Lapis Lazuli

Lapis lazuli, or lapis for short, a deep-blue metamorphic rock used as a semi-precious stone that prized since antiquity for its intense color. As early as the 7th millennium BC, this stone mined in the Sar-i Sang mines, in Shortugai, and in other mines in Badakhshan province in modern northeast Afghanistan.

The most important mineral component is lazurite (25% to 40%), a blue feldspathoid silicate mineral. Also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue), and pyrite (metallic yellow). Usually occurs in crystalline marble as a result of contact metamorphism.

Lapis is the Latin word for “stone” and lazuli is the genitive form of the Medieval Latin lazulum. It means “sky” or “heaven”; so this is a “stone of the sky” or “stone of heaven”.

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