This is a heart shaped focal bead that I made after my recent trip to Tuscon! Made of lovely lapis lazuli from Afghanistan. This piece measures 45x35mm and is 11mm thick with a 3mm side drill hole. It has great color and a shiny, polished finish with fantastic patterning of striped blues and whites.
Chain not included. See the rest of my listings in my DVHdesigns Etsy store for more focal beads, custom cut cabochons, genuine jet mourning beads, sterling chains just for beads, and more! Also, feel free check out my DVHdesigns website where you can see what I'm up to in the studio, as well as learn more about me, my work, and my upcoming show-lecture schedule.
Here is a bunch more information and history on Lapis Lazuli....
Lapis is one of the world’s oldest gem materials and has been mined for over 6,000 years in the rugged Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan. It gets its name from the Arabic word allazward which means sky or blue. The ancient city of Ur had a thriving trade in Lapis at this time. These are the mines that furnished gem material to the Pharaohs of Egypt, the leaders of Babylon, and the rulers and nobility of Greece and Rome. The ancient Egyptians used Lapis in a wide variety of ways. It was used in many religious ceremonies and as an inscription stone for various passages of the Book of the Dead. They buried it with their dead to protect and guide them through the afterlife. Lapis was used for medicine, makeup (blue eye shadow emerged here, not in trailer parks), and as a pigment in paintings. In ancient times lapis lazuli was known as sapphirus, which is the name that we use today for the blue corundum variety sapphire. For this reason it is believed that lapis was one of the stones in the ‘Breastplate of Judgement’ of Aaron described in the Bible (Exodus: xxviii, 15-30). The Romans believed that Lapis was a powerful aphrodisiac. In the Middle Ages, it was thought to keep the limbs healthy and free the soul from error, envy, and fear.
Up until the 19th century, ground Lapis was mixed with oil to produce the deep blue-green pigment known as ultramarine which meant literally beyond the sea, as the stone was brought from far away by ship. The use of ultramarine became a status symbol for Renaissance artists as is vividly illustrated by the tremendous examples of it’s use in depictions of sea, sky, and heaven in Renaissance art. Since 1828, this pigment has been produced synthetically from a roasted mixture of kaolin clay, sodium sulfate and charcoal. Look in my eBay store for an opportunity for painters and other artists to purchase quality ground lapis!
Metaphysically Lapis Lazuli is said to enhance one’s awareness, insight and intellect. It is also said to impart ancient knowledge and wisdom, bring peacefulness and self acceptance. Lapis is said to help cure depression, insomnia, recurring, fevers, vision, and hearing problems, and disorders of the throat, lungs and immune system. In meditation it opens the brow Chakra. It is claimed to help self-expression, writing, creativity, and dream insight. It was used by the ancient Egyptians to access sacred knowledge. The astrological sign of Lapis Lazuli is Sagittarius. While some metaphysicians believe these things, I got this information from various healy- feely internet sites and I MAKE NO PERSONAL CLAIMS ABOUT THE PROPERTIES OF THIS MATERIAL......other than that I think it is a very pretty shade of blue .... ; )