A personal favourite and one much loved by my customers who adore the wonderful deep blue colour of lapis jewellery, also referred to as lapis lazuli. This is a gemstone straight out of the Arabian Nights. Indeed ‘Lapis’ is the Latin word for ‘stone’ and ‘lazuli’ is Arabian for ‘blue’. It is a stone of truth and friendship that brings harmony to relationships.
What is Lapis and where does it come from?
This gemstone is mainly composed of lazurite, a type of silicate with sulphate, sulphur and chloride constituents. The blue colouration is a result of pyrite inclusions that help to add a real sparkle. Sodalite is a popular type of lapis that is also blue but lacks these inclusions. It has been mined in Afghanistan for around 6,000 years around the Sar-i-Sang mountains. Other deposits can be found in Chile, Central Asia and the USA.
History and Use of Lapis?
There has been a strong association with this gemstone and the Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis for thousands of years. In addition Persian royalty wore lapis to deter danger, enhance awareness and pass on knowledge and wisdom. More famously it was used to decorate Tutankhamen’s tomb. The wonderful blue colouration added to the belief that this was a stone from heaven that held magical protective powers. It was so valued that this stone was widely traded throughout the Mediterranean region and Mesopotamia. In India it was used to protect the health of their children. It was finally introduced to Europe by Alexander the Great.
With such a long history many emotional and spiritual benefits have been bestowed upon this gemstone. The most recognised include;
- increasing confidence
- enhancing creativity
- alleviate fear
- repeal suffering and fear
- reduce pain and promote restful sleep.
- attract fame and promotion.
In folklore medicine it was seen to tackle problems of the thyroid, migraines, fever and depression.