How to Polish Lapis Lazuli

Updated February 28, 2017

Lapis lazuli stones are usually found in stores and shops with their beautiful blue sheene. The rough lapis lazuli stones are not as remarkable to look at and need a little bit of work for one to be able to appreciate the pyrite, mica and calcite inclusions that they hold within. Learning a few polishing tricks will help you to release the hidden beauty within those rough stones and to keep them looking shiny and new.

Shape rough lapis lazuli stones on a jewellery grinder with a silicon carbide belt. Hold the stone firmly in your hand as you use a touch and release motion, progressing through the belt grits up to 600. Shape to whatever form you prefer as long as it has a smooth surface.

Buff the exterior of your shaped stone for a smoother finish. Charge the belt of your grinder with a diamond lapping paste before buffing the stone by applying lines of paste to the belt and spreading around with your finger. Use the touch and release motion to buff the stone and reduce the heat build up on the stone. Continue this until you achieve a smooth finish and shine.

Wash your lapis lazuli stone with a little bit of warm water, a mild soap and a soft brush or washrag to loosen any dirt or debris. Immediately dry the stone when you are done. Avoid letting the stone sit in water for any amount of time which can damage the stone.

Use jewellery wax to finish polishing the stone. This colourless wax should be dabbed on a cotton ball and buffed into the stone. This can also be done any time the stone appears dull or scratched. You can also try gem polishing pads to add shine to the stones. There are varying softness levels for these pads. The more abrasive ones are used on rougher stones that need more polishing. Polish with these pads until you reach you desired sheen.

Things You'll Need

  • Jewellery grinder with a silicon carbide belt
  • Belt grits up to 600
  • Diamond lapping paste
  • Warm water
  • Mild soap
  • Soft brush or washrag
  • Jewellery wax
  • Gem polishing pads
  • Cotton balls
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