LAPIS LAZULI INFORMATION
What is Lapis Lazuli?
- Lapis Lazuli is an opaque, deep blue semiprecious metamorphic rock and it's main mineral ingredient is Lazurite (25 - 40%) with varying amounts of Pyrite and White Calcite. Other trace minerals may be found depending on where the rock was formed and these include Sodalite, Diopside and Mica to name a few.
How is Lapis Lazuli formed?
- Lapis Lazuli is technically not a crystal but a rock as it has no crystal system and is isometric, mainly aggregate. It has a hardness of Mohs 5.5.
- It generally occurs in crystalline marble due to a process called contact metamorphism which is when mineral rich magma melts and mixes with a pre-existing rock formation.
Where is Lapis Lazuli found around the planet?
- The highest grade of Lapis Lazuli is found in Afghanistan but over the years other sources have been found around the world in the Chilean Andes, Myanmar, Russia and Canada.
What is the history and folklore of Lapis Lazuli?
- Lapis Lazuli has a rich history that dates back to over 7,000 years ago when it was first mined from the Sar-e Sang mines located in the northeast of Afghanistan, from here it was traded to Egypt by the Aryans of the Indus Valley. These ancient civilisations believed this beautiful deep blue mineral with it's sparkling Pyrite flecks symbolised the vast heavens above and Lapis Lazuli was given a reputation as a gift from the Gods.
- In Egypt the mineral was ground into a powder to use as a dye for the robes of high priests as it was thought that by wearing the colour they would be imbued with supernatural forces and special powers. Lapis Lazuli was also prized as a remedy for various maladies and mental disturbances, it was thought that the deep blue colour carried the energy of God and that by using the powdered mineral as a poultice it had the ability to cleanse the body of toxins and free the soul from demonic possession.
- In the Far East the stone was associated with the third eye chakra and was used to assist meditation by releasing negative thought patterns and deepening intuitive knowing.
How do I care for Lapis Lazuli?
- Polished Lapis Lazuli can be wiped over with a soft cloth.