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Lapis lazuli, described during Antiquity as a star-studded sky, captivates the eye with its intense blue stippled with pyrite. It expresses its full depth and midnight hue in various Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry collections, including Bouton d’or® and Deux Papillons, set off by the sunny brilliance of yellow gold and the sparkle of diamonds.
In Egypt and Mesopotamia, lapis lazuli was sculpted to create singularly luxurious objects.
Lapis lazuli is a hard, opaque stone of highly variable composition, exhibiting a predominantly dark blue color produced by a high proportion of lazurite, its primary mineral component.
Its name comes from the Latin lapis (stone) and the Arabic azul (blue). In Egypt and Mesopotamia, lapis lazuli was sculpted to create singularly luxurious objects (cylindrical stamps and statuettes of gods) intended for royal patrons. It can also be found with engraved designs on Etruscan rings.
The stones selected by Van Cleef & Arpels stand out for the purity and intensity of their color, with a touch of pyrite speckling, as well as their pronounced luster brought forth through repeated polishing.
To protect this stone from damage or scratching, the Maison recommends storing lapis lazuli pieces in a dry fabric-lined box separate from other jewelry.