Lapis Lazuli Stone - Colour, Characteristics, Properties - TJC

Lapis Lazuli Stone

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Lapis Lazuli Gemstone

An Introduction

Lapis Lazuli gemstone is widely known for its likeness to the night sky, and its dark blue colour shimmers with golden flecks that resemble shining stars. This gemstone is primarily a deep-blue metamorphic rock that is used as a semi-precious stone.

History of Lapis Lazuli

It is believed that Lapis Lazuli stone was mined in the Sar-i-Sang mines somewhere in the 7th millennium BCE. The gemstone was also mined in the mines of Badakhshan province in northeast Afghanistan.

Lapis Lazuli originates from the Persian word lazhuward meaning blue, the word meaning heaven or sky, and the Latin lapis meaning stone. Lapis Lazuli began to be imported to Europe by the end of the Middle Ages. The gemstone was also used by the great artist in the Renaissance. When the gemstone was exported to Europe, it was ground into powder and created into ultramarine, the most expensive and finest out of all blue pigments. It is believed that Lapis Lazuli stone was greatly valued in the Indus Valley Civilization and its beads were used in the funeral mask of Tutankhamun. Great Artists like Masaccio, Perugino, Vermeer and Titan often reserved this shining blue gemstone for the clothing of the main figures in their paintings like the stunning Virgin Mary. This alluring gemstone appears in blue colour or purple moulted with white calcite and brassy pyrite.

Origin & Supply

The major source of Lapis Lazuli happens to be the mines in North-East Afghanistan. Other notable sources are west of Lake Baikal in Russia, and in the Andes mountains in Chile. Smaller quantities of the gemstone are mined in Italy, Mongolia, The United States of America and Canada.

Geology Lesson

Lapis Lazuli gemstone is created from lazurite, which gives the stone its dark blue colour, and calcite and pyrite crystals, which create the golden star-like flecks. The stones can vary from green-blue to purple-blue, but it is the intense dark blue with golden flecks that are the most highly prized.

Optical Features of Lapis Lazuli Gemstone

Category Metamorphic rock
Crystal System None, as lapis is a rock, Lazurite, the main constituent, frequently occurs as dodecahedra.
Colour Blue, or purple, mottled with white calcite and brassy pyrite
Crystal Habit Compact, massive
Fracture Uneven-Conchoidal
Mohs Scale hardness 5-5.5
Luster Dull
Streak Light blue
Specific gravity 2.7-2.9
Refractive index 1.5
Other Characteristics The variation in composition cause a wide variation in the above values.

Interesting Facts About Lapis Lazuli Gem

  • It is a semi-precious opaque gemstone which is highly known for its intense deep royal blue colour and glitzy golden flecks that are recollections of a starry night sky.
  • This beautiful gemstone has an appealing history. Historians believed that it's been almost 6,500 years that Lapis Lazuli gemstone has been around and has been greatly used and treasured by the ancient civilizations of Rome, China, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece. Many archaeologists have found proof of Lapis Lazuli among furnishing and treasures in ancient graves. The gemstone wasn't just used into jewellery but also in many other products like figures, bowls, decorative objects etc.
  • Michelangelo, a famous painter and sculptor, used ground Lapis Lazuli to deliver an ultramarine coloured pigment for a few of his paintings during the Renaissance period.
  • Lapis Lazuli stone is believed to be the first-ever gemstone that was donned as jewellery and had been fashioned into cabochons and beads.
  • The gem was used for seals by the Egyptians. They ground it for an eyelid cosmetic and usually crafted it into beautiful vases and figurines.
  • Lapis Lazuli is a soft stone which has a hardness of 5-5.5 on the Mohs scale. It is considered to be one of the most valuable semi-opaque stones.
  • Astrological and Healing Properties of Lapis Lazuli Gemstone

    Associations of the Gemstone.

    Chakras: Throat Chakra, Third Eye Chakra.

    Birthstone: September.

    Zodiac: Taurus, Libra, Virgo, Sagittarius

    Vibration: Number 3

    Element: Water

    Typical Colours: Deep Blue Flecked with Gold (Pyrite)

    Healing Properties of the Gemstone

    Lapis Lazuli gemstone is believed to be a stone of protection, and it can be worn against psychic attacks. The gemstone is believed to quickly release stress and can bring you deep peace. Lapis Lazuli can help you in bringing harmony and deep inner self-knowledge. It is also said to encourage self-awareness in the wearer and can help them in allowing self-expression and reveal inner truth.

    The gem is known to bring compassion, qualities of honesty and morality. It can help in stimulating objectivity, clarity and can enhance creativity. The gemstone is known to inspire confidence and can bond your relationships, aiding in feelings and emotions. On the health front, Lapis Lazuli is believed to boost the immune system, and it can help in purification of blood, can lower blood pressure. It can also work towards alleviating insomnia and vertigo and can help in overcoming depression. The gemstone is also known to benefit the respiratory and nervous system along with the throat, vocal cords and thyroid, bone marrow, cleanses organs and thymus.

    Healing Power of the Gemstone: It is believed that the gemstone increases psychic abilities. The gem is acknowledged to be a cure for melancholy and various other types of fever. The stone is also thought to destroy negative emotions and can also help in relieving sore throat pain. Lapis Lazuli is known to be an excellent gemstone for journalists, executives and psychologists, it is believed to stimulate wisdom and excellent judgment in the practical world. Wearing Lapis Lazuli can aid in intellectual analysis in archaeologists and historians, problem-solving for lawyers and generates new ideas for inventors and writers. It is a powerful crystal renowned for activating the intellectual abilities and stimulates the desire for knowledge enhancements, truth and understanding and also helps in the process of learning and is excellent for enhancing memory.

    Lapis Lazuli: Tips for Buyers

    • Like all other gemstones, the 4Cs: colour, cut, carat weight and clarity are the things you should look for while making a choice. You can always look for a vivid blue coloured lapis lazuli gem, with little impurities, a good size with a fine neat cut.
    • The origin of the gemstone can also contribute to its overall value. Always remember the simpler the cut is, the more it will exhibit its natural beauty. The most common cuts found in the gemstone are round and oval or usually cut in cabochon. These are some essential things that you can keep in mind while buying Lapis Lazuli gemstone.

    Frequently Asked Questions.

    1) Is Lapis Lazuli an expensive stone?

    No, the gemstone is not very expensive, but a truly fine material is still a little rare.

    2) How hard is Lapis Lazuli stone?

    The hardness of the gemstone is 5-5.5 on a Mohs scale.

    3) What are the healing properties of Lapis Lazuli?

    It is believed to bring harmony and can also enhance your in-depth inner self-knowledge.

    4) How should you wear Lapis Lazuli?

    According to the astrologers, the gemstone can be worn in gold or silver and should be worn in the middle finger of your correct hand.

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