Published May 2014   •  Updated November 2023  •  Read Time: 8 minutes
Lapis Lazuli is a gorgeous vivid blue rock that often has seams of golden Pyrite.  Its beautiful coloring coupled with its ease in carving has made it highly prized for thousands of years.  It is associated with kings and queens, as well as the Virgin Mary.  It is widely available and very popular in the healing crystal industry.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Lapis Lazuli on the market are conflict gemstones whose sale directly funds the terrorist activities of the Taliban.  Moonrise Crystals strongly recommends that anyone interested in getting this stone, actively seeks out the rarer Chilian variety instead of stones from Afghanistan.

Lapis Lazuli lapis lazuli

Lapis Lazuli Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Lapis Lazuli evokes royalty and power – as well as the personal integrity and discernment to use one’s position wisely.  It is a seer stone, heightening our intuition, psychic and clairvoyant gifts.  It can be used to communicate with other realms, and to seek guidance from Higher Powers. it insists that we uphold Truth and refrain from embellishing or making false proclamations. Instead, it encourages us to look and listen as carefully as we can, to always have good intentions and to admit and correct when we make a mistake.  It is a protective stone and supports all activities which guide us towards Enlightenment. Lapis Lazuli helps us to cultivate balance in our heart, mind, body and spirit.

Metaphysical Properties Lapis Lazuli
Chakra Throat, Third Eye, Crown
Element Wind
3 3
Zodiac Sagittarius

Emotional Healing Properties

Lapis Lazuli inspires courage, confidence, self-acceptance and independence. It helps us to trust ourselves more and to push ourselves when needed.  It is a good crystal ally when we need to quit an addiction or codependency. It reminds us that we are capable of great things, and that with with time and effort, all things are possible.  Lapis Lazuli encourages us to grow up and become emotionally mature and able to control ourselves, regardless of outside stimulus.  It urges us to speak clearly and listen closely.  It is particularly helpful for improving communication between people of unequal status, such as parents and under-age children or managers and employees. Regardless of which position is held, this gem reminds us to treat each other with dignity and respect.  It also reminds us to value our friendships highly and to enjoy that glorious play between equals.

Mental Healing Properties

Lapis Lazuli sharpens the mind, strengthens memory and encourages us to stay objective. It helps us to analyze complex information and to hold firmly to the ‘Big Picture’ while also accurately assessing both major and minor costs. It can also help us to recognize our own re-occurring thoughts and ideas.  If they are good and interesting, than Lapis Lazuli can help us to explore and expand upon them.  If they have negative vibrations, it can help us to either work through them if needed or to simply dismiss them completely. Either way ensuring that they end their maddening loop!  It is an excellent talisman for scholars, teachers, bibliophiliacs and anyone who loves the pursuit of knowledge simply for its own sake.

Physical Healing Properties

Lapis Lazuli has a high and regal energy, making it a powerful choice when its time to take charge of your own brain.  It reminds us that while we may have uncontrollable thoughts and unhealthy beliefs, we are still the one in charge of our life, mind, and actions.  Lapis Lazuli pushes us to do the work and confront whatever habits and patterns are causing us distress or wrecking our health.  If we “know better” but continue to do things that aren’t good for us, Lapis Lazuli shows us that the painful consequences are entirely avoidable and that it’s time to grow up and take responsibility.  It is a great choice for anything to do with the head or brain and a comforting talisman when dealing with headaches, vertigo, or for hearing and eye loss.

Explore crystals with similar energies

These crystals have an energy similar to White Jade

Lapis Lazuli Mineralogy

Where does come from?

Lapis Lazuli comes almost exclusively from Afghanistan.  There is a second deposit in Chile, near the border with Argentina, but this mine is rarely open.

Mining and Treatments

Typically mined in their primary deposit. The largest mines in the Hindu Kush exist primarily to obtain Lapis Lazuli.

It is always fully natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, and polishing.

Is Lapis Lazuli a conflict gem?

The vast majority of Lapis Lazuli comes from Afghanistan and for decades has been the second most valuable source of income for the Taliban.  When the Taliban was overthrown in 2001 and until it reclaimed power in 2021,  an estimated 70% of the mines’ income was funneled to the terrorist organization.  This means that it was no different than a blood diamond.  The Taliban is currently the legitimate government and so Lapis Lazuli is being taxed like any other mineral.  The sale of this gem is still being used to fund the Taliban’s extremist activities and so Moonrise Crystals still considers it a conflict gem.  For more information about this subject, see Teen Vogue’s interview with Moonrise Crystals’ owner.

Lapis Lazuli Placeholder
Lapis Lazuli

Do healing crystals speak to you?

At Moonrise Crystals our healing stones sing songs of peace and freedom.  That’s because they are truly ethically-sourced.  And that matters.

Mineral Family

Lapis Lazuli is not a single mineral, but rather a metamorphic rock. As an easy way to understand the difference, think of rocks as being like cookies and minerals as being the ingredients which make up those cookies. Many different minerals are used to create a rock! In the case of Lapis Lazuli, the main mineral is Lazurite, comprising 25-40% of the stone and responsible for the deep blue color and the golden sparkles are Pyrite. Some specimens also contain minor amounts of Calcite (white) and Sodalite (blue).

Lapis Lazuli energy works well with its family – other other metamorphic minerals.  Try it in combination with AtlantisiteBuddstoneCinabriteImpactite, NuummitePicasso MarbleScheelite LaceTiffany Stone, and Unakite

Lapis Lazuli Formation and Crystal Associates

Lapis Lazuli is a metamorphic rock formed when Limestone is subjected to intense heat and pressure.

Lapis Lazuli’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Calcite, Grossular Garnet, Pyrite, and Sodalite

Mineralogy Lapis Lazuli
Rock Type Metamorphic
Major Minerals Lazulite
Minor Minerals Calcite, Pyrite, Sodalite
Color Blue, may have white and/or gold veins
Texture Course-grained, non-foliated
Transparency Opaque
Special Features  May be laced with golden Pyrite

History of Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli the stone, and Lazurite the mineral, have been delighting humans for millennia as can be seen from many archaeological digs.  They have been mined in northeast Afghanistan and Pakistan since as early as the 7000 BCE, and this region continues to produce the finest Lapis Lazuli and Lazurite today.  Carved into beads, they have been found in neolithic burial sites not only in Afghanistan, but as far away as Mauritania, in western North Africa and into east into India.  They were actively traded throughout Eurasia, and held in particular high esteem in ancient Mediterranean civilizations.

Despite this, the historical lore of Lapis Lazuli and Lazurite are much more difficult to trace since like many other blue stones they was called by the catch-all name of sapphirus.  It wasn’t until the medieval era that they began being called by their current names.  The names may originate from the Persian word lazhuward, which simply means “blue”, or the Arabic word lazaward, which can mean “heaven” or “sky”.

Ancient Egyptians began using Lapis Lazuli and Lazurite for jewelry and small carvings as far back as 3100 BCE. With its vivid coloring, and glittery golden Pyrite Lapis Lazuli was an ideal stone to decorate the tombs of Pharaohs and their queens, as well as other high ranking individuals.  The most famous example of this is the golden sarcophagus and the death mask of King Tutankhamen (r.1332-1323 BCE), both of which were inlaid with Lapis Lazuli and Lazurite.  In the case of the deathmask, the Lazurite is prominently used for the king’s eyebrows!  Lapis Lazuli was also ground into a fine power and used as an eye cosmetic.  Sometimes the blue gem provided the most popular color, while at other times green Malachite was “in”.  Both were used as eye-shadow from the earliest Egyptian Pharaohs all the way to the final one, Queen Cleopatra.

In tombs throughout Eurasia, from Greece to China, Lapis Lazuli and Lazurite stand out as gemstones fit for the highest echelons of society. Of particular note, is the tomb of the Sumerian “Queen” Puabi (c.2600 BCE) which was every bit as sumptuous as the tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh.  This noble woman was laid to rest wearing lavish amounts of Gold and Lapis Lazuli jewelry.  Along with many other grave goods, her tomb contained a marvelous lyre.  The front of this musical instrument has a bearded bull’s head crafted out of Gold and Lapis Lazuli.  The choice of stones on this lyre wasn’t accidental or mere fashion. Instead, it evokes an Assyrian hymn to the Moon God Sin, “Strong bull, great of horns, perfect in form, with long flowing beard, bright as Lapis Lazuli.”  We don’t know very much about Puabi, or even if she was a Queen. It has been theorized that she may have been a High Priestess, perhaps dedicated to the worship of the Moon God.

Lapis Lazuli’s deep blue color evoked a sense of reverence in such diverse faiths as Buddhism and Christianity.  According to Buddhist lore, this blue gem brings inner peace and frees the mind from negative thoughts.  It has been a popular choice for carving of the Buddha for centuries, continuing to this day.  In Renaissance and Baroque Europe, it was ground into a power and used to create the most finest blue pigment, ultramarine.  Utilized by many artists, it was most often used for the clothing of the Virgin Mary.

Today, Lapis Lazuli and Lazurite mining continues in the Punjab region of Afghanistan.  Despite having been mined for thousands of years, it is estimated that trillions of dollars worth of minerals remain in untapped deposits in the Punjab, including high quality Rubies, Emeralds, Garnet, Gold.  Lapis Lazuli in particular has been of great economic interest to the Taliban since the mid-1990s.  The gemstone is the second most valuable income stream for the terrorist group, only slightly less valuable than poppy used to make opium.  As a result, the vast majority of the gems on the market were illegally mined or untaxed, and its sale funds extremist activities.  This means it is currently a conflict gemstone, no different than a blood diamond.  Moonrise Crystals does not recommend buying or selling Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan, and instead encourages collectors to seek out the Chilian variety.

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