Bactrian Stone Amulet from Ancient Central Asia Bronze Age Culture at CraftsofthePast
Lapis is ground to a powder to make the most beautiful ultramarine blue for painters. Anyone who paints oceanscapes or marine life such as this artist is likely to have used a paint made into ultramarine blue by the lapis lazuli pigment. Here is an example of such paintings:
Orcas 3x3 original tiny painting marine life art killer whales by KanweieneaKreations
Lapis lazuli comes in different grades, the bluer used for more expensive jewelry pieces. But the sodalite, which is the palest blue, is a very attractive and decorative bead. I will illustrate the difference here with my own creations, in order not to offend another artisan by mentioning the grade of the lapis lazuli she/he has used.
The blue stones on this necklace were classified by the bead dealer as AAA lapis lazuli:
Lapis Lazuli High Grade Nugget Bead Necklace with Lapis Silver Pendant by facingEASTdesigns at CraftsofthePast
I don't find the necklace in the photo below any less appealing than the one above. They are both made of beautiful components; the necklace in the picture below is a C grade lapis lazuli, but the pendant is an antique silver embossed with the Persian silver peacock symbol. Both the lapis lazuli and the pendant are from Afghanistan, where I lived for two years.
Old Persian Peacock Symbol Motif on Silver Pendant with Lapis Lazuli by facingEASTdesigns at CraftsofthePast
Another purchase I made while I was in Afghanistan is this lovely small translucent marble box inlaid with lapis wings on a beautiful humming bird. The humming bird's wings would probably be considered an AA grade lapis lazuli:
Handmade Marble Jewelry Box with Silver and Lapis Hummingbird Mosaic offered by CraftsofthePast
I mentioned that lapis lazuli is ground to a fine powder and mixed with metal in order to enamel metal such as we see in this butterfly made of brass:
Enameled Blue Butterfly Large Pendant Foil Lined Glass Beaded Necklace by facingEASTdesigns at CraftsofthePast
I have found among my artisan friends' studios an example of a beautifully designed necklace with a quality stone called denim lapis. Whether you prefer an ultramarine blue or an almost pale lilac tinged stone in the range of lapis lazuli shades of blue, I know you will agree with me on this denim lapis necklace:
Southwestern Denim Lapis Gemstone Sterling Necklace and Earring Set by DianesDangles
I hope you have enjoyed reading about this exquisite and durable gemstone. Please visit my web site at CraftsofthePast after you comment on the blog, of course.