Writing about gems and replica Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry has become my particular métier, so it’s hard to believe that nearly 25 years ago I was sitting in Mr. Jessen’s AP English class trying in vain to make heads or tails of a poem by William Butler Yeats called “Lapis Lazuli.” Starting with the title—what the heck was lapis lazuli? (Knowing this much was key because the poem centers on a decorative objet made of a mystical blue stone, intricately carved to depict a group of ancient “Chinamen” climbing a mountain.)

While I was completely at a loss then, I’m straight on what lapis lazuli is now. And to my delight, I’ve been seeing quite a lot of it on the market. I’m sorry to report that the deeper meanings of the Yeats poem still elude me (reread it last night—still a stumper), but I’ve made up for it by getting to know the stone a little better.

fake van cleef sweet alhambra pendantLike the fact that the flecks of gold you sometimes see are actually traces of pyrite. The white streaks that can appear are calcite and, according to the GIA, their presence is often seen as a less desirable feature. But knowing what we know about perfectly imperfect fake van cleef & arpels jewelry, beauty is in the eye of the beholder these days.

Lapis is rarely faceted and is instead cut into cabochons, beads, inlays, and tablets. The gem was treasured by the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome; today the most coveted lapis specimens hail from Afghanistan, where the stone has been mined for more than 6,000 years.

And my favorite tidbit: Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Necklace replica used pure lapis lazuli, ground into a superfine powder and mixed with oil, to achieve an iridescent pigment known as ultramarine. The color appears in many of the 17th-century Dutch master’s paintings, including the famous Girl With a replica Van Cleef & Arpels Earrings, which shows the subject wearing a blue-and-white fabric headdress.