Lapis Lazuli | the New Blood Diamond?

Hibiscus Moon Crystals 20 Comments

lapis_fi

I have a policy to not discuss politics and war. I’m totally against it. (Ooops…sorry. That just slipped out.)

…but today I have to make an exception.

Some recent controversy surrounding lapis lazuli has come up. About it being like the blood diamond trade. My take on that issue & conflict minerals in general is in this blog post.

So much so that I made sure not to include any lapis in the recommended crystal kits for my recently enrolled fall Certified Crystal Healer Courses.

lapis lazuli from Pakistan

Although, I did report on what info I knew, including my opinion on it, in my weekly Glitter Update newsletter last month, I realized I was doing the greater crystal community…including those who aren’t subscribed to my newsletter (I know, can you believe? Some Crystal Hotties haven’t yet subbed)…a great disservice by not sharing this info on a larger scale. I do have a relatively big platform here with my blog and on social media & could get so many more eyes on this lapis issue by posting about this here openly.

But, last month I made a conscious decision not to share this in my blog.

To keep it more “quiet”.

Because I was afraid of:

  • the controversy
  • the political energy around it
  • possibly not having all the facts straight
  • using the word “Taliban” on the open Internet

This week I re-assessed & realized I DO have a duty to take advantage of the platform I have here in our crystal community.  I decided to ignore my little nervous nags (& remember when I get those feelings it means that I SHOULD share my thoughts). I chose instead to acknowledge the fact that I feel a need to bring awareness to this situation.

The Controversy

So, let me fill you in.

A couple of months ago it was brought to my attention that there’s a lapis lazuli shortage happening in the gemstone market right now. So I started doing some investigating to see if I could figure out what the reason was & I think I’ve discovered what’s at the root of that shortage.

It’s being reported that lapis is still being mined but the price has been driven higher. Allegedly, this is because the largest mine in Afghanistan  has been “taken hostage” by militia and the Taliban. These 2 reasons have created a shortage in the supply. You can read more about that here.

Mind you, what is currently considered the world’s finest lapis lazuli is mined in Afghanistan.

afghanistan

Even the October 2016 issue of Rock & Gem magazine reported on this problem…

rockgemoct2016

The Global Witness, a non-governmental agency that exposes natural resource corruption, is also drawing some major attention to the problem & “is calling for the government to ensure publication of mining data, reform mining oversight, and support community monitoring of mining.They want lapis defined as a blood mineral.

The benefits of labeling lapis lazuli as a “blood mineral” would put certain international trade restrictions in place while discouraging people from buying through raising awareness about the situation.

But will any of that actually help?

Your guess is as good as mine.

It’s very sad b/c in 2013 Afghanistan proudly reported that controlled lapis mining was going to a big part of their economic come-back plan. But that idea has been smashed to pieces now.

In many cases, countries like Afghanistan regard mineral mining as an important source of income for many people. But now it seems those people are being bullied & the funds may be contributing to something I want no part of. 

lapis

Of course, I’m not there in Afghanistan seeing the Taliban taking the mines hostage with my own eyes. ***If you have witnessed this please post in the comments below! Some are disputing these reports entirely so I can’t say that this is 100% factual information (as is the case with any media reporting…right?)

However, the fact remains that there IS an evident lapis shortage as I’ve verified with my crystal selling friends.

Athena Perrakis owner of SageGoddess.com let me know that she noted a, “SERIOUS shortage of lapis” at the recent September Denver Gem & Mineral show where she was on a buying trip.

And Chrisy Bossie owner of Earthegy.com told me, “finding lapis is a problem right now and what is on the market has had a price increase….and there’s no telling if it will be here on the next shipment.”

Used with permission. (photo credit: fr:User:Luna04 )

Used with permission. (photo credit: fr:User:Luna04 )

BTW, any of us going to the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show in Jan/Feb. 2017 will have to check out the lapis inventory situation for ourselves at that time & perhaps re-assess this whole situation. (SIDE NOTE: If you are going, will be joining us for our little Hibiscus Moon Tucson Meet Up?)

Although I’m sure the Taliban gets its funding from all sorts of more lucrative sources, I’m not going to knowingly allow my mineral purchases to contribute to it. And I’m sure lapis is not the only mineral this is happening with…but it’s the one that we’re currently being told about now.

So now that I’m informed, I’ll just tell you what I’m choosing to do:

I’m not purchasing ANY Lapis Lazuli until I hear that things have been restored back to normal there. I’m not going to purchase any even if it’s been around in someone’s shop for years…b/c that will create a need for the shop owner to get more for someone else.

I’m not preaching what anyone else should do. Heck, I don’t know what the right solution is!

This is just what I choose to do.

You Have Options

Hold on tight b/c you can still get your lapis so all is not lost.

If you’re willing to lower your standards on aesthetic beauty & quality just a bit (this is truly in the eye of the beholder!)  you can choose to purchase lapis from other geographical sources.

Although not as high quality as Afghan lapis, there are other deposits located in northern Chile & Russia and even small amounts coming out of Italy, Mongolia & the US.

Blue Wrinkle Lapis

There’s a brand new stash made that was forgotten about & then recently available again (you can read the story here) known as Blue Wrinkle Lapis mined from Crested Butte, Colorado & apparently can only be purchased here as of this writing.

Our Crystal Content Manager Lisa (she’s the one that helps me prep these blog posts & our Glitter Updates…and there she is smiling her gorgeous smile below) went above & beyond and took a trip out to this shop (Zacchariah Zypp & Co.) to check out this unique lapis find. 🙂 TY Lisa!

lapiscollage

The owner of the of the shop, Noel Adam, who found the forgotten lapis stash & purchased it, stated on his website, Now all this lapis belongs to me, but I don’t really feel like I own it. It’s more like I’m the caretaker of it…There’s something special about this lapis. It really does have a certain feel, almost a spiritualization about it.”

Well, we totally get that! Here’s a close up Lisa took of the Blue Wrinkle Lapis.

zz2

And here’s Noel (below) also featured in the latest issue of Rock & Gem. He told Lisa he was excited to be featured there & I’m glad he was too so that we’re aware of one more option for our lapis lazuli needs!:

zz1

This, below, is my lapis lazuli stash from Chile. You’ll note there’s no pyrite and the grey is from calcite. Afghan lapis has little to no grey and the blue is much more deep & vibrant. (Geologists used to think the blue came from the mineral lazulite, but have since decided that most of it comes from the gorgeous mineral haüyne).

This Lapis is from Chile, shows more grey & no pyrite.

So, again…there are lots of options.

You may be wondering if the energy from all the various types of lapis is the same. Although I feel that all lapis is a wonderful Third Eye Chakra & inner vision stone, I do feel that the energy of the Afghan lapis is a bit more intense…but you really have to check it out & determine that for yourself, Chick Pea.

Have you seen additional reports or experienced a Lapis Lazuli shortage?  What do you think about lapis being declared a Blood Mineral?  Will that help the situation? Please share with me in the comments below!

Crystal Blessings,

Hibiscus Moon

Comments 20

    1. Post
      Author
  1. Thank you for getting this out in the open air! It is really good to be in the know about these sort of things. The strife that has been caused to these people in Afghanistan is disgraceful. I will also be purchasing lapis from other sources. Thanks Hibiscus Moon, love and light to you!

  2. The Lapis I have I bought in Hawaii 40 + hrs ago! I fell in love with. It it is a necklace. Looking at the pictures you posted it looks just lick the Afgan Lapis. I will put it away because I would t want anyone thing lung that I support in anyway the taliban! It is a beautiful necklace but very Heavy to wear. So is it ok to put away until they clean out the taliban?
    Human lives are Way More Important than getting more Lapis!!!!

  3. Admittedly I had not heard of this reason for the Lapis shortage, although I had heard that there were several Lapis mines that had been bought by the Chinese, then subsequently closed in order to push the price of Lapis up. However it would seem that you have enough verified information and in no way would I support trade in human life. I love Lapis, a stone I really resonate with, but will not be buying anymore unless I can verify where and how it was mined. Thank you for speaking up and speaking out 🙂

  4. Personally I don’t think we should bring the Taliban’s situations into our energetic work because we are only giving more importance, focus and energy what it really deserves. One cristal teacher told me once that we can “call” the energy of a certain cristal when needed, although we don’t have it phisically so that may be a great solution to keep working with Lapis influence without spending a cent. Some distractions came up with tons of negative frequencies but we can look into the opposite direction, finding peaceful and neutral solutions.

  5. Excellent info (and follow-up) about the lapis issue. A couple of days ago, I visited a favorite gem store I frequent during travel-Jewelry and Minerals of Las Vegas. My sister had been interested in a lapis peice, and the sales/clerk/rock guy (lol), began to explain precisely this same material to my sis and I, and that it would be sold…, but they were not tying to support the Afghan issue in particular. This information IS getting out there in he field, and this will hopefully help other lay persons. What a sad situation.

  6. I read about this months ago.I hated to hear this lapis lazuli is one of my favorite stones. It is beautiful. I purchased some about a year before I learned of this. I totally get not purchasing any to support any negative acts on mankind I hate to hear this. I hate the fact that there is war and hatred among any of us hate brings negativity to the soul and spirit of our world.I don’t have it in my heart to hate. We are here to love and lift up not destroy and bring down. I don’t wish harm to anyone but I also know that there is evil in the world and it’s not just 1 certain group or religion or one nation it is in all races all religons and all nations. I don’t want to be a part of any of that. I wanted more lapis until I read about this I can wait.

  7. Great blog. What you brought up about the taliban, (I refuse to capitalize because of the evil of it), and the lapis lazuli minds is important for all crystal loving people. Also that there’s other lapis lazuli minds in the United States of America is great.

    Never stop your truthfulness about what concerns you.

    Crystal blessings.

  8. I’m glad I’m done with my Lapis phase. I stopped buying Lapis years ago. I felt I had more than enough. They’re all from Afghanistan.

  9. The first I heard about it was when you notified those of us enrolled in your Fall Certified Crystal Healer class that you wouldn’t be including lapis in our crystal healing kits and why. I’m so glad and proud of you for speaking up on this. You do have a big platform and for you to come out in the open to try and educate others makes me proud to be a part of HMCA. I love lapis. Always have honestly and although I don’t know the particulars myself, I know enough to know that it’s not worth someone else’s suffering. If I need lapis in the future I will source it from outside of Afghanistan. In the meantime, Mama Earth has a bounty of amazing crystals that we can source the same energies from when we need them. Peace and love ?️

  10. Thank you for providing more information about Lapis. I first heard about this when you mentioned it a while ago and have tried to find out some more information myself. Very few crystal friends have heard whats been going on here (UK) that I have spoken to. I no longer sell, recommend or include Lapis (sadly it has come to this) to my clients or in workshops.
    All we can hope is a peaceful change to the situation as soon as possible.

  11. Thank you for the information that you pass on. I appreciate it greatly. My mother and I, have 2 crystal shops in South Africa – one in Cape Town and the other, on the other side of the country in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Our absolute love of crystals and their magical and healing powers have shaped our lives and always will. Back to Lapis…

    Our biggest supplier could not verify where the very limited, Lapis they have in stock, is from – well, not to my satisfaction – so I will not stock it. Simple as that. If I can get stock from Chile (verified) I will change this policy, but until then… Nope.

    Lapis has always been my absolute go to… no matter what. I absolutely adore this magnificent gem. I am so terribly saddened that it has come to this.

  12. I love Lapis & always have. My Lapis is from Afganistan, however it was bought many, many years ago. I do not support or agree with what is happening there, however, I will not let that deter me from wearing it if I’m drawn to. I feel that we do need to be aware, however, also be careful that we don’t feed more energy into this negative situation.
    Yes Gaby, we can call in the energy from any crystal that we wish to work with, I have been doing that for years ?

  13. Sending Love & Blessings to everyone in Florida! This saddens me as the people who mine our sacred crystals are good hard working people. Blessings upon them.

  14. A man known only as “Merle” 1999 told me he was using his money for very little monetary common reasons and as least as possible… But one of the things he wanted was as much Lapiz Lazuli as possible to try to bring the information stored in it to Light from ancient Lemuria… Some kind of massive energy storage device that supposedly got destroyed/blown up and scatterred all over the world… He was very passionate about his convictions.. He also said he was directly descended from the Essenes… Who isnt though? So yeah he was animate about buying my gifted Lakota Medicine-Man Talisman in shape of skull rare inclusionless Lapiz with Cuneiform writings/symbols on it i was later told by a late University Professor/Archaeologist/Geologist after i had it tested “Gene Degruson” and he was also very sure to tell me it is “Truly Priceless” along with a few other Artifacts i found under a saguaro cactus dying that i was drawn to dig under in the Southwest Desert and a burial shard of pottery washed out from underneath a giant boulder… Everything has disappeared due to me being so sick shortly after my last tour… I could not help notice how incredible things went for me when i wore it while touring as a solo instrumental guitarist/Luthier custom guitar designer… Near Liver failure made my life a livinhades for years after this but 100% Organic Lifestyle changes radically added Life Quality back to my years even though im still very careful of what i put into my body mind spirit… Will not ever forget what kind things you did for me Steph… <3 Namaste "Lightsight"

  15. I am fond of Lapis Lazuli Jewelry, I feel enjoy ma self while reading lapis lazuli post…
    I would like to add one thing in that If the flecks are small and sprinkled attractively throughout the gem, their presence doesn’t necessarily lower lapis lazuli’s value. The lowest-quality lapis looks dull and green, the result of an excess of pyrite. Lapis with white calcite streaks is less valuable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *