Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Lapis lazuli

Lapis lazuli

Sources and Production of Lapis Lazuli

  • Mines in northeast Afghanistan are a major source of lapis lazuli.
  • Important amounts are also produced from mines west of Lake Baikal in Russia.
  • The Andes mountains in Chile are another source, used by the Inca to carve artifacts and jewelry.
  • Smaller quantities are mined in Pakistan, Italy, Mongolia, the United States, and Canada.
  • The Sar-e-Sang mine in Afghanistan is renowned for its lapis lazuli deposits.
  • The mining process involves extracting the gemstone from the host rock and then cutting and polishing it.
  • Lapis lazuli is also found in other countries such as Russia, Chile, and the United States.
  • The market potential of lapis lazuli as a blue mineral pigment has been explored in research studies.

Composition and Properties of Lapis Lazuli

  • The most important mineral component of lapis lazuli is lazurite, a blue silicate mineral.
  • Lapis lazuli also contains calcite (white) and pyrite (metallic yellow).
  • Lazurite is the main mineral component of lapis lazuli.
  • Lapis lazuli also contains calcite, pyrite, and other minerals such as augite, diopside, and mica.
  • Lapis lazuli has a hardness of 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs scale.
  • The gemstone is known for its opaque appearance and occasional golden flecks of pyrite.

Historical Significance and Cultural References

  • Lapis lazuli has been mined in Afghanistan since the Neolithic age.
  • It was used by ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Persians, and Mesopotamians for seals, jewelry, and ornaments.
  • Lapis lazuli was a favorite stone for amulets and scarabs in ancient Egypt.
  • It has been found at archaeological sites in Mesopotamia and Iran.
  • Lapis lazuli was also used by the Mycenaeans and mentioned in ancient texts such as the Epic of Gilgamesh.
  • Lapis lazuli was often called sapphire in late classical times and the Middle Ages.
  • Theophrastus described lapis lazuli as a speckled stone with gold.
  • Lapis lazuli was used to decorate ancient artifacts in various cultures throughout history.

Art and Craftsmanship

  • Lapis lazuli was historically ground into ultramarine pigment for use in paintings.
  • Synthetic varieties of ultramarine became available in the 19th century, replacing the use of lapis lazuli as a pigment.
  • Lapis lazuli was used as a pigment to create the color ultramarine in paintings.
  • The composition of lapis lazuli was studied by Cennino Cennini, an Italian painter, in the 14th century.
  • Lapis lazuli has been used in the creation of jewelry, sculptures, and decorative objects.
  • The color and beauty of lapis lazuli have made it a popular choice for artistic creations.
  • The craftsmanship of lapis lazuli can be seen in intricate carvings and sculptures.

Symbolism and Beliefs

  • Lapis lazuli has been associated with various symbolic meanings, including truth, wisdom, and inner peace.
  • In ancient civilizations, lapis lazuli was believed to have healing properties and was used in medicinal remedies.
  • The stone was also associated with spiritual and religious beliefs.
  • Lapis lazuli has been used as a talisman for protection and to enhance spiritual awareness.
  • The deep blue color of lapis lazuli has been admired and revered throughout history for its beauty and symbolism.

Lapis lazuli Data Sources

Reference URL
Knowledge Graph

Read more


Characteristics and Formation of Lignite Lignite is brownish-black in color with a carbon content of 60-70% on a dry ash-free basis. Its inherent moisture content can be as high as 75% and ash cont...

Read more


History Father Miguel Domingo Fuertes Loren requested permission to explore and exploit the mine of a blue rock in 1916. Larimar was rediscovered by Miguel Méndez and Peace Corps volunteer Norman R...

Read more