonly faked gemstones in the industry.  This makes it critical for consumers to educate themselves on how to distinguish authentic lapis from a sea of imitation stones. Synthetic lapis lazuli has become increasingly abundant in recent years.  Synthetic lapis ranges significantly in quality and appearance and can be almost indistinguishable from the real thing.  These false stones have often been dyed to look like lapis or could even be poor quality lapis that has been dyed to command a higher price.  It may be difficult to call out a fake right off..  - Read More

Setting and Inlaying Lapis Lazuli

The union of a gem with a metal is called setting or inlaying. Up until recently, it was common to encrust all gems on precious metal using the inlaying technique, regardless of the gemstone or its particular qualities. However, the procedure for inlaying a stone obscures some of the main characteristics of transparent or semitransparent gemstones. Lapis lazuli was traditionally inlayed in this way as well. A good example is that of the lapis lazuli inlay on Tutankhamun’s golden mask, made by the Egyptians during the age of the pharaohs. This technique is no longer used for lapis lazuli. Jewelry..  - Read More

Lapis Lazuli Surfaces

Apart from carved ornaments and statuettes, lapis lazuli is commonly used in the decoration of table surfaces, boxes, vases, and other flat surfaces – even houses!  The gemstone’s relative “softness” makes it easy to cut thin layers that can be used to adorn different pieces of furniture or walls.  These layers can also be glued together to create three dimensional objects like boxes. Boxes made with lapis lazuli are intricately crafted and highly coveted ornaments. They are made with thin strips of the stone, the thinnest being two millimeters thick, that are attached together.  The artisan will begin the process..  - Read More

Lapis Lazuli Carvings

The art of carving lapis lazuli is driven by the skills of each individual artisan.  Lapis lazuli figurines are often carved from the raw stone’s initial form, meaning that the artisan will typically decide on a shape based on what the raw stone looks like.  The base of the rock is taken as a main reference point with the rest of the rock completing the figurine’s shape.  Thus, lapis lazuli carvings are truly an inspired art form.  No two carvings are the same. Lapis lazuli carvings range from primitive shapes, to standard animal and talisman carvings, to highly artistic and..  - Read More

Lapis Lazuli Early Trade

Archaeologists and historians have analyzed the discoveries of lapis lazuli artifacts from ancient civilizations as a way to determine the patterns of ancient trade routes.  Lapis lazuli was traded along the Silk Road, referred to as the Great Khorasan Road, connecting Mesopotamia to Iran, Afghanistan, and eventually China.  Traders travelled this road with their merchandise for millennia.  The discovery of lapis lazuli items across Mesopotamia and the surrounding regions points to a productive trade route because lapis lazuli could only have been extracted from the Afghan mines in Badakhshan, meaning it had to have been moved around manually.  Supplies were..  - Read More

Washington, DC Area | Santiago, Chile US: +1 (301) 795-4971 | Chile: +56 2 2732-1419 |+56 9 9195-1540 (cel)

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