Lapis Lazuli is a gemstone compared to stars in the sky.
Stone's names: Lapis Lazuli, Lazurite.
Color: Lapis Lazuli occurs in various shades of blue with some qualities being speckled with white calcite and some with yellow pyrite. The finest Lapis Lazuli is even blue color with little or no veining from other elements.
Description: Lapis lazuli is a semiprecious stone valued for its deep blue color. The source of the pigment ultramarine, Lapis lazuli is not a mineral but a rock colored by lazurite. In addition to the sodalite minerals in lapis lazuli, small amounts of white calcite and of pyrite crystals are usually present.
Because lapis is a rock of varying composition, its physical properties are variable.
The name's origin: The name lapis comes from word pencil in Spanish.
Wedding anniversary: Lapis Lazuli is the anniversary gemstone for the 7th and 9th year of marriage.
Care and treatment: Lapis Lazuli can easily be scratched or chipped. Water can dissolve the stone's protective coatings, hence clean your lapis lazuli jewelry with a soft dry cloth.
From the stone history: Lapis Lazuli with deep azure blue color, often flecked with golden pyrite inclusions, was treasured by ancient Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations and often worn by royalty. Lapis lazuli was widely used by Egyptians for cosmetics and painting . Persian legend says that the heavens owed their blue color to a massive slab of Lapis upon which the earth rested. Lapis Lazuli was believed to be a sacred stone, buried with the dead to protect and guide them in the afterlife.
Lapis lazili is one of the gemstones, that used in commesso, also called florentine mosaic. Commesso is a technique of fashioning pictures with thin, cut-to-shape pieces of brightly colored, semiprecious stones, developed in Florence in the late 16th century. The stones most commonly used are agates, quartzes, chalcedonies, jaspers, granites, porphyries, petrified woods, and lapis lazuli. Commesso pictures, used mainly for tabletops and small wall panels, range from emblematic and floral subjects to landscapes.
For centuries Lapis Lazuli has been prized for jewelry. But it has also been used to make the beautiful blue paint ultramarine and has been used as a source of writing instruments. Ultramarine is used in paints, lacquers, and decorating materials. It has a particularly brilliant blue color and is very lightfast.
Shopping guide: Lapis lazuli has been widely used as a semiprecious stone throughout history. It is most often seen as a necklace of beads or carved pendants.
Fine natural Lapis Lazuli can be rather pricey. Jewelry with the high quality stones with no calcite or pyrite veins can be quite expensive. Much of the jewelry that is sold as Lapis is an artificially colored jasper from Germany that shows colorless specks of clear, crystallized quartz and never the goldlike flecks of pyrite.
Healing ability: The stone is said to increase psychic abilities. Lapis is said to be a cure for melancholy and for certain types of fever. Lapis lazuli eliminates negative emotions. It relieves sore throat pain.
Mystical power: Traditionally believed to increase mental clarity, virility, and calm. Lapis Lazuli is energy focuser for teachers, lecturers and speakers. Enhances creative self-expression. It is believed to be useful in relieving depression and promoting spirituality. Lapis Lazuli is also powerful during meditation.
Deposits: The main supplies of Lapis Lazuli are found in the Afghanistan, Egypt, Canada, Chile, the US, and South America. The most important sources are the mines in Badakhshan, northeastern Afghanistan, and near Ovalle, Chile, where gemstone is usually pale rather than deep blue.
See also: using of lapis lazuli