A Metamorphic Rock
Lapis Lazuli is coveted for its intense blue color and was known as “the stone of rulers”. Adorned by royalty and nobility, but forbidden to commoners, lapis lazuli is believed to be the first gemstone used to make jewelry. The name Lapis Lazuli means heavenly stone originating from the latin word “Lapis” meaning stone and the Persian word “lājavard” which was the name for the stone and also the place where it was mined.
The naturally bright blue color is formed by the presence of sulfur in the stone during its formation. Pyrite deposits form the sparkling gold flecks which intersperse the cobalt blue color. Each stone is strikingly different from another and completely unique. Depending on where lapis lazuli is mined you’ll see a variety of color variations in the stone. From intense uniform blue stones from Afghanistan to greeny blue hues from Chilli.
Legend has it that Lapis Lazuli protects the wearer from evil as it’s connected to the evil eye symbol and often used in carvings of ancient gods. The association of higher powers has also linked this stone to the idea of enhanced awareness and knowledge for the wearer of this stone. The deep connection that Lapis Lazuli has to wisdom, the inner eye and higher powers has meant it is a popular stone for earrings and necklaces as the wearer adorns their head and throat.
Lapis was also widely used in history and art. We may see the example of using this semi-precious stone in many works: from the mask of Tutankhamun to a famous painting of Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer that is painted with ultramarine, a natural pigment made from lapis lazuli.