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Cute, Petite Hand Carved Ten Carat Lapis Lazuli Semi-Precious Gemstone Hearts from Afghanistan. Mounted onto High Quality 14kt Gold Fill French Hooks (not cheap gold electroplate).

NOTES: Hand Carved Semi-Precious Lapis Lazuli Hearts mounted onto high quality 14kt gold fill french hooks. Lapis Lazuli Gemstones measure 16mm in width, 16mm in height, 6mm in thickness, and together total 24.25 carats in weight.

DETAIL: Two gorgeous, richly colored natural dark blue lapis lazuli semi-precious gemstones from the 7,000 year old mines at Badakhshan in Afghanistan, source of lapis lazuli for the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, Phoenicians, and the rest of the ancient world. These are very cute hand-crafted semi-precious lapis lazuli gemstone hearts, produced from material mined in the late 1940's or early 1950's in Afghanistan. The gemstone was the hand shaped, hand polished, and hand drilled in India, most likely in Bombay, one of the principal gemstone finishing centers in the world. Originally produced for export to England, they ended up collecting dust in a warehouse. The semi-precious lapis lazuli gemstones are very nice quality, and possesses a very beautiful sprinkling of golden colored flecks of iron pyrite. These antique gemstones have been mounted by us onto contemporary 14kt gold fill french hooks. It's a first-class piece of jewelry throughout. Though the gemstones are antique, hand crafted and hand matched, the settings are contemporary. If you prefer, they could also be remounted onto kidney wires, lever backs, euroclicks, or ball studs; or remounted onto sterling silver or solid 14kt gold. For over 6,000 years, through the ancient civilizations of ancient Sumeria and Babylon, through ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, and into contemporary times, the beautiful golden-flecked dark blue color of lapis lazuli has made it one of the most popular natural gemstones in the history of jewelry.

For more than 7,000 years lapis lazuli has been mined as a gemstone in Afghanistan, near ancient Mesopotamia, and traded throughout the ancient Mediterranean world. Along with turquoise and carnelian, lapis lazuli is undoubtedly amongst the most ancient of gemstones. The most ancient jewelry typically used one or more of these three gemstones (carnelian, turquoise), and lapis lazuli was certainly very popular. The famous mask covering the head of Tutankhamen's mummy is inlaid primarily in lapis lazuli, with accents of turquoise and carnelian. The tombs of both Tutankhamen and Queen Pu-abi of Sumeria, two of the richest tombs in all history, featured lapis lazuli prominently. Archaeological evidence has shown that as long as 5,000 years ago the Egyptians used it in medicines, pigments (ultramarine), cosmetics (eye-shadow) and, of course, jewelry. Besides jewelry, lapis lazuli has also been used since ancient times for mosaics and other inlaid work, carved amulets, vases, and other objects. Most lapis lazuli contains iron pyrite in the form of golden flecks sprinkled throughout the gemstone, the hallmark characteristic of lapis lazuli, often compared by the ancient with stars in the sky.

SHIPPING OPTIONS: All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. Most of these antique gemstones were originally part of two collections, one originating in India principally composed of gemstones originally mined in India, Burma, Ceylon, and Siam, and then hand faceted in India. The addition of a second accumulation of antique gemstones originally mined in the Urals in the mid to late 19th century (including alexandrite) completed the collection. These gemstones as well were hand finished. The Urals have been one of the world's major sources of precious and semi-precious gemstones for many centuries. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and Asia. These antique gemstones are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery.

We ship inventory from the USA order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipping within 48 hours of payment. A certificate of authenticity is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE".