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
Lapis Statement Necklace in Sterling Silver, One Size
Make a statement with this necklace featuring lapis gemstones bezel set in sterling silver.Only $200.00 at Blue Nile
no photoLapis Statement Necklace in Sterling Silver, One Size
$200.00
Blue Nile
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
Lapis Splash Spike 14k Gold Necklace, 18" - Lana - Gold (14k )
LanaLapis Splash Spike 14k Gold Necklace, 18inDetailsSplash pendant necklace by Lana.14-karat yellow gold.Lapis spike chain.Flat-link chain necklace and bezel trim.18inL necklace.Made in the USA.Designer About Lana:Launched in 2002, designer Lana...Only $965.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoLapis Splash Spike 14k Gold Necklace, 18" - Lana - Gold (14k )
$965.00
Neiman Marcus
Abra Lapis Drop Earrings - Lana
LanaAbra Lapis Drop EarringsDetails14-karat yellow gold.Flat link chain wraps around faceted lapis.French wire backs.1in drop.Designer About Lana:Launched in 2002, designer Lana Bramlette's cool, minimalist line of jewelry has resulted in dozens of...Only $655.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoAbra Lapis Drop Earrings - Lana
$655.00
Neiman Marcus
Sterling Silver Lapis Rocks Medium Link Bracelet - Lagos - Silver
LagosSterling Silver Lapis Rocks Medium Link BraceletDetailsMedium Lagos bracelet.Fluted sterling silver links.Faceted cushion-cut lapis.Signature Caviar links.Lobster clasp with crown logo.Designer About Lagos:In 1977, Philadelphia-based designer...Only $795.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoSterling Silver Lapis Rocks Medium Link Bracelet - Lagos - Silver
$795.00
Neiman Marcus
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
Sterling Silver Exquisite Paved CZ, Deep Blue Lapis Hoop Heart Earrings
Handmade by Master Artisan. See more details at JeGem.com.Only $201.74 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Exquisite Paved CZ, Deep Blue Lapis Hoop Heart Earrings
$201.74
JeGem.com
Sterling Silver Deep Blue Lapis Pendant
Handmade by Master Artisan. See more details at JeGem.com.Only $83.24 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Deep Blue Lapis Pendant
$83.24
JeGem.com
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 $425.00 at Ross-Simons
no photoCushion-Cut Lapis Ring in 14kt Yellow Gold
$425.00
Ross-Simons
NATE & ETAN Lapis & Yellow Crystal Stretch Bracelet, Womens
A fashion-forward demonstration of your beliefs, this blue beaded bracelet features an color-treated lapis and yellow crystals for a soulful stretch of style. Metal: BrassStones: Color-treated lapisOther Stones: Yellow crystalsLength: 6.75inGemstones...Only $31.24 at jcpenney
no photoNATE & ETAN Lapis & Yellow Crystal Stretch Bracelet, Womens
$31.24
jcpenney
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
ROX by Alexa Blue Gemstone Chunky Necklace, Womens
Beat the blues in a dazzling gemstone necklace that s royally pretty and easy to dress up or down. Blue duronomite, sodalite, quartz, lapis and glass beads decorate your neck with soothing color you won t want to pass up. Metal: Gold-tone brassStones:...Only $81.24 at jcpenney
no photoROX by Alexa Blue Gemstone Chunky Necklace, Womens
$81.24
jcpenney
Marbled Enamel Link Necklace, Lapis Blue - Kenneth Jay Lane - Lapis blue
Kenneth Jay LaneMarbled Enamel Link Necklace, Lapis BlueDetails22-karat gold-plated chain and hook closure.Graduated, blue lapis-hue enamel links with marbled variegation.Adjustable, 17-21inL.Imported.Designer About Kenneth Jay Lane:Kenneth Jay Lane...Only $100.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMarbled Enamel Link Necklace, Lapis Blue - Kenneth Jay Lane - Lapis blue
$100.00
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
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
Lapis Jewelry - Hover over an item for more information
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
The Captain's Diamond & Lapis Ring
This gold-plated ring features two sparkling diamonds and a genuine lapis stone.Only $129.00 at Danbury Mint
no photoThe Captain's Diamond & Lapis Ring
$129.00
Danbury Mint
Lapis Pendant Necklace - Dina Mackney - Blue
Dina MackneyLapis Pendant NecklaceDetails18-karat yellow gold vermeil.Removable oval lapis pendant.Textured links shape cable chain necklace.Necklace, 18inL.Pendant, 1 1/2inL x 2inW.S-hook closure.Designer About Dina Mackney: Dina Mackney finally...Only $698.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoLapis Pendant Necklace - Dina Mackney - Blue
$698.00
Neiman Marcus
14mm Sterling Silver Lapis Rocks Ring - Lagos - Silver (7)
Lagos14mm Sterling Silver Lapis Rocks RingDetailsSterling silver Lagos ring.Faceted cushion-cut lapis center.Signature Caviar bezel.Wide band with crown logo.Designer About Lagos:In 1977, Philadelphia-based designer Steven Lagos introduced Lagos, a...Only $295.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photo14mm Sterling Silver Lapis Rocks Ring - Lagos - Silver (7)
$295.00
Neiman Marcus
Men's Lapis Bead Bracelet - John Hardy - Lapis
John HardyLapis Bead BraceletHighlightsLapis beads and tribal-inspired textures give this John Hardy bracelet an exotic elegance that's perfect for casual, confident looks.Black woven fabric.Sterling silver stations with signature John Hardy...Only $195.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMen's Lapis Bead Bracelet - John Hardy - Lapis
$195.00
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
Marbled Enamel Link Necklace, Lapis Blue - Kenneth Jay Lane - Lapis blue
Kenneth Jay LaneMarbled Enamel Link Necklace, Lapis BlueDetails22-karat gold-plated chain and hook closure.Graduated, blue lapis-hue enamel links with marbled variegation.Adjustable, 17-21inL.Imported.Designer About Kenneth Jay Lane:Kenneth Jay Lane...Only $100.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoMarbled Enamel Link Necklace, Lapis Blue - Kenneth Jay Lane - Lapis blue
$100.00
Neiman Marcus
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
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
18k Gold Rock Candy Mini Lollipop Lapis Earrings - Ippolita - Gold (18k )
Ippolita18k Gold Rock Candy Mini Lollipop Lapis EarringsDetailsElectric lapis frames your face with luminosity, offering a natural glow. We love these Ippolita earrings for myriad casual and formal occasions-just be sure to wear hair upswept so...Only $595.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photo18k Gold Rock Candy Mini Lollipop Lapis Earrings - Ippolita - Gold (18k )
$595.00
Neiman Marcus
Lapis Splash Spike 14k Gold Necklace, 18" - Lana - Gold (14k )
LanaLapis Splash Spike 14k Gold Necklace, 18inDetailsSplash pendant necklace by Lana.14-karat yellow gold.Lapis spike chain.Flat-link chain necklace and bezel trim.18inL necklace.Made in the USA.Designer About Lana:Launched in 2002, designer Lana...Only $965.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoLapis Splash Spike 14k Gold Necklace, 18" - Lana - Gold (14k )
$965.00
Neiman Marcus
6-12mm Graduated Lapis Bead Necklace in 14kt Yellow Gold. 17"
This regal 6-12mm graduated lapis bead necklace is adorned with gleaming 14kt gold spacers along the front. Lobster clasp, textured and polished 14kt yellow gold necklace.Only $295.95 at Ross-Simons
no photo6-12mm Graduated Lapis Bead Necklace in 14kt Yellow Gold. 17"
$295.95
Ross-Simons
6-18mm Lapis Bead Necklace in 14kt Yellow Gold
Flecked with natural pyrite, these rich blue beads graduate from small to sensational in 6-18mm connected by 14kt gold links and clasp. Fishhook clasp, 14kt yellow gold necklace.Only $281.25 at Ross-Simons
no photo6-18mm Lapis Bead Necklace in 14kt Yellow Gold
$281.25
Ross-Simons
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
Dangling Feather Drop Earrings - Alexis Bittar - Gold
Alexis BittarDangling Feather Drop EarringsDetailsDangling drop earrings by Alexis Bittar.Feathery golden drops.Pear-cut lapis drops.French wire backs for pierced ears.3 1/4inL x 1 1/2inW.Imported.Designer About Alexis Bittar:Inspired by a box of...Only $225.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoDangling Feather Drop Earrings - Alexis Bittar - Gold
$225.00
Neiman Marcus
 


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