Are You a Lapidary Expert?



9 Questions

What is lapidary?

When did the earliest known lapidary work occur?

What did the early Egyptians develop?

What were lapidary products used for in early Mesoamerica?

What are the three broad categories of lapidary arts?

What is used to polish stones in lapidary?

What are some hazardous ingredients that stones can contain?

What safety precautions should be taken in lapidary?

Are there lapidary clubs throughout the world?


Lapidary is the practice of shaping stones, minerals, or gemstones into decorative items such as cabochons, engraved gems, and faceted designs. The earliest known lapidary work occurred during the Stone Age. The early Egyptians developed cutting and jewelry fashioning methods for lapis lazuli, turquoise, and amethyst. Lapidary was also a significant tradition in early Mesoamerica, where lapidary products were used as status symbols, for offerings, and during burials. There are three broad categories of lapidary arts: tumbling, cabochon cutting, and faceting. Polishing is done with resin- or metal-bonded emery, silicon carbide, aluminium oxide, or diamond dust in successively decreasing particle sizes until a polish is achieved. Stones can contain asbestos, silica, lead, talc, and other hazardous ingredients. Safety precautions include wearing a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health approved respirator with replaceable cartridges and dust filters. There are lapidary clubs throughout the world. In the United States, societies include the American Gem Society.


Test your knowledge on the art of lapidary with our quiz! From the earliest known lapidary work during the Stone Age to the modern techniques used today, this quiz will challenge your understanding of tumbling, cabochon cutting, and faceting. Discover the history of lapidary in early civilizations and learn about the hazardous ingredients found in stones. Take the quiz and see if you have what it takes to be a lapidary expert!

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