Lapis Treatments and Quality
Denim Lapis: This is basically a trade name for a lapis rock very inferior to royal lapis that was given its name marketing. In fact, when I was much younger and learning to hunt rocks, whenever we picked up this material, we were told that it was a "leaverite," meaning "leave it right there." Denim lapis is popular especially with the younger crowd because it resembles faded blue denim, but in my opinion it is not qualified to be called a "gem-rock."
When shopping for Lapis Lazuli, you should be aware that besides material from Chile and other locations being dyed, inferior lapis is also sometimes waxed or oiled to make the color darker. Howlite, dolomite (marble), jasper, and quartzite can also be easily dyed to resemble lapis, as well as sodalite! Other look-alikes include dyed marble, ceramic, and the obvious glass. "Reconstituted" lapis is a created material, made by crushing natural rock and adding bonding agents, sometimes with dye, and then processing it into a block that can be cut and cabbed, carved, or made into beads, etc. Some lapidaries will not purchase any rough lapis material that does not have a bit of white or pyrite showing, because they want to be assured of a "true" material. Remember that although "selection is the artist's choice," pieces that do not contain pyrite and seem to be reasonably priced are most likely not real lapis.
Cindy Albers wire wrapped this lapis lazuli cabochon and complementing sapphire CZs into a pendant.