Lapis Lazuli Jewelry

 

 

Lapis lazuli is a gemstone straight out of the oriental nights of Arabia. Mystique blue in color, it twinkles like a starry tropical night. It was one of the first stones ever to be used and worn for jewelry. 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 that turned chalk into marble stone. When unpolished, Lapis lazuli seems dull and dark blue, often with golden inclusions and whitish veins from marble. It is in fact Pyrite that lends its twinkling effect of the stars to this blue stone. Thousands of years ago the people in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome cherished deep blue Lapis lazuli in all their jewelry items. It is said that at the legendary city of Ur situated on the banks of Euphrates 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. Till date, Afghanistan is the biggest source of Lapis lazuli. The stone has also been found in Andes near Ovalle, Chile, where it is usually pale rather than deep blue. Other less important sources are the Lake Baikal region of Russia, Siberia, Angola, Burma, Pakistan, USA (California and Colorado) and Canada.

In some cultures, Lapis lazuli was revered as a holy stone. Especially in the oriental countries it was considered as a gemstone with magical powers. Numerous seals, rings and other objects were crafted from this blue stone.

Alexander the Great introduced it to Europe. In Europe, Lapis lazuli came to be known as the gemstone with ‘ultra-marine’ color owing to its deep blue shade like the deepest of oceans. Lapis lazuli means the ‘stone of azure’. As the name of the gemstone depicts, its significance rests in its ultra marine color. For ages, this color has been loved and cherished by artists and admirers alike. In fact the ultramarine blue paint used by the Grand Old Masters was nothing else but pulverized Lapis lazuli. Along with its aesthetic value, Lapis lazuli is also a symbol of friendship and truth in many a cultures all around the world. The blue stone is reputed to bring about harmony in relationships and to help its wearer being an authentic individual who may openly state his or her opinion. Its fairy tale color and pyrite reflections have provided this gemstone with an irresistible aesthetic and symbolic charm. For thousands of years, it has fascinated men and women, and has been possessed in the form of beautiful jewelry items. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and other ornamental accessories are embellished with Lapis lazuli. Its mystic charm mesmerizes one and all.

The Banjara people are counted among the protected tribes of India. Their way of dressing, impressive colors, handmade jewelry, embroidered fabric has traversed across borders and are the favorites of all handicraft lovers. Banjara style ghagra, choli and their tribal jewelry are hot fashion couture. From walking the dry deserts of India, their handicrafts have made it to the world of international fashion.