Lapis Lazuli is a gorgeous metamorphic rock, more precisely an aggregate of various minerals, namely calcite, pyrite and more importantly, lazurite. Deep-blue in colour, almost mirroring a starry sky, this beautiful blue gemstone is a symbol of ubiquitous wisdom, guidance & truth since the Neolithic age. To understand this stone in more detail, I thought I’d explain a bit about its history, mining aspects, spiritual properties and general use including jewellery making.
Lapis lazuli occurs near solidified volcanic intrusions where crystalline marble has been reshaped by contact metamorphism. With such occurrence, lazurite replaces parts of the anchor rock by developing layers, mottling or fractures of white calcite and gold grains of pyrite. Its celestial appearance is easily recognizable by the gemstone connoisseur and has always been appreciated by its lucky owners throughout the ages.
ORIGINS AND USE
Its name originates from the Latin word “lapis”, which means stone, and the Persian word “lazhuward” for blue.
Lapis lazuli is discovered in limestone notably in the High Koksha Valley in northeastern Afghanistan. The Sar-e-Sang, a highly renowned site containing a handful of mine deposits, has been exploited for over 7,000 years. The ancient Persians regularly engaged in trading lapis across the Mesopotamian territories. Civilizations such as Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians and Romans all had their equal share in making use of this fabulous rock.
Furthermore, it was considered to be the most highly esteemed tribute paid to Egypt leaders. This is why it was applied as cosmetic powder on Cleopatra’s eye shadows and used to immortalize the golden mask of Tutankhamun, the famous 18th-dynasty ancient Egyptian Pharaoh.
During Medieval Europe, Lapis lazuli made its way in kingdoms such as France & England just to name these two. Royal ornamental objects arrived in the form of lapis, lavishly accompanied with clothing. It is also used in making small statues, vases, bowls, lapis lazuli necklaces, carvings and mosaics. Between the 14th and 18th Century, lapis was customarily turned into powder as pigment ultramarine for oil paintings like Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in 1889.
UNDERSTANDING ITS SPIRITUAL BENEFITS
It has long been believed that Lapis Lazuli opens up your intuition, sense of direction and helps you connect with your inner truth. Lapis identifies areas in which you can remove barriers to your path. It connects you to your inner awareness and encourages you to discover your true self. Another benefit worth mentioning is emotional healing as it helps to release repressed anger, dissolve stress and instills a deep sense of serenity from within, making it the perfect talisman.
LAPIS LAZULI IN JEWELLERY
Lapis Lazuli has been used in jewellery making for thousands of years and it still is today. It is generally cut in cabochon, inlays or beads, takes on an extraordinary polish and flaunts itself in vibrant blue colour with variations in violet-ish shades. Bespoke jewellers will typically make lapis lazuli earrings, pins, beaded bracelets and pendants as. When storing lapis lazuli jewels, make sure the pieces are isolated from each other in a designated box, bag or compartment. Blending this beautiful ocean blue gem with 18ct white or yellow gold a truly bring out an elegant look to its wearer.
Inspired by this regal stone, we craft our own sets of lapis lazuli jewellery and would love for you to discover some of our unique designs.
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