General: Lapis Lazuli
The most famous source of lapis lazuli is in the Hindukush mountains of Afghanistan, where it has been mined for thousands of years. The highest quality still comes from Afghanistan, but it can be found in Pakistan, Russia, Italy, Chile, Canada, California, and Colorado.
Lapis Lazuli is a stone composed of several minerals, including lazurite, hauynite, sodalite, noselite, calcite, and pyrite. The pyrite crystals give lapis its veins and sparkles of gold. The rich blue color comes from the sulfur in the lazurite. A soft rock, lapis should be carefully protected from scratches and chemicals; it may be washed with warm soapy water.
Birthdays & Anniversaries:
Lapis lazuli is the traditional birthstone for December, and a talisman stone for Libra and Sagittarius.
It is listed as the anniversary gemstone for the 6th, 7th, and 9th years of marriage.
The name lapis lazuli comes from the Arabic word for blue, azul. In ancient times, lapis was known as sapphirus, which is now used for the blue corundum variety sapphire. Talismans of lapis lazuli were believed in many cultures to have occult powers; it was said to impart ancient knowledge and wisdom to those who use it. Lapis was highly prized by the pharaohs of Egypt, and was used for jewelry, cosmetics, and carvings. Romans used it as an aphrodisiac. Until the 19th century, lapis lazuli was ground up and mixed with oils to create the pigment ultramarine, which literally means "beyond the sea."
Lapis lazuli is said to help one understand the mind, to expand the viewpoint. If worn over the heart, it is believed to help connect the heart and mind. Lapis lazuli is associated with self-confidence, truthfulness, openness and inner tranquility. Lapis lazuli is the ancient stone of mental and psychological health, said to promote spiritual healing, mental calmness and strength of will, increased psychic abilities, dream insight, and spiritual growth. It is often used to assist meditation.
Lapis is used to help ease certain types of fever, inflammation, pain, and to treat multiple Sclerosis and disorders of the bone marrow, throat, thymus, lymph, pituitary, and immune system. It is a stress-reliever, used to ease high blood pressure, nervousness, restlessness, and autism.
Lapis Lazuli is known as a stone of friendship.