Antique Lapis Lazuli Bead Strand from Afghanistan, 4
Afghan Tribal Arts has been importing from Afghanistan and the region since the 1980’s. The focus is on vintage textiles and tribal jewelry as well as new gemstone beads made for jewelry designers. Clicking on the Shop on Etsy button will take you to our shop there where you can see what is currently in stock.
Lapis Lazuli is a much prized stone that has had its place in history for centuries. From the Egyptian pharaohs to Medieval illuminated manuscripts, lapis has been used in mosaics, ground into powder for its color, and ingested as a medicine. Found only in Chile and Afghanistan, its value continues to go up, a great investment!
This strand is made up of old beads that were re-strung into a new strand. Age is estimated at over 100 years. The beads are a very dark blue and have a nice patina to them. Free shipping worldwide on this strand.
Beads vary in size. Refer to photo with ruler to see a sample in inches and mm.
Strand Length: 16.5 inches (42.5 centimeters)
Please examine the photos carefully. We have made every attempt to get as close to the color as possible, but different monitors do interpret these colors differently. And, you will notice that the sizes of the beads do vary from strand to strand. Flaws, hairline cracks and uneven finishing is part of this handmade process.
Lapis Properties: Bernadine.com has the following info on Lapis. (Visit their site, http://www.bernardine.com/gemstones/lapis.htm)
Lapis Lazuli is listed as the traditional birthstone for December. (Note that the official birthstone list adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912 denotes Turquoise and blue Topaz as the official birthstones.) It is also the Planetary stone for Capricorn and the birthstone for Libra. See the birthstone tables for additional references to lapis. Lapis may be given as a gem on the 7th and 9th wedding anniversary.
Lapis is considered a rock, not a mineral. It combines various minerals, mostly lazurite, but also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue) and pyrite (fools’ gold, a metallic yellow) and to be considered a mineral it would have only one component.
Top quality lapis lazuli comes from Afghanistan where is has been mined for more than 6000 years, but is also found in Siberia, Chile, the U.S., Pakistan, and Canada.
A strong blue, sometimes with a hint of violet, lapis lazuli’s value decreases with the presence of white patches (calcite), while small veins of pyrite are often prized.
The Egyptians used Lapis for seals, ground it for an eyelid cosmetic and often carved it into vases and figurines.
A soft stone, 5 -5.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, lapis lazuli is one of the most valuable semi opaque stones.
Crystal habit: compact, massive
Specific gravity: 2.7 – 2.9
Streak: light blue
Lapis Folklore, Legend, and Healing Properties:
Strengthens total awareness, creativity, ESP, skeleton, thyroid, helps to expand viewpoint. It is believed to improve sleep and cure insomnia.
The Romans used lapis as an aphrodisiac.
During ancient times lapis was ground up and used for medicinal purposes as well as a cosmetic. The ground powder was mixed with milk and used as a compress to relieve ulcers and boils and, during the Middle Ages, lapis lazuli was believed to maintain the skeleton in healthy condition while keeping the spirit free from the negative emotions of fear and jealousy.
Lapis is used to energize the throat chakra and when placed over the brow chakra it induces a heightened state of awareness.
Afghan Tribal Arts specializes in handcut, unpolished beads from Afghanistan and the region. Working with artisans directly in the Peshawar region, your purchase helps support small workshops who work in traditions established over centuries in the Silk Road. Afghanistan has great wealth in its natural resources, including an endless variety of semi-precious stones. Unpolished stones take in the oils of the skin with wear and develop a deep patina over time.
Recognizing that these strands are more expensive than the dyed and commercial stones that flood the market these days, we encourage our customers to think of buying with other friends and splitting the strands or to buy quantity in order to save on shipping. Free shipping on orders over $100.
Afghan Tribal Arts has been working with Afghan artists for more than 20 years. Handcarved semi-precious beads are the core focus of the business, but we also have a huge inventory of old and new textiles, carvings and metal work. Visit our shop here on Etsy to see our beautiful treasures!
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Free shipping on all purchases over $100 in the US. (Discounts given on shipping for international orders over $100)
Afghan Tribal Arts
I have been importing from Central Asia since the 1980’s. Afghan Tribal Arts focuses on hand carved gemstones, beads, tribal jewelry, vintage textiles and nomadic carpets. But, we have a huge inventory of handmade crafts from around the world.
Our gallery is at 626 Broadway in Paducah, Kentucky, USA. We are currently revising our website and shop on Etsy, but you can see a lot of what we have on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beadsrugs/photos/
The products you see here are examples of what we have sold in the past. Let us know what you are looking for and we will work with you.
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