Vulcanite is a rare copper telluride mineral. The mineral has a metallic luster and has a green or bronze-yellow tint. It has a hardness between 1 and 2 on the Mohs scale (between talc and gypsum). Its crystal structure is orthorhombic.
Vulcanite is named for the place where it was discovered in 1961, the Mammoth Good Hope Mine in Vulcan (ghost town and district), Gunnison County, Colorado. Small deposits have also been discovered in Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Norway. It occurs with native tellurium, rickardite, petzite, and sylvanite.
Revered by the ancients and coveted by today's most stylish designers, the incredibly vivid opaque blue of the gemstone lapis lazuli has fascinated humankind for thousands of years. Lapis was prized in Babylonia, Egypt and the Middle East, often worn by royalty as a protection from evil.
This blue stone is comprised mainly of lazurite, often with white calcite inclusions and metallic pyrite flecks. Known as the stone of friendship and truth, lapis is said to encourage harmony in relationships.
Lapis is mined in Afghanistan, Argentina, Canada, Chile, and the US (California and Colorado).
For many cultures, lapis lazuli was regarded as a holy stone. In fact, artists creating pictures of the Madonna used paint created from lapis lazuli.
With its phenomenal color and those fabulous golden flecks, which seem to replicate the magic of a starry sky, lapis lazuli jewelry has held incredible allure through time. The golden points of light are not of gold as people used to think but of pyrites, due to the presence of iron.
Unlike all other blue pigments, which tend to pale in the light, lapis jewelry is relatively fade-resistant. Lapis lazuli jewelry can easily be scratched or chipped. Water will dissolve its protective coatings so rings should be taken off during household work! It is a relatively soft gem, rated 5-6 on the Mohs scale. If you do slice into your lapis, beware: it emits quite an odor since it contains high sulfur content! We suggest wrapping your lapis necklaces, lapis rings and jewelry in a soft cloth when storing to preserve the beauty of your lapis jewelry.