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Admired by ancient civilizations, lapis lazuli still delights gemstone connoisseurs around the world. It's hard to resist the beautiful deep blue and the glitter this exquisite gemstone has to offer. But what if you have lapis jewelry that you’ve inherited or been given that doesn’t suit your style? You need to make sure that you do everything you can to sell lapis jewelry at the best price.

Here at Worthy, we help people sell their unwanted diamond jewelry for the best possible price. What we’ve learned about selling diamonds can help you when you are selling lapis as well. Here is an FAQ with the answers to all your questions about selling lapis.

What is Lapis?

Lapis is an exquisite deep blue semi-precious stone that is a joy to behold. Found in limestone deposits in Afghanistan, and extracted from mines in the Andes, Siberia, India, Canada, Italy, Argentina, Angola, and the United States, it gets its color from S3 radical anions located within its crystals.  

What Factors Can Affect the Value of Lapis?

Those who buy and sell lapis gemstones and lapis jewelry frequently are familiar with the factors that can affect its value, including color, age, setting, and wearability.

Color: While almost all lapis lazuli is beautiful, the finest examples are solid, deep blue without any white calcite spots and with just the tiniest touch of brassy-hued yellow pyrite. The deeper, purer color your lapis displays, the more valuable it is likely to be.

Hardness and Wearability: The wearability of a piece depends greatly on the quality of the lapis. The best examples do not fracture easily and will stand up to fairly heavy wear; still, use caution when wearing, storing, or shipping lapis as it may fracture when dealt a hard blow. 

Age of Item and Quality of Setting: Vintage pieces containing lapis are usually quite valuable, as are mixed gemstone and semi-precious gemstone pieces containing lapis. Value increases dramatically when the stones are showcased in precious metal settings as was once the norm. Simple modern styles set in sterling silver are quite pretty, but are not typically of great value. 

If you are hoping to buy or sell lapis gemstones or lapis jewelry, it is very important that you work with a professional appraiser. This is the best way to ensure that you get as much as possible for your item.

What Types of Jewelry is Lapis Typically Found In? 

Top quality lapis is surprisingly rare, however it is used in all kinds of modern jewelry, and it’s also possible to find exceptional examples in antique and vintage pieces. People who love lapis enjoy wearing necklaces, pendants, earrings, and bracelets made with these beautiful semi-precious stones. Rings are also available, as are shirt studs and cufflinks.  

Why do People Value Lapis?

Lapis lazuli has been prized since about the 7th millennium BCE, when it was being mined in the area that is now Afghanistan; its intense blue color made it a favorite with royalty and common people alike. Beads made of lapis were discovered at Neolithic burial sites in the Caucasus, Mehrgrah, and Mauritania, and it is famed for its use as the eyebrows on Egyptian King Tutankhamun’s death mask. Egyptians often used lapis for carving scarabs and other items, and finely ground lapis was one of Cleopatra’s favorite eyeshadows. 
By the end of the middle ages, lapis was being exported into Europe, where it was prized for its use in formulating ultramarine, which was and still is one of the most important pigments used by professional artists. While most painters today use synthetic ultramarine due to the expense associated with ground lapis lazuli, some, particularly museum conservators, still insist on using the stone itself. 

Besides being used to create a wide variety of jewelry, lapis has historically been used for carvings, mosaics, vases, and other ornamental items. One of the most famous is a two-meter tall urn from the 19th century, which is on display at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Why Sell Lapis?

Why sell lapis? Some of the most popular reasons include the following: 
  • You can transform unwanted or unused jewelry and stones into cash
  • It’s not difficult to find lapis and lapis jewelry buyers
  • The market for lapis is strong, particularly where exceptional pieces are concerned
Excellent examples of lapis and lapis jewelry fetch high market prices, and a few of the nicest pieces – particularly vintage ones – have recently sold for thousands. If you’d like to sell lapis or lapis jewelry, you’ll most likely find yourself pleased at the offers you receive.