Lapis lazuli is a sodium aluminum silicate with sulfur chlorine and hydroxyl, and variable inclusions of pyrite and white calcite. Its hardness is 5 to 6 and its crystal system is isometric and mostly aggregate. Specific gravity pure 2.38 to 3.00. Refractive index 1.50 to 1.55. Wear ability is graded as excellent, very good, good, poor, and forget it. It is considered a rock not a mineral.
Lapis lazuli's metaphysical qualities are thought to influence positivity, friendships and honesty, and to encourage harmonious relationships when worn. It is known as a stone of truth. In terms of this gem’s energy, lapis lazuli can promote intellectual ability, creativity, and help enhance memory. It is thought to help its wearer desire and retain knowledge and bring about good, open communication skills. It is believed that lapis lazuli can strengthen and clear the mind and help with issues relating to trauma, depression, or grief and lead one to inner hope and courage. Lapis lazuli's dark blue energy also enhances respect, discretion, honor, and compassion for ourselves and for humanity. Lapis lazuli's physical healing qualities are believed to include relief of anxiety and insomnia and can it may strengthen the immune system.
Some of the best lapis lazuli comes from Afghanistan but it has also been discovered and mined in Italy, Egypt, Chile, Russia, and the USA. Lapis lazuli was first mined some 6,000 years ago in a location still in use today in the mountain valley of Kokcha, Afghanistan. It was transported to Egypt and later to Europe, where it was used in jewelry and paint pigment. In the nineteenth century, Europeans began grounding lapis lazuli into an expensive powder and called it ultramarine, which literally means "over the sea." Lapis lazuli is listed as the traditional birthstone for September.
Visit Afghan Gems in Booth D48 at the 22nd Street Show, Jan. 27 - Feb. 13. We have a wide selection of the finest lapis lazuli from Afghanistan in all of Tucson!
Sources: Simmons, Robert, Naisha Ahsian, and Hazel Raven. The Book of Stones: Who They Are & What They Teach. East Montpelier, VT: Heaven and Earth Publishing, 2007.