THE MINERAL LAZURITE


Lazurite is a popular but generally expensive mineral. Well-formed, deep blue crystals are rare and valuable. It is more commonly found massive and combined with other minerals into a rock called Lapis Lazuli, which is an alternate birthstone for the month of September.

Lapis lazuli (often simply called lapis) is mostly lazurite but commonly contains pyrite and calcite and some other minerals. The name means "blue rock" and is always a brilliant blue with violet or greenish tints. The rich blue color is due to the sulfur that is inherent in the structure of lazurite. Small crystals of pyrite are always present in lapis and their brassy yellow color is both attractive and diagnostic in distinguishing lapis from its also blue cousin - sodalite rock, which lacks pyrite. The calcite produces white streaks in the lapis and too much calcite will lower the value of the stone.

Lapis lazuli has been mined for centuries from a locality still in use today in the remote mountain valley called Kokcha, Afghanistan. First mined 6000 years ago, the rock was transported to Egypt and present day Iraq and later to Europe where it was used in jewelry and for ornamental stone. Europeans even ground down the rock into an expensive powdered pigment for paints called "ultramarine". Today ultramarine is manufactured artificially. Although no longer the only source of lapis, Afghanistan still produces the finest quality material.

Lazurite is a member of the feldspathoid group of minerals. Minerals whose chemistries are close to that of the alkali feldspars but are poor in silica (SiO2) content are called feldspathoids. As a result - or more correctly as a function - of that fact, they are found in silica poor rocks containing other silica poor minerals and no quartz. If quartz were present when the melt was crystallizing, it would react with any feldspathoids and form a feldspar. Localities that have feldspathoids are few.

The name lazurite is often confused with the bright blue phosphate mineral lazulite. However the two minerals can not be confused with each other identification wise because of lazulite's typical vitreous luster and good crystal habit. The carbonate mineral azurite has a very similar color to lazurite but is associated with the green carbonate mineral malachite and reacts to acids.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Color is brilliant blue with violet or greenish tints.
  • Luster is dull to greasy.
  • Transparency: Crystals are translucent to opaque.
  • Crystal System: Isometric; bar 4 3/m
  • Crystal Habits: Dodecahedral crystals have been found, usually massive as a rock (lapis lazuli) forming mineral.
  • Cleavage is poor, in six directions, but rarely seen.
  • Fracture is uneven
  • Hardness is 5 - 5.5
  • Specific Gravity is 2.3 - 2.4 (somewhat below average)
  • Streak is bright blue.
  • Other Characteristics: Index of refraction is 1.5.
  • Associated Minerals calcite, some pyroxenes and most diagnostic pyrite.
  • Notable Occurrences include Kokcha River valley, Afghanistan; Ovalle, Cordillera, Chile; near Lake Baikal, Russia; Mt. Vesuvius, Italy; Cascade Canyon, San Bernardino Mountains and Ontario Peak, California and in the Sawatch Mountains, Colorado, USA.
  • Best Field Indicators are the violet-blue color, pyrite association (unlike sodalite), locality and specific gravity.

Lapis Jewelry - Hover over an item for more information
Silver Beaded Maya Lapis Teardrop Pendant Necklace - Lagos - Silver
LagosSilver Beaded Maya Lapis Teardrop Pendant NecklaceDetailsSterling silver pendant necklace by Lagos.From the Maya Collection.Lapis/faceted crystal doublet teardrop pendant.Signature Lagos Caviar beading and ball stations.Pendant, 33x17mm (approx. 1...Only $350.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoSilver Beaded Maya Lapis Teardrop Pendant Necklace - Lagos - Silver
$350.00
Neiman Marcus
Men's Sterling Silver & Lapis Greek Pendant - Konstantino - Tan
KonstantinoMen's Sterling Silver & Lapis Greek PendantDetailsKonstantino men's sterling silver and lapis Greek pendant. Hand-etched engravings with classic Greek figure at center. Approx. 1 1/2inH x 1 1/4inW. Handmade in Greece. Chain sold separately....Only $645.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMen's Sterling Silver & Lapis Greek Pendant - Konstantino - Tan
$645.00
Neiman Marcus
Men's Lapis Inlay Ring - Stephen Webster - (10)
Stephen WebsterLapis Inlay RingDetailsThe combination of bright sterling silver and bold blue lapis on this Stephen Webster ring command attention.Oxidized sterling silver.Lapis inlay on angular face.Wide tapered band.Designer About Stephen Webster:A...Only $295.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMen's Lapis Inlay Ring - Stephen Webster - (10)
$295.00
Neiman Marcus
Chrysocolla, Crystal & Lapis Station Necklace - Alexis Bittar - Gold
Alexis BittarChrysocolla, Crystal & Lapis Station NecklaceDetailsLong station necklace by Alexis Bittar.Yellow golden chain and scalloped stations with Swarovski crystals.Faceted lapis and chrysocolla stations.42inL; may be worn doubled.Lobster...Only $295.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoChrysocolla, Crystal & Lapis Station Necklace - Alexis Bittar - Gold
$295.00
Neiman Marcus
Abra Lapis Drop Necklace - Lana
LanaAbra Lapis Drop NecklaceDetails14-karat yellow gold.Flat link necklace.Links wrap around faceted lapis drop.Pendant, 2 1/2in drop.Necklace, 16inL.Lobster clasp.Designer About Lana:Launched in 2002, designer Lana Bramlette's cool, minimalist line of...Only $610.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoAbra Lapis Drop Necklace - Lana
$610.00
Neiman Marcus
Silver Beaded Maya Lapis Medium Bangle - Lagos - Silver (SMALL)
LagosSilver Beaded Maya Lapis Medium Bangle DetailsSterling silver bangle by Lagos.From the Maya Collection.Lapis stones and faceted crystal doublets.Signature Lagos Caviar beading.5mm wide.Slip-on style.Imported.Designer About Lagos:In 1977,...Only $595.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoSilver Beaded Maya Lapis Medium Bangle - Lagos - Silver (SMALL)
$595.00
Neiman Marcus
Graduated Lapis Bead Three-Strand Necklace With 14kt Yellow Gold
This three-strand necklace is lined by 14kt gold spacers and graduated blue lapis beads, rich with variations of blue and natural pyrite flecks. Pair with a patterned dress or even a basic tee! 14kt gold spacers and clasp.Only $112.50 at Ross-Simons
no photoGraduated Lapis Bead Three-Strand Necklace With 14kt Yellow Gold
$112.50
Ross-Simons
Single-Strand Blue Beaded Necklace - Alexis Bittar - Blue
Alexis BittarSingle-Strand Blue Beaded NecklaceDetailsSingle-strand necklace by Alexis Bittar.Blue glass, lapis, and chrysocolla beads.Golden and rhodium-tone-plated brooch detail with pave Swarovski crystals.Lobster clasp.18inL.Imported.Designer About...Only $295.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoSingle-Strand Blue Beaded Necklace - Alexis Bittar - Blue
$295.00
Neiman Marcus
18 Inch Deep Blue Lapis Gold Over Sterling Silver Necklace Jewelry
This Necklace was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $198.74 at JeGem.com
no photo18 Inch Deep Blue Lapis Gold Over Sterling Silver Necklace Jewelry
$198.74
JeGem.com
18 Inch Deep Blue Lapis Gold Over Sterling Silver Necklace Jewelry
This Necklace was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $344.99 at JeGem.com
no photo18 Inch Deep Blue Lapis Gold Over Sterling Silver Necklace Jewelry
$344.99
JeGem.com
Art Smith by BARSE Genuine Blue Lapis & Smoky Leather Cuff Bracelet, Womens
Brace yourself for a little bohemian influence with this laid-back cuff bracelet. An embossed, smoky leather cuff is the base for a lavish lapis gemstone, set in an ornate brass bezel. Metal: BrassStone: Genuine dyed blue lapisOther Material: Smoky...Only $74.99 at jcpenney
no photoArt Smith by BARSE Genuine Blue Lapis & Smoky Leather Cuff Bracelet, Womens
$74.99
jcpenney
Men's Rayman 2-Row Lapis Bracelet - Stephen Webster
Stephen WebsterRayman 2-Row Lapis BraceletDetailsFrom the Stephen Webster Men's Silver Rayman Collection. 2-row beaded bracelet with lapis beads. Oxidized textured sterling silver spacers and clasp. Approx. 8 1/2inL. Made in the UK. Designer About...Only $375.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMen's Rayman 2-Row Lapis Bracelet - Stephen Webster
$375.00
Neiman Marcus
Sterling Silver Deep Blue Lapis Pendant Jewelry
This Pendant was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $133.49 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Deep Blue Lapis Pendant Jewelry
$133.49
JeGem.com
Silver Maya Lapis Large Caviar Stud Earrings - Lagos - Silver (One Size)
LagosSilver Maya Lapis Large Caviar Stud EarringsDetailsSterling silver stud earrings by Lagos.From the Maya Collection.Lapis stone and faceted crystal doublet, 10mm.Signature Lagos Caviar beading.16mm diameter (approx. 2/3in).Omega post backs with 14k...Only $295.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoSilver Maya Lapis Large Caviar Stud Earrings - Lagos - Silver (One Size)
$295.00
Neiman Marcus
Cushion-Cut Lapis Ring in 14kt Yellow Gold
The natural pyrite markings on this cushion-cut lapis gem are absolutely spectacular, unique and will vary. Polished 14kt yellow gold ring.Only $318.75 at Ross-Simons
no photoCushion-Cut Lapis Ring in 14kt Yellow Gold
$318.75
Ross-Simons
Lapis Jewelry - Hover over an item for more information
Multi-Stone Vine Ring - Alexis Bittar - Gold (6)
Alexis BittarMulti-Stone Vine RingDetailsGolden plated ring by Alexis Bittar with porous finish.Rhodium-tone-plated vines with pave Swarovski crystals.White quartz/sodalite doublet, lapis, and chrysocolla.Thin vine band.1in face.Imported.Designer About...Only $295.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMulti-Stone Vine Ring - Alexis Bittar - Gold (6)
$295.00
Neiman Marcus
Lapis Nest Pendant Necklace - Kendra Scott Luxe - Blue
Kendra Scott LuxeLapis Nest Pendant NecklaceDetailsPendant necklace by Kendra Scott LUXE.18-karat yellow gold-plated brass.Faceted lapis pendant set in branch-like bezel.Bale with pave cubic zirconia.Chain necklace, 30inL.Pendant, 1 1/2inL x...Only $250.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoLapis Nest Pendant Necklace - Kendra Scott Luxe - Blue
$250.00
Neiman Marcus
LIZ CLAIBORNE Midnight Blue & Silver-Tone Bib Necklace
Light up the night in a striking bib necklace with blue resin stones that have the rich look of lapis. Silver-tone hardware adds complementary shimmer. Metal: Silver-tone metalStones: Round and teardrop, blue resin stonesClosure: Lobster claspLength:...Only $25.20 at jcpenney
no photoLIZ CLAIBORNE Midnight Blue & Silver-Tone Bib Necklace
$25.20
jcpenney
Milky Aquamarine and Lapis Dome Ring in 14kt Yellow Gold
With its ovals of blue and 14kt gold, this sensational cocktail ring reminds us of planet Earth illuminated in the night sky. A center milky aquamarine cabochon is surrounded in a halo of lapis, adding dimension and interest. 14kt yellow gold ring....Only $333.75 at Ross-Simons
no photoMilky Aquamarine and Lapis Dome Ring in 14kt Yellow Gold
$333.75
Ross-Simons
Men's Silver & Lapis Cross Pendant Necklace - Stephen Webster - Silver
Stephen WebsterSilver & Lapis Cross Pendant NecklaceDetailsThis Stephen Webster necklace uses oxidized silver and lapis stone to remake the classic cross necklace, turning a standard Gothic accessory into an edgy, artistic statement.Oxidized sterling...Only $495.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMen's Silver & Lapis Cross Pendant Necklace - Stephen Webster - Silver
$495.00
Neiman Marcus
Multi-Stone Vine Ring - Alexis Bittar - Gold (7)
Alexis BittarMulti-Stone Vine RingDetailsGolden plated ring by Alexis Bittar with porous finish.Rhodium-tone-plated vines with pave Swarovski crystals.White quartz/sodalite doublet, lapis, and chrysocolla.Thin vine band.1in face.Imported.Designer About...Only $295.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMulti-Stone Vine Ring - Alexis Bittar - Gold (7)
$295.00
Neiman Marcus
Baguette-Trim Oval Drop Earrings, Lapis - Kendra Scott Luxe - Lapis
Kendra Scott LuxeBaguette-Trim Oval Drop Earrings, LapisDetailsDrop earrings by Kendra Scott LUXE.18-karat yellow gold-plated brass.Faceted natural lapis oval drops.Pave cubic zirconia baguettes and marquise spacer.2 2/3inL x 1inW.Post backs.Imported....Only $375.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoBaguette-Trim Oval Drop Earrings, Lapis - Kendra Scott Luxe - Lapis
$375.00
Neiman Marcus
Marquise Resin Drop Clip-On Earrings, Lapis Blue - Oscar de la Renta - Lapis blue
Oscar de la RentaMarquise Resin Drop Clip-On Earrings, Lapis BlueDetailsOscar de la Renta earrings in yellow golden pewter and brass.Custom, hand-poured resin facets.Swarovski crystals. Clip-on backs finished with a comfort pad.3 1/4inL x 1 3/4inW.Made...Only $132.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMarquise Resin Drop Clip-On Earrings, Lapis Blue - Oscar de la Renta - Lapis blue
$132.00
Neiman Marcus
Maldivian Pave Vine & Lapis Drop Earrings - Alexis Bittar
Alexis BittarMaldivian Pave Vine & Lapis Drop EarringsDetailsAlexis Bittar drop earrings from the Maldivian Collection.Golden plated drops with porous finish, detailed with rhodium-tone-plated pave crystal vines.Lapis teardrops.Pave Swarovski...Only $225.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMaldivian Pave Vine & Lapis Drop Earrings - Alexis Bittar
$225.00
Neiman Marcus
Aigrette Scalloped Bracelet with Lapis - Alexis Bittar - Gold
Alexis BittarAigrette Scalloped Bracelet with LapisDetailsAlexis Bittar bracelet from the Maldivian Collection.Golden-plated, scalloped cuff with porous finish.Faceted lapis.Opening for slip-on style.Adjustable 2 1/4in diameter.2 3/4in wide.Designer...Only $345.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoAigrette Scalloped Bracelet with Lapis - Alexis Bittar - Gold
$345.00
Neiman Marcus
Lapis Drop Earrings - Konstantino - Lapis
KonstantinoLapis Drop EarringsDetailsThese statement-making Konstantino earrings highlight the qualities of the woman who wears them-refined, lovely, and luminous. You'll love how the electric blue lapis provides the perfect pop of color.Carved...Only $840.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoLapis Drop Earrings - Konstantino - Lapis
$840.00
Neiman Marcus
Blue Lapis Flower Stud Earrings in 14kt Yellow Gold
Blossoming with detail and intense color, these beautiful blue lapis flower stud earrings will keep a touch of springtime close to you all year through. Clutch/post, 14kt yellow gold earrings.Only $63.75 at Ross-Simons
no photoBlue Lapis Flower Stud Earrings in 14kt Yellow Gold
$63.75
Ross-Simons
Lapis, Turquoise Shield Pendant Necklace, Citrines, Diamonds Over Sterling. 18"
An RS exclusive. We ve updated an Old-World look with a medley of new colors in this shield pendant necklace. Lapis and turquoise cabochons are set with 1.30 ct. t.w. citrines and .10 ct. t.w. diamonds. Includes a diamond-cut fancy chain with lobster...Only $187.50 at Ross-Simons
no photoLapis, Turquoise Shield Pendant Necklace, Citrines, Diamonds Over Sterling. 18"
$187.50
Ross-Simons
Men's Naga Lapis & Chain Wrap Bracelet - John Hardy
John HardyNaga Lapis & Chain Wrap BraceletHighlightsLapis beads and a sterling silver dragon head give this John Hardy bracelet exotic elegance; stainless steel links add architectural strength.From the Naga collection.Wrap bracelet with lapis beads...Only $695.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMen's Naga Lapis & Chain Wrap Bracelet - John Hardy
$695.00
Neiman Marcus
Men's 3.30 TCW Oval-Cut Lapis Diamond Accented Ring in 18k Gold over Sterling Silver
. Centered in beauty is this oval-cut genuine blue lapis men's ring. It's classic look with modern appeal. With round diamond accents. 3.03 carats T.W. 18k gold over sterling silver. Sizes 8-13.Only $85.49 at PalmBeachJewelry
no photoMen's 3.30 TCW Oval-Cut Lapis Diamond Accented Ring in 18k Gold over Sterling Silver
$85.49
PalmBeachJewelry
 


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