Beautiful lapis lazuli briolettes, in a chubby fancy cut, are suspended from handmade ear wires that have been carefully wired with little lapis lazuli rounds and a white moonstone accent. These earrings are wonderfully versatile as they can go from day to evening with ease, and their blue color goes with almost anything! These earrings are sterling silver, and hang 1 and 7/16" long in total.
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.
The phenomenon that gives moonstone its’ characteristic glow is called adularescence. This light is the result of alternating layers of orthoclase and albite that make up moonstone. Some moonstone has a “chatoyant” effect, creating a cat’s eye-like pattern of light. Rainbow moonstone is a different mineral – it is a variety of plagioclase feldspar, a variety of labradorite. It displays “schiller,” or flashes of colored light. Conventional moonstone may be called “white moonstone” to differentiate it from rainbow moonstone. Other popular varieties of moonstone are peach, gray, and chocolate. Moonstone is not commonly treated.