Lapis Lazuli is another birthstone for September along with the precious gemstone Sapphire. It is one of the most sought after stones in use since man’s history began. Its deep, celestial blue remains the symbol of royalty and honour, gods and power, spirit and vision. It is a universal symbol of wisdom and truth. Its name comes from the Latin lapis, “stone,” and the Persian lazhward “blue.”
Lapis lazuli is a rock with the most important mineral component – lazurite. Lazurite forms the bulk of a lapis lazuli rock and is responsible for the gemstone’s deep blue colour. Another mineral component of a Lapis Lazuli stone is sodalite, which is another gemstone in and of itself. Pyrite, better known as fool’s gold, makes the speckles of yellow on a Lapis Lazuli stone, while the white intrusions are calcite. The intense blue colour is the most important quality of the Lapis Lazuli gemstone, having been the original blue gem in history before sapphire. Some of the best Lapis comes from Afghanistan, but it has also been found in Italy, Egypt, Chile, Russia and the USA. Many of the best deposits have been mined out so top quality stone is becoming harder to get.
Lapis lazuli is one of the oldest gemstones in history, and was employed for a variety of uses. In ancient times, pharaohs and kings wore a Lapis Lazuli stone as amulet. Sculptures of Egyptian pharaohs had Lapis Lazuli on them, colouring their eyebrows or irises. Cleopatra herself was said to have worn powdered lapis lazuli for her eye shadow. Beautiful Egyptian amulets and pieces of semi-precious jewellery made from Lapis Lazuli stone were discovered in the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh King Tutankhamun. By the end of the Middle Ages, Lapis Lazuli powder was manufactured into pigment, and used by the most important artists of the Renaissance and was Michelangelo’s favourite.
A stone of truth, Lapis encourages honesty of the spirit, and in the spoken and written word. Wear it for all forms of deep communication. It is also a stone of friendship and brings harmony in relationships. Lapis Lazuli is beneficial to the throat, vocal chords and helps regulate thyroid glands. Lapis Lazuli is a useful stone to wear as it is said to relieve anger and negative thoughts, as well as easing frustrations causing the anger.