Lapis and Turquoise Bead Bracelet
Lapis and Turquoise Bead Bracelet
It is said that Lapis promotes the connection between the physical plane and the Celestial Kingdom. It activates and energises the throat and brow Chakras, helping to expand awareness and intellectual capacity. Lapis can be used to gain an insight into ones dreams it provides a connection with the dream forces which guide us during altered states. It can help overcome depression and promotes serenity and self acceptance. Can be used to treat disorders of the throat, bone marrow and immune system, it can also help with insomnia, vertigo and dizziness.
Lapis is a gemstone straight out of fairy tales of the Arabian Nights: deepest blue with golden shining Pyrite inclusions which twinkle like little stars.
This opaque, deep blue gemstone looks back at a long history. It was one of the first stones ever to be used and worn for jewellery. Excavations in the antique cultural centres all around the Mediterranean provided archeologists with samples for jewellery which was left in tombs to accompany the deceased into the hereafter. Again and again this jewellery consisted of necklaces and objects crafted from Lapis lazuli is the clear indication that thousands of years ago the people in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome cherished deep blue Lapis lazuli. It is reported that at the legendary city of Ur situated on the Euphrat river, there was a busy trade in Lapis lazuli as early as four thousand years BC. In those days the stones were mined in the famous occurrences in Afghanistan. But in other cultures Lapis lazuli was also worshipped as a holy stone. Especially in the oriental countries it was considered as a gemstone with magical powers. Numerous seals, rings, scarabs and objects were crafted from the blue stone, which was introduced to Europe by Alexander the Great. Here the colour was called ultramarine, meaning from beyond the seas.
Most expensive blue of all times
The evocative name is a compound of lapis, the Latin word for stone, and the Arabian word azuli, denoting the colour blue. So it is basically just a blue stone but what a special blue! The value of this colour for the world of art was for example enormous: in fact the ultramarine blue paint used by the Grand Old Masters was nothing else but pulverised Lapis lazuli. It was pulverised and added to a mixture of binding agents, thus turning the marble-like gemstone into a bright blue paint, suitable for watercolours, tempera and oil paintings. Before it became possible in 1834 to manufacture this colour also artificially, the only kind of valuable ultramarine in the market had to be made from real Lapis lazuli, which still displays its splendour in many works of art. For example, many portraits of the Virgin Mary would have been impossible to create without Lapis lazuli blue. However, even in those days ultramarine blue was not only considered fine and rare and so powerful that it dulled all other colours, it was also very expensive indeed. But contrary to all other material employed to create the colour blue, Lapis lazuli has not lost anything of its brilliance, while other compositions have long since paled. Currently the blue pigment derived from Lapis lazuli is still applied especially for renovations, restorations and for those who love historical colours.
Stone of friendship and truth
For many people all over the world Lapis lazuli is considered a stone of truth and friendship. The blue stone is reputed to bring about harmony in relationships and to help ist wearer being an authentic individual who may openly state his or her opinion. Lapis lazuli is an opaque stone consisting mainly of Diopside and Lasurite. It was created millions of years ago in the course of metamorphosis process turning chalk into marble stone. When unpolished, Lapis lazuli seems dull and dark blue, often with golden inclusions and whitish veins from marble. Contrary to former theories, however, the small twinkling and shining inclusions which lend the stone the attractive appeal of a star-spangled sky, are not gold but Pyrite, i.e., they are caused by iron. The blue colour, on the other hand, is caused by the sulfuric contents of Lasurite, and may result in purest ultramarine to pale blue shades. In comparison to other gemstones, the hardness is not too high and amounts to something between 5 and 6 on the Mohs scale.
When the cutter inhales the stone
Many a cutter will make a face when cutting Lapis lazuli, because as soon as the stone comes into contact with the cutting wheel, it will emanate a typical, slightly foul smell. An experienced cutter will thus recognise from the smell alone the satiation of colour shown by the stone. When polishing the stone it must be treated gently and without too much pressure due to its low hardness. But no need to worry: a Lapis lazuli which has dulled because of having been worn too often may be easily polished up. Lapis lazuli is often surface sealed with colourless wax or synthetic resin. As long as no colour is added during this procedure, the sealing only serves to improve the resistance of the stone against wearing. Still, it should definitely be protected from contact with acid substances or from extravagant exposure to sunlight.
Just like over 50,000 years ago, the best rough stones are still mined in the rough Hindukush Mountains of Afghanistan. Forcefully extracted from the rocks, the blue stone nodes are transported on donkeys from the rough mountain ranges in Northeast Afghanistan down to the valleys in the summer months. Other occurrences have been provided by Nature in Russia, west of Lake Baikal, and in the Andes in Chile, where the blue stones are often veined with white or grey chalk. Lapis lazuli is also found in smaller amounts in Italy, Mongolia, the USA and Canada, in Myanmar and in Pakistan. In really good qualities, however, it is rare everywhere. Lapis lazuli jewellery is therefore available in widely differing price ranges, from luxurious to affordable. The price demanded for the gemstone depends mainly on the stones beauty and intensity of colour. The most favoured colour is a deep and intensive blue. Women with a fair complexion, however, often prefer the lighter blues. Finely distributed resemblimg glimmer, from golden Pyrite, will increase the value of the gemstone, while an irregular, pronounced or spotty patterning will reduce it.
Lapis lazuli is a highly appreciated stone suitable for many purposes, which shows remarkable stability ion the light of quickly changing fashion trends. This is not too surprising, after all, its fairy-tale colour and its golden Pyrite light reflections have been fascinating men and women for thousands of years.
Ancient and yet always at the height of current fashion: that is for you. Its brilliant sky-blue belongs to the all-time favourite trend colours in the world of fashion and jewellery.
In many cultures of the Old and New World this gemstone has for thousands of years been appreciated as a holy stone,
a good-luck-charm or a talisman. It is a virtual "peoples gemstone". The oldest proof for this lies in Egypt, where in tombs from the period around 3000 B.C. there were found artefacts set with Turquoise. In the ancient Persian Kingdom the sky-blue gemstones were originally worn around the neck or on the hand as protection to ward off unnatural death. If the stones changed their colour, there was an imminent danger for the wearer. However, in the meantime it has been uncovered that Turquoises may in fact change their colour, but this reaction is not necessarily an indication of danger impending. The reason for the colour change is rather the influence of light, cosmetic products, dust or even the ph-value of the skin, which may all trigger off chemical responses.
Turquoise will protect and let you enjoy life
In earlier times Turquoises were sometimes thought responsible for the material wealth of their bearers. For example, Persian philosopher Al Kazwini wrote: "The hand wearing a Turquoise and using it as a sealing stone, will never be poor." Turquoises were loved as ornaments decorating turbans, often set in a border of pearls, in order to protect the wearer from the "evil eye". They were used as talismans decorating daggers, scimitars or the horses bridles. Turquoise came to Europe only during the time of the crusades. And from this period comes the name "Turquoise", meaning simply "Turkish stone".
Also in South, Middle and North America Turquoise has always been enjoying a special position among gemstones. For example, the ancient Aztecs in Northern Peru used to decorate their ceremonial masks with this stone, a "holy stone" in their belief. The North American Indians, who are still producing quite a few pieces of traditional silver jewellery set with Turquoises today, believed that the gemstone the colour of the sky would establish a direct connection between the sky and the lakes.
At all times in history Turquoise was worn as protection to ward off the influence of dark and evil powers. In former times thought to protect riders and horses from accidental falls, they are nowadays considered the ideal good-luck stones for aviators, flight staff and other professions which need special assistance to ward off accidents.
In the contemporary teachings of the Healing Power of Stones, wearing Turquoise is recommended to solve the problems caused by a depressed outlook on life. The bright and happy colour is supposed to lend self-confidence to subdued personalities, and it is also very popular as a token of friendship, since Turquoise is reputed to be responsible for faithfulness and reliable relationships.
The blue from copper, the green from iron
Turquoise is a copper aluminium phosphate achieving hardness six, thus considerably softer than . It occurs naturally in all shades ranging from sky-blue to grey-green, usually in such locations where copper is hidden in the soil in high concentrations. However, only the best quality Turquoises show the real turquoise colour, which in ordinary stones is normally rather pale, blue-green or greenish. The blue colour is caused by copper, while the green colour is caused by iron or chromium. Often the material is veined or shows spots, which depending on the respective occurrence are brown, light grey or even black. These vivid, more or less regular patterns are called the spider web. The micro-crystals are really tiny and almost not discernible with the bare eye. Usually turquoise occurs as encrustation, in veins or as nodules or nuggets. The most famous occurrences are situated in the USA, Mexico, Israel, Iran, Afghanistan and China. The most beautiful of Turquoises in wonderful light blue are found in Northern Iran.
Turquoise is only rarely facetted. Usually it is shaped as cabochons or as beads, or even given a fancy cut.
Wax will lend Turquoise resistance
Turquoises are relatively soft gemstones and thus quite sensitive. Since the colour may also fade out in the course of wearing, today even the top qualities receive a waxing and subsequent hardening treatment. This procedure will make the sensitive gemstone sturdier. Turquoises which have been sealed with artificial resin are also available in large amounts and at competitive prices.
Due to their high sensitivity, then, almost all Turquoises have been treated to preserve their beauty, however, the kind of treatment differs considerably. It makes sense, then, that naturally beautiful stones which have simple been waxed or hardened with artificial resin achieve higher prices and are more valuable than such stones, which have received colour-enhancement. Valuable Turquoise jewellery should therefore best be purchased from a jeweller you can trust.
A piece of sky in your hands
The best Turquoise quality shows a clear and light sky-blue. The colour is highly appreciated, with or without the fine regular spider web lines. The quality decreases with the increase of green in colour, and the increase of spots and irregularities in the spider web.
Turquoise should be protected from cosmetics, heat and bright daylight. The gemstone does not really appreciate sunbathing. It is recommended to clean it from time to time after wearing with a soft cloth. The colour of a Turquoise will make you feel happy and relaxed, for it combines the light blue of the sky with the invigorating green of the seas. It is so unique that the language took the stones very name to describe it: Turquoise. So if you decide on a Turquoise, you will hold a piece of the sky in your hands.