This intense blue semiprecious gemstone material usually referred to as just Lapis is found only at the famous Lapis mines at Sar-e-Sang in the Badakhshan Province of Afghanistan. These mines have been operating for over 7000 years!
Unfortunately Lapis is commonly dyed and the dye can fade. Our Lapis cabochons are natural and NOT dyed.
The name is a compound of "lapis", the Latin word for stone, and the Arabian word "azul", meaning blue.
For many people all over the world Lapis Lazuli is considered a stone of truth and friendship. The blue stone is said to bring about harmony in relationships. The ancient Egyptians used Lapis Lazuli in scarabs, beads, pendants, and other jewelry as far back as 3100 B.C. Lapis was also a stone of royalty in ancient Sumer and was treasured in China at least 2500 years ago. Catherine the great decorated a room in her palace with Lapis walls, fireplaces, doors, and mirror frames.
Lapis was powdered and mixed with oil to be used as paint in Renaissance paintings.
Buddhist believe Lapis brings inner peace and freedom from negative thoughts. In Europe Lapis is thought to cure various illnesses and to be an antidote for snakebite.
It is believed that the "sapphire" mentioned in the Bible was actually Lapis. For more information see Bible Stones on our sister website.
Lapis Lazuli is an opaque cabochon stone consisting mainly of Lazurite. It was created millions of years ago in the course of metamorphosis process turning chalk into marble stone.
Lapis designer cabochons often have golden Pyrite inclusions and white or gray veins from Calcite.
Lapis cabochons have a hardness of 5 to 5.5. It is a tough material and takes a good polish.
It is believed Lapis Lazuli cabochons help one move one's consciousness beyond the mundane, and to identify habits, patterns and lessons one may have difficulty perceiving consciously.