The best Lapis comes from Afghanistan. For millennia, lapis has been used in jewelry. However, when war erupts in a country, the cost of its gemstones increases drastically. Miners then are needed as soldiers; transportation and trade are disrupted. It happened in Africa, and Malachite’s price soared; and Afghanistan has been the site of warfare for decades.
Lapis sometimes has tiny flecks of Pyrite or Fools’ Gold. When it also includes small bits of Calcite, it is a lower grade and is dyed to obscure them. Personally, I’d rather have a few small inclusions in my natural stones, if I can’t afford top grade.
I am finding it harder and harder to get natural gemstones of any kind; they are being “enhanced” by heating, radiating and dyeing to make cheaper stones look like the expensive natural gemstones. I will always disclose when stones I use are dyed, if I know it. Unless a distributor makes known any treatment to the stones they offer for sale, I can’t discern it. That’s why I try to purchase my gemstones from the sellers who label their stones. The stabilization of Turquoise is the only treatment I find acceptable. It protects the soft stone from absorbing oil from the wearer’s skin and keeps it from turning greenish.