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Caring for your lapis lazuli

Thu, 18 Mar 2010 03:07:53 +0800
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lapis lazuliLapis Lazuli is a very beautiful stone, one of our favorite beaded jewelry stones in fact. Unlike many popular beaded jewelry stones, lapis lazuli is actually composed of many diffrent minerals to give it its unique look. It is composed of lazurite, sodalite, hauyne, calcite, and pyrite. The pyrite gives it its gold streaks that makes it easier to identify from simple sodalite. Because of its unique composition, lapis lazuli demands tender loving care.Lapis lazuli is a soft stone as well and precautions must be taken when wearing and even cleaning your lapis lazuli beaded jewelry.

Wearing your lapis lazuli

  • Its a special occasion
    These stones are getting rarer by the day, they are very beautiful, and can be quite expensive. Wear them in special occasions is necessary. If you can not decide wearing beaded jewelry made of a lapis lazuli and a letter gem, then that occasion probably warrants the wearing of the lesser stone.
  • If its going to get messy, leave it be!
    If you will go out to occasions that has a high likely hood of staining some of your beaded jewelry or other clothing article, you might think twice on wearing these beautiful lapis lazuli beaded jewelry. Picnics, hikes, barbecues and camping trips don't go well with these delicate gems.

Cleaning your lapis lazuli

  • Mild soap and short swims
    Because of the unique composition of lapis lazuli, it will be very hard to suggest to wash these stones after use. Water can damage these stones specially if the water is acidic. But because things like sweat and oils do contaminate our beaded jewelry, and might actually damage them, we do need to clean them after heavy use. The trick is to wash your jewelry with very mild soap (or better yet very diluted jewely detergent) and clean it quick. Do not let it stay wet for too long as water will damage the calcite content.
  • The smoother (cloth) the better
    Avoid using abrasive cloth when washing or wiping dry your lapis lazuli. Always remember that lapis lazuli is a soft stone. Things such as scotch brite, tooth brush and the likes will ruin your stone eventually. Lint free or micro fiber cloth are suggested.
  • Watch your temp
    Hot water is to be avoided at all cost. Colder water is better in some ways but it may not be as effective as luke warm water. Either way, avoid hot water in cleaning beaded jewelry.

lapis lazuli

Storing lapis lazuli

  • Keep the neighbors away
    Because lapis lazuli is a softer stone, keep it away from contact with other stones, specially hard stones such as amethysts as it will surely get scratched. You do not need separate jewelry box for each of your lapis lazuli peacie, you could wrap them individually using soft acid free paper. Placing them in small ziplock bags not only helps them from getting damaged by the neighbors but also protects it from oxidants.
  • Treat like a vampire
    Light, particularly sunlight, can damage just about any stone used in beaded jewelry - lapis lazuli particularly. I recommend treating you lapis lazuli beaded jewelry like vampires. Keep them away from direct sunlight. This means avoiding jewelry boxes that doubles as display cases with those big glass windows that lets you see your jewelry. Ideally, your jewelry box should be opaque, darker in color and built well enough to ensure no light can get through.
  • Keep things cool and dry
    Make sure that your lapis lazuli are kept in a cool dry place. Do not store your jewelry box which holds your lapis lazuli in a place that will make it warm. Make sure that you have a lot of silica gel in these jewelry boxes as well. Silica bags are cheap to come by and will be able to keep your lapis lazuli moisture free for a while.