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Encyclopaedia of stones


Lapis Lazuli has been known since ancient times, and owes its name to the Persian word lazhward, meaning blue. It is a stone composed of at least 14 different minerals, between which we emphasize lazurite, which gives it its blue color, wallostonita and calcite give it its gray and white veins. He owes his beautiful inclusions of gold to sulphide of iron in the stone. Lapis can be perfectly polished and is widely used in jewellery. It is also used to make mosaics, sculptures and various ornaments.
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Light blue, azure blue, violet-blue - with speckled gold-coloured inclusions



The main lapis lazuli deposit is located 2500 meters above sea level in a remote and inaccessible region of Afghanistan in Badakhshan province. It takes four days to reach the Sar-e-Sang mine from Kabul as the journey is hilly. Climatic conditions, too, are so difficult that the deposit is exploited only four months a year. There are the most beautiful lapis lazuli. Another historic mine is in Chile, at Flor de los Andes, at 3500 meters above sea level. It was already known at the time of the Chavin civilization, this pre-Columbian culture born at least a thousand years before our era and which developed in present-day Peru.
Other less productive deposits are found in Angola, Burma, Pakistan, and North America.


In ancient Egypt, one already believed in the healing properties of lapis lazuli. The Romans saw it as a powerful aphrodisiac. Then in the Middle Ages it was used to compose elixirs fortifying the mind and the body.
Today in gemmotherapy, lapis lazuli is considered effective against disorders of the immune system and endocrine glands. It will treat the thyroid, skin problems such as herpes and eczema, allergies, hair dandruff and sore throat, as well as migraines and ear pain. It would have a soothing effect on nervous or depressed people. Lapis lazuli would help introverts gain self-confidence and self-confidence. He would promote communication and release the expression. The ideal place to apply the gemstone for better efficiency would be just above the diaphragm. The elixir of lapis lazuli would better remember his dreams to understand their meaning.


The more intense the colour of lapis lazuli, the greater its value. There must be as few traces of calcite as possible (white spots): copies from Russia often contain many. On the other hand, gems with pyrite incrustations are very popular for the magnificent harmony of blue and gold. However, not too much is needed, at the risk of having a stone of lesser value.


With its unique and intense blue color, Lapis lazuli has always been a symbol of purity, health, elegance, luck and nobility. It is for this reason that this stone has been present in human creations for more than 6,000 years. The Romans considered it a powerful aphrodisiac. Lapis lazuli was lavish, more expensive than gold, which explains its presence in the jewels and funerary masks of Egyptian royal families. In the world there are only two deposits where it is possible to find this stone: a mine located in Afghanistan and another in Chile called Fleur des Andes, located at 3,600 meters of altitude, in the cordillera of the Andes and where its exploitation is possible only during the summer season. Lapis lazuli is the national stone of Chile.
Crushed into fine powder, it has long served as a blue pigment for painting, fresco first. Powdered lapis was also used in Persian miniatures in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The ultramarine pigment, extracted from lapis lazuli, was used from the twelfth century, in miniatures. Refined, it becomes very coloring and can be content with lower qualities. It is then widely used in painting, tempera then oil painting.
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