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, amongst which we emphasize on lazurite, which gives it its blue color, wallostonita and calcite which give it its gray and white veins. It owes its beautiful inclusions of gold in the stone to sulphide of iron. Lapis can be perfectly polished and is widely used in jewellery. It is also used to make mosaics, sculptures and various ornaments.
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.
Lapis Lazuli's use dates back 7000 years. The main mines of lapis-lazuli are in Afghanistan, in the province of Badakhchân. The ones found in Chili, in Ovalle will have a much paler color. Lapis Lazuli can also be found in Russia, in the regions of the lake Baîkal and Siberia.
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 has a soothing effect on nervous or depressed people. Lapis lazuli is said to help introverts gain self-confidence and self-confidence, promoting communication and encouraging one to express itself. 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.
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 main 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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