I recently sold a birth chart necklace mainly made up of lapis lazuli beads. These were the last of a stock which I have had for several years.
When I went online to source more beads I discovered that there is now an issue with the ethical supply of these and it is classed as a “conflict stone”.
The largest, and best quality, source of lapis lazuli is in northeastern Afghanistan. From there supplies are sent to China and from there to the rest of the world.
Lapis lazuli is also mined in some other parts of the world – Russia, Chile, etc but for supplies available to me as a crafter, who makes relatively inexpensive items (in jewellery terms) on a small scale, the only viable source at the present time would be China.
I feel that to buy further supplies without knowing for certain their origins would not be good karma. For that reason, although I will continue to use the few beads I still have from previously to represent the planet Neptune in my birth chart necklaces, once these are gone I will replace them with dark blue glass pearl beads by Swarovski – which are, ironically, slightly more expensive. When I use these will be made very clear in my item descriptions.
I do not wish to become involved in the politics of the situation here. Anyone interested can easily find more information on the web. I am simply writing this blog to explain my personal position at this time.