Lapis Lazuli

 Peaceful intuition

See the truth and accept it gracefully. 

Release stress and depression. 

Claim your personal and spiritual power.

Enhance focus and deepen meditation

Let Lapis Lazuli inspire you how to live empowered.

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Healing Properties of Lapis Lazuli

Spiritual: 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. Lapis Lazuli insists that we uphold Truth and refrain from embellishing or making false proclamations. Instead, Lapis Lazuli 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.  Lapis Lazuli is attuned to the Throat, Third Eye, and Crown Chakras and linked to the astrological sign of Sagittarius. It is connected to the element of Wind and vibrates to the number 3.

Emotional: Lapis Lazuli inspires courage, confidence, self-acceptance and independence. It helps us to trust ourselves more and to push ourselves when needed.  Lapis Lazuli 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.  Lapis Lazuli 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, Lapis Lazuli reminds us to treat each other with dignity and respect.  Lapis Lazuli also reminds us to value our friendships highly and to enjoy that glorious play between equals.

Mental: 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. Lapis Lazuli 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, Lapis Lazuli 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!  Lapis Lazuli is an excellent talisman for scholars, teachers, bibliophiliacs and anyone who loves the pursuit of knowledge simply for its own sake.

Physical: Lapis Lazuli is used by metaphysical healers to treat mental disorders and to heal brain, head and neck issues.   It is believed to help with insomnia, headaches, hearing and eye loss, and vertigo.  It is also said to be useful for soothing vocal chords, lowering blood pressure, and regulating hormones.

Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.

Mineralogy of Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli

Raw Lapis Lazuli (Afghanistan)

Mineral Family: Metamorphic rock
Major Minerals: Lazurite
Minor Minerals: Calcite, Pyrite, Sodalite

Color:  Lazur blue, violet, green-blue
Gravity: 3 
Hardness: 5-6
Luminescence: Yellowish-white (long wave) / Orange (short wave)
Texture: Nonfoliated
Transparency: Opaque

Location: The best deposits are in Hindu Kush mountain range of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Additional deposits are located in Angola, Canada, Chile, Russia, and the United States (California and Colorado).

Rock Family: Lapis Lazuli is not a single mineral, but rather a 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.  The golden sparkles in high quality Lapis Lazuli is Pyrite. Some specimens also contain minor amounts of Calcite (white) and Sodalite (blue).

Mining-a-vein

Lapis Lazuli Vein; Hindu Kush, Afghanistan

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

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

Enhancements: Synthetic Lapis Lazuli, made from spinal colored with cobalt oxide are available. However tumbled Lapis Lazuli may generally be considered fully natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting and polishing. Specimens with well-distributed golden pyrite are most highly prized.

Map courtesy of TravelBlog
Photos: Lapis LazuliMine

History of Lapis Lazuli & Lazurite

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 Lapis Lazuli and Lazuirte began being called by its current name.  The names may originate from the Persian word lazhuward, which simply means “blue”, or the Arabic word lazaward, which can mean “heaven” or “sky”.

King tutAncient 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.

lyre

Queen Puabi’s Lyre

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.

Sassoferrato

Virgin Mary, by Sassoferrato (1654).

Lapis Lazuli’s deep blue color evoked a sense of reverence in such diverse faiths as Buddhism and Christianity.  According to Buddhist lore, Lapis Lazuli 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, Lapis Lazuli 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 Afganistan and Pakistan.  Despite having been mined for thousands of years, it is estimated that trillions of dollars worth of minerals remain in untapped deposits, including high quality Rubies, Emeralds, Garnets, Gold, and of course, Lapis Lazuli and Lazurite.

Photos: Tutankhamen MaskLyreMary

Safe Handling of Lapis Lazuli

Out of Stock

The vast majority of Lapis Lazuli on the market is from Afghanistan and it is a conflict-gemstone.

I am currently trying to establish a direct supply chain with the only other Lapis Lazuli deposit – a small mine in Chile.