Monday, August 11, 2014

Lapis Lazuli Warning - Avoid Natural Lapis from Afghanistan




Good morning, I hope you're enjoying your Monday.

In my last blog post I had quite a discussion on my life journey and wanted to inform you of some evil things that linger about. To start that post I was going to share the properties of lapis lazuli, the protection stone, and one of the most sought after gemstones in jewelry.

However, I have to first back up and inform you about some disturbing things I recently learned from my supplier about lapis lazuli.

The gemstone is exquisite and has been sought after for centuries by many rich families. When I first started using gemstones for holistic health and Reiki sessions, Lapis was always the stone I turned too the most. I know this stone very well, as a holistic health stone, and still have my very first piece of lapis that I use on a regular basis.

As a Reiki practitioner, I find Lapis to be one of the very best stones for protecting me at all times, as it recognizes psychic attack, blocks it, and returns energy to its source. Lapis is also a powerful third eye stone that helps me channel my Reiki and find the true source of disease in my clients.

All this being said, Lapis Lazuli is still a very sought after gemstone and is becoming very rare. My discussion here will center on 100 % natural lapis from Afghanistan.

Working with gemstones is not just a "thing to do" because gemstones are so trendy in jewelry right now. Gemstones require the jewelry artist to really know their product and to ethically source the best pieces they can find without buying pieces that are not so ethical. Lapis Lazuli stands in question.

I thoroughly research my stones and have been an avid collector of stones since I was 
10 years old working with my rock tumbler. I am fascinated by the healing properties of stones and as a Reiki Master, I have to be very careful about where I source my materials.

Lucky for me, I live in an area that offers me gemstone suppliers at my fingertips and I am able to speak directly to them about where the gemstones come from and I constantly learn new things about the gemstones. I live an hour from the Rocky Mountains and just a few hours from Banff, Alberta, where you can buy precious gemstones and speak to the suppliers directly. I also have a trusted USA supplier that I go to when I have questions, as they have a vast knowledge of stones and know so much more then I may ever know.

Any 100% natural lapis from Afghanistan should probably not be purchased, whether as just stones for your work or in jewelry. Be especially careful of handmade markets where the jewelry artist boasts that they have the best lapis lazuli on the market....they may very well have the best, but the lapis sourced from Afghanistan currently is supporting the Taliban. Their supply is being sold to fund their terror activities. This poses a security concern. My supplier from the USA has informed me of this.

A word on lapis and how to choose it. You do not have to buy the most expensive lapis that you can find to have a quality piece. The prices on this gemstone is dependent on the beauty and intensity of the color. The most popular is the intense deep blue. 

Dyed, reconstituted Lapis is widely available right now. Here is what my supplier had to say: " Lapis is ground into fine grains mixed with dyes and polymers and made into blocks of material that are sold as carving material, a lot of the Afghanistan lapis lately(2010- current) has been reconstituted. Many servicemen stationed there have been hoodwinked in the local markets thinking that they are buying something worth-while, when most of it has been ground up, dyed and polymer suspended. "

Basically, do not buy any Lapis that claims to be 100% natural lapis from Afghanistan. Chances are you are either getting a piece of Lapis that is not really Lapis or you are buying Lapis and supporting the Taliban. Either way, if you do care about your expensive gemstone jewelry, I am sure you do not want to be wearing a fake or a unethical piece of lapis.

To test your lapis here is what you can do: 
Wash your piece of lapis really well and dry it with a cotton cloth.
Then take a q-tip or cotton ball and dip it in acetone or nail polish remover, if it starts turning blue, you've been sold dyed lapis.

Contact your supplier. Some jewelry artists may not be aware of this problem and may just seek the most sought after expensive pieces of lapis for their designs, not really their fault, however, this why working with gemstones requires some responsibility and research. 

Follow this link to learn more about how they get lapis from Afghanistan, it isn't that easy to obtain:
 http://www.palagems.com/lapis_lazuli_bancroft.htm

Here is the link to a wonderful supplier who knows their stuff, many thanks to them
https://www.etsy.com/shop/CoyoteRainbow

Namaste











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