Lapis lazuli (), or lapis for short, is a deep-blue metamorphic rock used as a semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense color.
As early as the 7th millennium BCE, lapis lazuli was mined in the Sar-i Sang mines, in Shortugai, and in other mines in Badakhshan province in northeast Afghanistan.
Lapis was highly valued by the Indus Valley Civilisation (3300–1900 BCE), and lapis beads have been found at Neolithic burials in Mehrgarh, the Caucasus, and as far away as Mauritania. It was used in the funeral mask of Tutankhamun (1341–1323 BCE).
By the end of the Middle Ages, lapis lazuli began to be exported to Europe, where it was ground into powder and made into ultramarine, the finest and most expensive of all blue pigments. It was used by some of the most important artists of the Renaissance and Baroque, including Masaccio, Perugino, Titian and Vermeer, and was often reserved for the clothing of the central figures of their paintings, especially the Virgin Mary. Ultramarine has also been found in dental tartar of medieval nuns and scribes.
The most important mineral component of lapis lazuli is lazurite (25% to 40%), a feldspathoid silicate mineral with the formula (Na,Ca)8(AlSiO4)6(S,SO4,Cl)1-2. Most lapis lazuli also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue), and pyrite (metallic yellow). Some samples of lapis lazuli contain augite, diopside, enstatite, mica, hauynite, hornblende, nosean, and sulfur-rich löllingite geyerite. Lapis lazuli usually occurs in crystalline marble as a result of contact metamorphism.
- Lapis Lazuli is a protective stone that a great assistant for having a better memory, better overall mental clarity, and a connection to the higher mind.
- It is a stone of friendship that conveys insight and enlightenment.
- This crystal will bring one closer to "truth" and morality.
- Lapis brings balance and intuition into brighter focus for it's holder.
- It is a stone of manifestation that is beneficial to possess for those who lead.
- Lapis inspires its possessor with acceptance, dignity, and a heightened level of self-awareness.
- This stone will strengthen one's creativity and imagination.
- It embodies the energies of honesty, harmony, and calmness.
- Lapis is a grounding stone that encourages action, communication, and courage.
- It is a stone of virtue that will bring humbleness and assist in the process of learning.
- Lapis provides emotional strength and an elevated level of mental organization.
- Lapis Lazuli helps in tapping into one's spiritual power and allows spiritual exploration and pilgrimage.
- It is said that this stone can block negative energies and deflect them back to the source where they originated.
- This crystal has been known to alleviate anxieties and relieve insomnia.
- It is said that Lapis balances the operations and the overall function of the thyroid gland.
- This stone has been revered to bring one inner peace and free one's mind of uncertainty and negativity.
- It has been reported throughout history that this crystal strengthens the neck, throat, and vocal chords.
- This crystal embodies the energies of the Brow Chakra (Third Eye) and the Throat Chakra.
- It is believed that this crystal helps with many mental functionalities and brain disorders.
- Lapis is thought to assist those who suffer from autism and attention deficit disorder (ADD).
- This stone is fantastic for meditation; it allows one to tap into communication with higher realms and other dimensions.
Historical Figures Who Used Lapis Lazuli
- Cleopatra VII, Ancient Egypt.
- King Tutankhamun
- Thutmose III, Ancient Egypt.
- Theophrastus, Greek Scientist.
- Catherine the Great.
- The High Priest of Jerusalem (on breastplate).
- Aphrodite (Venus), Greek Goddess of Love.
- Athena, Greek Goddess of War and Wisdom.
- Hera, Greek Queen of Gods and Goddesses.
- Nuit, Egyptian Goddess of the Heavens and Sky.