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Lapis lazuli (sometimes abbreviated to lapis) is a
semi-precious stone prized since antiquity for its intense blue colour.
Lapis is a rock and not a mineral because it is made up from various other
minerals. To be a mineral it would have one constituent only. Most lapis
lazuli also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue) and pyrite (metallic
For more than 6,000 years, the Kokcha river valley of
Badakhshan province in Afghanistan was the source of lapis for the ancient
Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations, as well as the later Greek, Roman,
the Harappan colony and during the height of the Indus valley civilization
about 2000 B.C.
In addition to the Afghan deposits, lapis has been found in the Andes near
Ovalle, Chile, where it is usually pale rather than deep blue. Other less
important sources are the Lake Baikal region of Russia, Siberia, Angola,
Burma, Pakistan, USA (California and Colorado), Canada and India.
Lapis is the Latin meaning for 'stone' and lazuli the
genitive form of the Medieval Latin lazulum, which is from the Arabic
lāzaward, which is the name of a place where lapis lazuli was mined. The
finest color is intense blue, lightly dusted with small flecks of golden
pyrite.The name Lapis lazuli came to be associated eventually with this
In ancient Egypt lapis lazuli was a favorite stone for
amulets and ornaments such as scarabs; it was also used by the Assyrians and
Babylonians for seals. Lapis takes an excellent polish and can be made into
jewellery, carvings, boxes, mosaics, ornaments and vases. Lapis jewelry has
been found at excavations of the Predynastic Egyptian site Naqada (3300–3100
B.C.), and powdered lapis was used as eye shadow by Cleopatra
Before the year 1834, when it became possible to
produce this color synthetically, lapis lazuli has been grounded to powder
and processed to remove impurities and isolate the component lazurite, which
forms the pigment ultramarine. This blue pigment ultramarine was not only
precious but so intense that its radiance outshone all other colors; it was
very expensive also. But unlike all other blue pigments, which tend to pale
in the light, it has lost none of its radiance to this very day. Many
pictures of the Madonna, for example, were created using this paint.
Even nowadays, the blue pigment obtained from lapis lazuli is mainly used in
restoration work and by collectors of historical paints.
Jewelry, paintings Lapis lazuli has been used in architecture for cladding
the walls and columns of palaces and churches.
Lapis lazuli can be
shaped into any beads, Lapis lazuli round beads, Lapis lazuli oval beads,
Lapis lazuli flat oval beads, Lapis lazuli Buttons, Lapis lazuli drops,
tube beads, Lapis lazuli pear beads, Lapis lazuli nuggets, Lapis lazuli tumblers,
Lapis lazuli roughs, Lapis lazuli roundel, Lapis lazuli uncut, Lapis lazuli tire are
the common beads for jewelries.
Along these regular shapes Lapis lazuli faceted tumbler and Lapis lazuli
faceted ovals, Lapis lazuli faceted chewing gums, and Lapis lazuli faceted
have more spectacular, striking and sparkling luster.
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