Sunday’s Gem — Lapis Lazuli

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~Albert Einstein

Mined as early as 7000 B.C. and prized throughout history, Lapis Lazuli is the universal symbol of wisdom and truth, used in jewelry, ornamental objects, dyes, and pigments.

Lapis is a metamorphic rock. True Lapis must contain at least 25 percent lazurite (which gives it a blue color), along with calcite (the white layers or mottling) and pyrite (the gold patches.). It gets its name from the Latin lapis (“stone”) and the Persian lazhuward (“blue”).

Rough Lapis Lazuli stone. Notice the striping of pyrite (gold) and calcite (white). Thanks to www.demairo.com for the image (sorry, stone is not in stock).

Lapis is the natural birthstone of those born Feb. 19-March 19 and the Zodiac stone of Sagittarius. It’s believed Lapis was the stone referenced as sapphire in the Old Testament of the Bible and is the fifth stone in the breastplate of the Jewish High Priest.

King Tut’s sarcophagus was inlaid with Lapis. Ancient Persia and Pre-Columbian America viewed Lapis as a symbol of a starry night. Long-ago Greeks and Romans used it as an ornamental stone, and, ground into an expensive powder, it produced the ultramarine color favored by painter Michelangelo and the eye shadows Cleopatra wore.

Buddhists believed Lapis brought inner peace, and Catherine the Great had an entire room in her palace adorned with Lapis.

Today, Lapis is a popular gemstone, carved into beads and cabochons. With a 5 on the 1-10 Mohs Scale of Hardness, it’s best to use Lapis in earrings, pins, and pendants, to lessen the likelihood of scratching it.

Afghanistan is one of the world’s leading producers of Lapis, followed by Chile, Russia, Argentina, Pakistan, and the U.S.

Victorian Lapis Lazuli necklace featuring 10 cabochons in 14k yellow gold in the Etruscan Revival style, circa 1900. Yours for a mere $3,750.00 at www.langantiques.com

Executives, journalists, and psychologists can find wisdom and good judgment by using Lapis. Archeologists and historians, lawyers, inventors, and writers also can benefit by keeping some Lapis around.

On the physical level, Lapis is thought to benefit the throat, ears, circulation, and the nervous system. It’s said to lower blood pressure, lessen insomnia, ease migraine headaches, and relieve skin problems.

Lapis promotes self-awareness and fosters honesty in dealing with others. In the workplace, it attracts success and lasting recognition. It fosters learning and enhances memory.

Metaphysical healers associate Lapis with the Third Eye Chakra (the Brow), which helps us see clearly and understand what we see, as well as remain open to new ideas. Lapis is said to balance the energies of the Throat Chakra, which affects our ability to express and communicate what we think and feel.

Feng Shui experts say Lapis uses Water Energy, traditionally associated with the north area of a room or home. This formless yet powerful and flowing energy assures balance as life unfolds.

Clean your Lapis in warm, soapy water and store pieces away from other jewelry.

Note: The claims here aren’t meant to take the place of medical advice. They’re based on folklore and other sources, and likely “work” best if one’s belief is strong enough!

8 thoughts on “Sunday’s Gem — Lapis Lazuli

  1. Debbie, and yet, another informative gemstone post in which you always teach me something I never knew. And I really like how you share the “history” of the stone.

    OMG…that Lapis necklace photograph you shared is stunning!

    “it produced the ultramarine color favored by painter Michelangelo and the eye shadows Cleopatra wore.”

    And it’s funny you shared that because when I first looked at it, I immediately thought of Cleopatra because it looked like something she would have worn. Something Mark Anthony gave her on her birthday. LOL!

    “Metaphysical healers associate Lapis with the Third Eye Chakra (the Brow)”

    And I can see why because the Third Eye Chakra color is indigo.

    Thanks again for sharing these posts on Sundays because I really enjoy them! Hope you’re having a FAB day, my friend!

    X

    P.S. Give my love to Dallas! x

    • Ron, I had to laugh at the mental picture of Cleopatra getting that necklace on her birthday!! You’re absolutely right — it does look like something she might have treasured.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying these posts, my friend. I’m learning a LOT by doing the research to write them. Some people might think I just have all this info stored in my head, but I can assure you, that’s far from true!

      Dallas is still doing his daily treadmill walk, and we’re both looking forward to the Domer’s visit over Turkey-Day. And the feast to come, hee hee! xo

    • Glad you got something out of it, John. I imagine it’s one of those stones that you actively have to be looking for, rather than the in-your-face diamonds, rubies, and sapphires!

  2. I must admit Lapis is one of my least favourite gems – not sure why, it just doesn’t attract me. Maybe this is why I lack wisdom, have a rotten memory and don’t look like Cleopatra… ;)

    • HaHaHa!! I’m sure that’s far from true, FF, especially the lacking wisdom and having a rotten memory! As for looking like Cleo, well, who knows what she really looked like, seeing as how there were no cameras back then? I can appreciate your lack of interest in Lapis, though I kind of like it in its raw form. Maybe the striations give it more interest for me.

  3. I knew that lapis is blue, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the rock, or those lovely gold and white striations running through it. It always fascinates me to learn how the ancient peoples used it — clearly, they had an eye for beauty, too. Besides, just the words are fun to say: ‘lapis lazuli’ is ever so much cooler than ‘quartz’ even if quartz can be just as pretty.

    • There’s something rather exotic about the name, isn’t there, Linda? Probably an outgrowth of our Western thought that the Far East has a mystic quality about it. I know I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing a necklace like that, no matter how pretty it is. Of course, I don’t have anything “worthy” of wearing it with, either!

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