Foxfire Jewelers The Creative
Custom Jewelry Studio since 1985
14176 NE Woodinville-Duvall
Woodinville, Washington 98072-8551
Found in Afghanistan and Chile, Lapis
Lazuli was well known to the Egyptian pharaohs and in Persian
kingdoms. It was highly valued due to its relative scarcity and
was used in Tutankhamun's famous burial mask. The ancient Egyptians
regarded the stone as a symbol of the heavens, and wore it carved
in designs representing various deities and religious images.
Faience, an ancient Egyptian pottery, was made to imitate Lapis
Lazuli and turquoise for the masses.
Lapis Lazuli is a vivid blue opaque
gemstone that is a composite of several minerals including Lazurite,
Calcite, and Sodalite. It is generally a mottled blue color. Frequent
inclusions of pyrite may pepper the stone with golden colored
spangles. Its name comes from the Latin word 'Lapis' meaning stone
and an Arabic word 'Azul' meaning blue. It was also used in European
cultures to symbolize the heavens in which the stars are held,
and in some cultures to signify chastity. Lapis Lazuli was thought
to be a cure for melancholy and fever.
Some people believed that the ten commandments
were in fact carved on tablets of Lapis Lazuli. Legends describe
Lapis Lazuli as being a favorite stone of the alchemists. It was
thought to bestow wisdom and promote truth. By placing it on a
painful area or where swelling occurred, it was thought to provide
relief. The gemstone was worn as a talisman to attract friends,
gain favors, and protect the wearer in darkness. In times past
it was ground to produce the pigment ultramarine, although this
color is now synthesized.