By Neville Ryan
Lapis by the gram? Lapis by color? Lapis by style? How do you choose your Lapis piece?
For most of its history Lapis was sold in small rough pieces priced by the gram and a fist size piece was considered a large stone. High quality Lapis was very difficult to find and was generally bought by stone cutters (for jewelry) and mineral collectors. Not all that desirable for most people looking for a beautiful mineral art piece for their home or office.
The Lapis story has changed in the last 4 or 5 years. While the high quality rough is still in demand, and is still expensive, an opportunity has arisen for the general public to buy beautiful high quality polished Lapis pieces. A limited supply of these art pieces become available from time to time and they are truly a sight to behold. We had to wait 4 years from our last purchase to find the right material. Weighing from an ounce to over 100 pounds there is a piece of Lapis available for every price range. These pieces are not carvings. They are stones that have been enhanced by man by being polished and rounded to follow the shape that nature created.
The most desirable color for Lapis is generally regarded as Royal Blue. A deep blue saturates the stone and is reminiscent of the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Colors vary from Royal Blue through to a very light pale blue. That being said, the choice of stone and color is usually a very personal choice. Colors vary on each stone and can include Calcite, Pyrite and Denim Lapis. These different minerals can add an extra dimension to the piece with many people seeing various designs within the stone. Add that to the style and shape of the piece and you can see why each piece has a different appeal to each person.
Choosing a lapis, as it is for any stone, is a very individual process. Color, shape and size will bring about the initial attraction, but the final decision is as simple as what appeals to you.