Lapis Lazuli: The Versatile, Mysterious, and Enchanting Blue Stone
Possibly one of the oldest known gems, lapis lazuli is nothing short of an enchanting stone. Be it the color, the utilization, or the lore, there is no denying that lapis lazuli makes a statement in all categories.
The first fascinating fact about lapis is that it is not limiting and exclusive to the jewelry industry alone. The gemstone is also used as a pigment in paintings as ultramarine is produced from it. This is why old paintings are well known for their blue pigments that never fade. Some cool stuff that is!
But it doesn’t end there. Lapis lazuli is a popular carving material too. Objects such as game boards, bowls, dagger handles, hair combs, and amulets are made from it. Lapis is just ultra-versatile and quite surprising when it comes to great things it can create.
Lapis lazuli’s color is widely praised as exquisite and vivid. Often described as indigo, royal, midnight, or marine blue, it is usually medium to dark and highly saturated. It is semi-translucent to opaque with a waxy to vitreous luster. The gem is simply deep and captivating.
The color blue is engraved in its name too. The word lapis means stone, and lazuli is a Persian word for blue. Therefore, the gem’s literal meaning is a “blue stone.” As lapis lazuli is an aggregate of several minerals, most commonly lazurite, calcite, and pyrite, sometimes the golden flecks of pyrite will cause a sparkly look in lapis lazuli, but more often than not, it has a smoothly uniform body color.
Universally recognized as a symbol of wisdom and truth, lapis lazuli is an undoubtedly powerful gem. Known as an ancient stone of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, lapis is a highly spiritual stone that stimulates imagination and the inner workings of our mind and body.
On Mohs scale of hardness, lapis lazuli is ranked between 5.0 and 6.0 depending on the mix of the minerals. The largest deposits of lapis lazuli are found in Afghanistan, although the gem can also be found in Chile, Burma, the state of Colorado, and near Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia.