Lapis Lazuli is a rock
, not a mineral colored by lazurite. It comes in varying shades of blue speckled with white calcite, yellow pyrite often thought of as gold, or other material. Look for the best Lapis Lazuli to be an even color of blue and free of little white speckling or veining from other elements. Lapis Lazuli with its deep blue azure color was a favorite stone of the Babylonian and Egyptian time periods. It was considered a sacred stone in these earlier times and was found in burial grounds where it was believed to protect and guide those buried there after death. It was often worn as jewelry by royalty. It was also used to make cosmetics, beautiful blue paint, lacquers and “decorating materials”. Cleopatra was known to use this blue color as a cosmetic on her eyebrows. It is considered a semiprecious stone and is used for jewelry making or carving. It is a 5 ½ on the Mohs scale of hardness and is considered a relatively soft stone. When cutting this stone, the jeweler will notice a distinctive ordor. A skilled jeweler will know how intense the color will be by the odor it possesses. If Lapis Lazuli is worn over a long period of time, the stone may lose its luster or shine but can be repolished with colorless wax or resin. Your Lapis jewelry
should be wiped clean with a soft dry cloth. Water can dissolve its coating. It should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic because the water and chemicals can damage the stone. Lapis Lazuli can be easily chipped or scratched. It is the gemstone for the 7th and 9th anniversary year of marriage. Lapis Lazuli sources can be found in Egypt, Afghanistan, Chili, the United States and Canada.
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