Prized by Ancient Egyptians

I have been fascinated by lapis since I first discovered it back in elementary school when we were learning about King Tut and Ancient Egypt.  It seemed so exotic and mysterious.  Lapis lazuli…  Even the name seemed mysterious…

Lapis is a deep blue stone that has small flecks of pyrite in it and sometimes some small white calcite inclusions.  The deeper blue specimens are considered to be the higher quality ones. 

Lapis was actually one of the first stones to have been used in jewelry.  Our desire to adorn ourselves with this rich blue stone goes back millennia.  Apparently Cleopatra used powdered lapis as eyeshadow! 

To find out more about lapis, check this out in Wikipedia. 

As my love for this gorgeous blue stone goes way back, it is no surprise that when I started making jewelry, lapis was something that made its way into my supplies.  

I acquired 2 gorgeous free-form lapis cabochons back in July.  I was itching to create something with them, but how exactly to set them to do justice to them, I was not sure.  The larger one would be for a pendant, but I felt it needed something other than just a plain bezel setting.  So I patiently waited… 

About a month ago, I saw a beautiful pendant that another jewelry artist had made and I was inspired.  It included 3 little silver balls next to a beautiful cab.  I’ve seen settings with little balls like that before, but when I saw that one, I just knew what I wanted to do with that fabulous lapis.  Yay! 

The image in my mind was very clear, but achieving it did take some work.  This was the first free-form cab I had set, and definitely the largest one.  In order to solder the bezel to the back plate, I actually needed to use both of my butane torches at the same time to generate enough heat!  But it was for situations like these that I had bought the second torch… 

I also had to make the little silver balls and solder them to the back plate.  So my adventures in melting and fusing fine silver began…  Melting things on purpose was fun, bit not so great when I melted them into one large shapeless lump!  It took a few tries to get it right. 

And the bail…  Well, I had to figure out what I would do before I even started working on the project, because everthing really needs to be planned out ahead of time.  Otherwise, trying to do after the fact fixes is not fun!  Ask me how I know (but that really is a topic for another post)…  This was my first bail that was more than a jump ring through a hole.  I quite like my design solution.  It works quite well and I like the look. 

So, I am quite pleased with the end result of my little adventure with lapis.  See for yourself.

lapis-pendant-12 

 

And yes, I still have the second lapis cab.  I haven’t yet been inspired with the right design for it.  It is also triangular, but much smaller.  And an even deeper, richer blue…  It’s just gorgeous!  And I’ll let you in on a little secret…  I’m keeping it for myself!

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