Lapis Lazuli Necklace with polished stones and Sterling Silver clasp. Lovely, and well made it is strung with wire. The Lapis Lazuli beads range from smallest at 1/3 inch to the largest at 3/4 inch or 10mm to to 20mm . Total length is 17 inches, or 43mm, of beautiful polished, Lapis Lazuli stone.
Well made and quality piece. Each stone has its own shape and incursions of various blues. The clasp is marked "925 China". It has a little silver heart charm at the end of the chain. Most commercial pieces have been altered in some way such as filling crevasses in the stone and dyes for richer colors. These can still be claimed as stones even with alterations to them.
Lapis Lazuli is a semi precious stone and most is found in Afghanistan. Although, not really "mined" per se, it is found in caves. It is found in other pockets of the world, even Colorado and California.
Egyptians coveted the rich blue stone 4,000 BC and it was used for King Tuts Death Mask. A favorite of Cleopatra's as well, the stone could be crushed up and used for make up, applying it as eye shadow, for the Queen. When pulverized it can also be used as a rich blue paint, although expensive to use. It was reserved for paintings of important people like the Blessed Mother Mary, and kings. People of wealth would dye their robes in it, to get the rich, regal color that people identified as status. You had to be wealthy to acquire the dye from the semi precious stone.
Older versions of the Bible "sapphires" are mentioned many times, but in reality, this was Lapis Lazuli which means "Blue Stone". Precious stones of Sapphires are mined and were not known about in the time of Christ or the writing of the Bible.
The rich deep blue stone supposedly gives way to clearer thinking and peace and calmness. It is a stone that should be worn by "thinkers" like writers, engineers and lawyers. I happen to wear it because of the rich blue color, but I'll take clearer thinking and peacefulness any day!
This came of an estate of jewelry where the pieces were rarely warm but often admired. Vintage pristine.