The miraculous Lapis Lazuli is a soft rock. It has survived thousands of years. Now we can admire its beauty. With its heavenly blue showing us the splendor of ancient civilizations. In Lapis Lazuli Care and Cleaning I will show you the best cleaning and polishing tips. I will also tell you the best ways to store your Lapis Lazuli jewelry. Enjoy..
Two of the most important aspects of Lapis Lazuli when we talk about handling it are the porosity and the hardness of this beautiful gem stone. Lapis should never come in contact with chemicals and solvents due to this porosity.
Lapis Lazuli is a porous rock, that’s why soaking it in water will ruin the gem. The hardness of lapis is of 5.0 to 5.5 on the Mohs scale so it is fairly a soft gem.
Clean your Lapis
Due to lapis soft structure, it is susceptible to strong pressure and high temperatures.
Lapis Lazuli is not a gem that should be cleaned daily after use because of its delicate composition. Of course it is necessary to clean them after heavy use because things like sweat and oils do contaminate our beaded jewelry and could actually damage them. The water used to clean lapis should not be acidic otherwise it will damage it. You should use mild soap or very diluted jewelry detergent. This process should be done quickly because the gem should not stay wet for too long. Prolonged contact with water may dissolve and damage the calcite content.
Preferably start cleaning a small, inconspicuous area because dye treatments are not stable. The dye used in some lapis can come off if it’s rubbed with acetone (nail polish remover) or denatured alcohol, so it’s sometimes sealed with wax or plastic. Wax sealers can deteriorate when they’re exposed to heat or solvents.
The Best Cloth
DO NOT use abrasive cloth when washing or wiping dry your Lapis Lazuli because it can scratch the stone. Forget about using scotch brite and tooth brush because it will ruin your jewelry.
Using a soft cloth like lint free or micro fiber optical lens cleaning cloth is recommended. The softer and smoother the cloth, the better.
Avoid hot water at any cost. You can use cold water but the best is room temperature water.
You should never put Lapis in a chemical dip or ionic jewelry cleaner and it should always be protected from acidic substances.
Care For Your Lapis
First of all remember that due to lapis being a soft stone, it should always be protected from rubbing and scratching against harder stones. So it is of utmost importance that you store it properly. It should be stored in a soft cloth or cloth jewelry bag to prevent it from getting scratched or damaged by faceted gemstones like amethysts, tanzanite or zultanite.
You do not need separate jewelry box for each of you Lapis Lazuli pieces. You could wrap them individually using soft acid free paper. Placing them in small zip lock bags not only helps them from getting damaged but also protects it from oxidants.
Sunlight can damage about any stone used in beaded jewelry, especially Lapis Lazuli. You have to keep lapis away from direct sunlight. So it is best to store them in a jewelry box that is opaque, darker in color and built well enough to keep light from going in.
Make sure that your Lapis Lazuli is kept in a cool dry place. Do not store your jewelry box which holds your lapis in a place that will make it warm and that you have a lot of silica gel in these jewelry boxes as well. Silica bags will be able to keep your lapis moisture free for a while.
Always remove your lapis jewelry when exercising or participating in any sport or athletic activity.
A Lapis Lazuli jewelry that has grown matt from having been worn too much can easily be re-polished at any time. There are a lot of opinions about polishing lapis. Some prefer to leave their gems unpolished. Some people say that to polish a lapis lazuli you have to use a jewelry grinder with a silicon carbide belt, using gentle, steady motions to polish the surface to add shine. You can use Alumina to polish your stone.
It is not required to apply colorless wax or synthetic resin to the gem after polishing it but it helps protect it, as long as these substances are not mixed with any coloring agent.
Polishing should be kept to a minimum because not only can it be expensive but it will also make your stone a bit smaller every time it is done.
Do not expect a hard glossy wet-looking polish on most Lapis. The density varies greatly. Some polishes well and some polishes spotty with a spongy appearance.
Be sure to acquire your Lapis Lazuli Jewelry from Nammu.com where they place special attention to the care and shipping of your jewelry.
Always remember that you should have a special care with Lapis Lazuli. Being a delicate stone, its more representative artifacts have endured harsh conditions so we could now miraculously enjoy their beauty. But it would be wise for you to care for your lapis jewelry so that in a thousand years, other people can take pleasure in admiring your jewelry. Who knows…