Described as one of the world’s most interesting rocks, the unique and beautiful K2 gemstone is found in only one place on earth, the Karakoram Range of the Himalayas - specifically in the rugged wilderness at the base of its namesake K2, the second highest mountain in the world. K2 granite cuts, tumbles, and polishes beautifully and has a beauty and allure all its own.
Whilst sometimes known as K2 jasper, K2 is not, in fact, jasper but a very fine white granite speckled throughout with ‘ink splashes’ of intense blue azurite. It is also known as Raindrop Azurite, which describes it very well. White granite and azurite very rarely occur together in geology, which makes this lovely stone very rare and unusual – so much so that there has even been speculation in the past on whether it could possibly be real! The blue azurite deposits vary in size from one specimen to another, but are always circular, and some K2 samples also show traces of green malachite.
Whilst the K2 gemstone was discovered relatively recently, its blue component, azurite, has been in use for thousands of years and was sacred to the Ancient Egyptians, who believed it to aid spiritual communication. Throughout history azurite has been used to make blue art pigment, which has been found in Chinese wall paintings from the Ming and Sung Dynasties and in Renaissance paintings from Europe, where it was one of the most important pigments until eventually replaced by Prussian Blue in the 18th century.
On its own, azurite is very fragile and so not often used for jewellery, but within K2, safely surrounded by beautifully contrasting white granite, its glorious blue creates beautiful and striking jewellery, as can be found at Lapis London: