In my last post, I said that if I had to live with just two colours for the rest of my life, blue would definitely be one of them! Blue is a particularly magic colour, for clothes, interiors and jewellery. There are so many different shades, and each has its own attraction. While I’m drawn to strong dark blues like indigo and French Navy, I’m also mesmerized by the vivid blue of Lapis Lazuli. How incredible is this rich, bright hue? It is an extremely alluring gemstone. Lapis Lazuli jewellery suggests wealth, royalty and luxury, and deep blue, starry night skies. Recently I’ve been exploring the romantic history and glamour behind this spectacular gem.
Lapis is the perfect blue
Lapis Lazuli has been around for eons, thousands of years in fact, found in Afghanistan in the early 7th millennium BC. It was used by the ancient Egyptians to make magical amulets. Apparently Cleopatra crushed Lapis Lazuli to colour her eyeshadow! At one point this gem was also in high demand by European Renaissance painters, who ground it into pigment and called it “the perfect blue”. Back then, it was considered more precious than gold!
Due to modern technology, we no longer grind up precious, natural Lapis Lazuli. We’re able to reproduce the amazing intensity of this blue through synthetic pigments and use it in all sorts of ways.
John Galliano, (my favorite fashion designer of all time) who designed for Christian Dior, included Lapis coloured silk in outfits he designed in the mid-1990s through to the 2000s. His ensembles featuring gorgeous deeply saturated silks and velvets resulted in a wild high glamour that made a lasting impression on me. I’ve also admired some of the more recent Dior designer Raf Simon’s use of the same stunning hue, along with Martin Margiela and Ellie Saab.
Lapis Lazuli Jewellery
When it comes to jewellery, natural Lapis Lazuli gemstones have a lavish history. It’s been coveted in high fashion for centuries. Check out these stunning antique and vintage pieces crafted by Cartier and other exclusive jewellers.
Although it’s a gemstone that can stand alone in all its splendor – clean, simple shapes such as rectangles or ovals set in sleek Silver or Gold look particularly striking – Lapis Lazuli also combines exceedingly well with other gemstones. The contrast of deep, radiant Lapis Lazuli with sparkling, clear Swiss Blue Topaz is pure magic. It touches my imagination and makes my heart soar!
Shimmering, soft, Rainbow Moonstone and Lapis Lazuli make a truly enchanting combination too.
Phianne & Paris