Lapis Lazuli is considered by most to be an individual crystal or gemstone, however technically speaking it is a composite of minerals in rock formation. It is mainly composed of lazurite (25% to 40%), a feldspathoid silicate and various other minerals including, aluminium, augite, calcium, diopside, enstatite, hauynite, hornblende, mica, noseun, silicon, sodium and sulphur. The characteristic flash of gold is caused by small pieces of Pyrite embedded within this marble like stone.
Lapis Lazuli usually occurs in crystalline marble as a result of contact metamorphism. It comes primarily in shades of blue, but can also be found in slightly greenish shades. Intense azure blue stones with lots of Pyrite flecks and without white veins (Calcite) are the most sought after specimens. Its name is derived from ancient Persian. At between 5 and 6 on the Mohs scale, this stone is among the less hard gemstones.
Lapis has a long history, dating back 6500 years ago when ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were supplied from mines in Afghanistan, which is where some of the highest quality stones are still being mined today. The very earliest cultures valued it more highly than gold.
In ancient Egypt it was a favourite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs, and the dead were buried with Lapis Lazuli jewellery and other adornments to provide them with protection in the afterlife. Carvings made with this gemstone mostly in the shape of an eye and decorated in pure gold are typical of those found in the tombs of the Pharaohs.
Ancient Egyptian women, including Cleopatra, wore powdered Lapis Lazuli as eye shadow. This is not considered appropriate or safe today due to the high aluminium content of this stone.
Kings of old wore Lapis on their breastplate for protection in battle and to keep them connected to the divine power of the Gods so that they could rule their citizens properly and fairly. Over 6000 items made of Lapis were found in the tombs of the ancient Sumerian Kings including various carvings and dishes among other items.
From very early times some cultures have believed that to possess a Lapis Lazuli gemstone is to possess the favour and blessings of the gods. Early Egyptians used it as a symbol of Truth.
Historically it was ground and processed to make the pigment ultramarine for tempera paint. Its usage as a pigment declined in the early 19th century when a synthetic variety became available. It was used by medieval artists for the blue cloak of the Virgin Mary.
An old folktale says that if you dream of Lapis, the person you love will be true to you forever, never straying and never breaking your heart.
A stone suspended on the forehead over the third eye, is said to help develop and strengthen your psychic abilities, but use with care as it is quite a powerful stone! Lapis Lazuli is a potent stone for those who seek spiritual development, as well as those pursuing understanding of their life’s purpose. It is also a protective stone that contacts guardian spirits. Lapis Lazuli is regarded as the stone of friendship and truth. It is said to encourage harmony in relationships and help you to be authentic and give your opinion openly.
Lapis Lazuli stimulates the consciousness toward the awakening of the perfection of the self and enhances creative self-expression. It is believed to increase mental clarity, virility, and calm, and is alleged to focus energy for teachers, lecturers and speakers. It brings the enduring qualities of compassion, uprightness and honesty to your personality.
It is believed to be useful in relieving depression and promoting emotional healing and spirituality. Lapis can connect you to the knowing that you are part of ‘All that is.’ Lapis Lazuli is also powerful aid during meditation.
The stone works as a shield from psychic attack. It will help in wiping out any part of the past, in this life or others that you are still carrying but should let go of. It eliminates negative emotions.
Lapis Lazuli is used to alleviate insomnia and let go of anxieties. It is said to be a cure for melancholy and for certain types of fever. It helps balance the function of the thyroid gland while strengthening the neck and vocal cords. Soothes sore throats and relieves inflammation of the neck and head. Lapis is also sad to be helpful for respiratory, nervous and immune systems, sinus ailments, cancer, migraine headaches, speech problems, pituitary gland, pain relief and lowering blood pressure.