These earrings are made with deep blue (undyed!) Afghan lapis lazuli. This is a gorgeous stone with a cobalt body color and flecks of metallic pyrite. The best lapis has minimal white calcite in its composition and these stones have practically none. One of the stones in these earrings has more pyrite flecks than the other, when observing up close.
The accent beads are turquoise. The deep blue lapis and the vibrant turquoise play off each other wonderfully. These earrings are sterling silver. The hoops and the ear wires are hand forged. The earrings hang 1 and 7/8” in total length, including the ear wires.
Lapis lazuli, sometimes called lapiz, is not a single mineral, but is rather made up of blue lazurite, white calcite, and metallic bronze pyrite. Crushed lapis was used as ultramarine paint during the Renaissance – Van Gogh’s famous “Starry Night” was done with this crushed lapis paint. Commonly, lapis is dyed to improve the color, or waxed or oiled to camouflage fissures and cracks. These are industry accepted treatments.