LAPIS LAZULI BEAR
This is the carved blue lapis lazuli bear figurine. Dimensions: 3.3 x 1.9 x 1.3″ (8.5 x 4.8 x 3.4cm). Weight – 5.7oz (162 grams). Origin: Russia, Siberia.
Some information about lapis lazuli:
Lapis lazuli was one of the earliest gemstone materials. It was used for sacred amulets in ancient Egypt and by the Assyrians and Babylonians for cylinder seals. Historians believe that Cleopatra used powdered lapis for eye shadow. The ancient royal Sumerian tombs of Ur, located near the Euphrates River in lower Iraq, contained more than 6,000 beautifully executed lapis lazuli statuettes of birds, deer, and rodents as well as dishes, beads, and cylinder seals.
Lapis lazuli is a rock, largely formed from the mineral lazurite (25-40%). Most lapis lazuli also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue), and pyrite (metallic yellow). Its name is from “lapis,” the Latin word for stone and “azul,” the Arabian word for blue. Lapis is a fairly soft stone, ranging from 5 to 6 on the Moh’s Scale.
The oldest deposits, discovered 6000 years ago, are located in the difficult terrain of the West Hindu-Kush Mountains in Afghanistan. Russian lapis lazuli is mined in the Baikal region.