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Lapis Lazuli



Name:

Lapis is the Latin for ’stone’ and lazuli the genitive form of the Medieval Latin lazulum, which is from the Arabic lazaward, which is ultimately from the Persian لاژورد lajward, the name of a place where lapis lazuli was mined. The name of the place came to be associated with the stone mined there and eventually, with its colour. The English word azure, the Spanish and Portuguese azul, and the Italian azzurro are cognates. Taken as a whole, lapis lazuli means “stone of azure”.

Description:

A stunning blue coloured rock composed of a mixture of several different minerals including lazurite, sodalite, calcite and pyrite. The composition and colour of lapis lazuli varies, but it is the intense dark blue, with minor patches of white calcite and brassy pyrite that is considered to be the best quality.

Gemmological Characteristics:

Lapis Lazuli is made up of several different minerals including lazurite, sodalite, hauyne, calcite and pyrite. The stone is fairly soft at 5.5 in Moh’s hardness scale. Its lustre is vitreous to greasy and it has various crystal structures depending on its composition.

Holistic Properties:

The ‘night stone’ changing darkness to light and negativity to positivity. Releases tension and anxiety to create general relaxation of the body and mind. Connects one to the their high selves spiritually.
Gem Folklore:

The Romans believed that lapis was a powerful aphrodisiac. In the Middle Ages, it was thought to keep the limbs healthy and free the soul from error, envy and fear.

Sourcing:

The best quality stones come from Afghanistan, but other sources (usually lighter) also come from Chile, Russia and the United States.

History:

The beautiful blues in paintings from the Renaissance are thanks to the blue of lapis lazuli, the blue rock loved throughout the ages, from Mesopotamia to Egypt, to Persia, to Greece and Rome. The ancient city of Ur had a thriving trade in lapis as early as the fourth millennium B.C. When lapis was first introduced to Europe, it was called ultramarinum, which means beyond the sea. Ground lapis was the secret of the blue in ultramarine, the pigment which painters used to paint the sea and the sky until the nineteenth century.

Zodiac & Birthstone:

Hour: 4am.