Lapis Lazuli Or lapis for short, is a deep blue metamorphic rock that has been prized since antiquity for its intense colour. In ancient times Lapis Lazuli was most highly regarded because of its beautiful colour and the valuable ultramarine dye derived from it. Its name comes from the Latin lapis, “stone,” and the Persian lazhuward, “blue.” It is rock formed by multiple minerals, mostly Lazurite, Sodalite, Calcite and Pyrite, and is a rich medium to royal blue with gold flecks of the mineral pyrite. Lapis Lazuli was among the most highly prized decorative stones in ancient Egypt, obtained from the oldest mines in the world, worked from around 4000 B.C. and still in use today.
Arizonan Turquoise Turquoise has a long history of usage, including in Ancient Egypt, the Persian Empire, the Shang Dynasty in China, and has been used by the indigenous people of America for over a thousand years. Arizona has a history of mining the beautiful stone and all our jewellery is made from Arizonan material. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise was originally discovered by Native Americans during the Anasazi period and used for trade with the Central and South American indigenous people. The mine was rediscovered and used for copper and gold—that is before there was a surplus of turquoise found. The boom came in the 1970s and 1980s for Sleeping Beauty turquoise because of its Robin Egg blue colour and little to no webbing. The Sleeping Beauty mine was closed in 2012, making it’s turquoise even more valuable. The Kingman turquoise mine is one of the largest in North America. It has produced the largest quantity of stones in recorded history and includes two extensions: the Ithaca Peak mine and Turquoise Mountain. Each part of the mine produces a unique variation of turquoise. Navajos originally mined Kingman turquoise in 600 A.D. It was later discovered again in the 1800s, but did not become mainstream until Leonard Hardy launched a marketing campaign from 1950-1970. The most sought-after Kingman turquoise is bright blue with a black or silver matrix. But because of the mines large size, turquoise can also be dark blue or a light green.
Baltic Amber Baltic Amber Formed over 45 million years ago, Baltic Amber is an organic substance, a “Fossil Resin” produced by pine trees which grew in Northern Europe – from southern regions of the present day Scandinavia and nearby regions of the bed of the Baltic Sea. The climate became warmer and trees started to exude big amounts of resin which through the fossilisation process has achieved a stable state through oxidation. It has been estimated that these forests created more than 100,000 tons of amber. Today, more than 90% of the world’s amber comes from Russia. It was thought since the 1850s that the resin that became amber was produced by the tree Pinites succinifer, but research in the 1980s came to the conclusion that the resin originates from several species. More recently, it has been proposed that conifers of the family Sciadopityaceae were responsible. The only extant representative of this family is the Japanese umbrella pine, Sciadopitys verticillata.