Lapislazuli: The Stone of Nobility

When you purchase a Lapislazuli, you don't just get one gemstone, you get several! The reason for this is the chemical structure of Lapislazuli, which makes it a mineral mix. Whether Pharaohs, Cleopatra or artists - in the history of mankind this beautiful stone plays a major role. Here you will find out why!

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Origin of name and Places of Discovery

The name Lapislazuli is composed of the Latin word lapis for stone and lazuli, which is derived from the Arabic genitive lazulum for "blue." The latter in turn goes back to the Persian lazhward for "sky blue." Lapislazuli is also known by the trade name glaze stone. Known synonyms are: Bluestone, Ultramarine or Pierre d'azur.

The largest and most productive Lapislazuli mine in the world is located in Afghanistan. It is located near Sar-e-Sang in the Badakhshan province about 360 km north of Kabul. Sar-e-Sang has been famous for its deposits of high quality Lapislazuli since ancient times.

The coveted gemstones have been mined there for over 6,000 years. Another Lapislazuli location with high gemstone quality is located in the Chilean Andes, near the town of Ovalle. Other known sites are located in Bolivia, at Cerro Sapo, in Malo-Bystrinskoye in the Siberian oblast of Irkutsk and in the Chaung-Gyi valley in Myanmar (Burma). There are also localities in Iran, Burma, Tajikistan, Pakistan, India, and in California and Arkansas (USA). However, they have no commercial significance.

Lapislazuli: Appearance and Chemical Structure

Lapislazuli is deep blue in color, sometimes with a slight tinge of purple - this depends on the particular mineral content of the rock. The Lapislazuli gemstone itself is not a mineral, but strictly speaking a mineral mixture. It consists mainly of the minerals lasurite, pyrite and calcite. Finely dispersed pyrite in the mixture, recognizable by its golden color, increases the value and is also considered proof of authenticity. If you do not recognize golden speckles, it is not a genuine Lapislazuli.

Too prominent calcite, a whitish substance in the stone, reduces the value. For example, Chilean Lapislazuli is mostly speckled blue and white because of its very high calcite content. In smaller but insignificant amounts, other minerals such as sodalite, diopside, enstatite, augite, hauyine, mica, or hornblende may also occur in the mineral mixture.

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In any case, lasurite is the main mineral in the mineral stone with a share of 25 up to 40%. The gemstone also owes its blue color to this. The darker the blue color, the more valuable the Lapislazuli gemstone. The most valuable gemstones are of intense ultramarine blue color. 

Lapislazuli is less hard than other gemstones. It only reaches a Mohs hardness of about 5,5 from 10. Therefore, you should be extra careful when wearing Lapislazuli jewelry.

History of Lapislazuli

Lapislazuli has been used for making jewelry since prehistoric times, probably as early as 4,000 years B.C. The oldest written reference is found in the ancient Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. In ancient Egypt, the stone was used to make amulets and scarabs. The scarab stood for immortality, which is why the pharaohs in particular adorned themselves with it. The Egyptian queen Cleopatra is said to have used eye shadow made of Lapislazuli. Tutankhamun's death mask is set with Lapislazuli gemstones, among other things. A Lapislazuli scarab was also found in his burial chamber. 

In Mesopotamia, Lapislazuli was also a popular gemstone. Numerous finds in Mesopotamian royal tombs prove this. Lapislazuli was used by the Sumerians, Akkadians and Assyrians to make scroll seals and jewelry. Jewelry necklaces made of Lapislazuli have also survived from the Greek and Roman cultures.

Alexander the Great brought the stone to Europe, where it quickly became a sought-after jewelry and healing stone. But it was also used as a raw material for the pigment color azzurium ultramarinum, which was highly valued in the Middle Ages. It also gained increasing importance in esotericism. A variety of powers were attributed to it, among others it was said to drive away melancholy. You can read more about this below.


Throughout its history, Lapislazuli has also made a name for itself as an ultramarine blue color pigment in painting. For example, the famous Italian painter Michelangelo used Lapislazuli to paint Vermeer's Sistine Chapel. Due to its great resistance to light, colors and pigments made of Lapislazuli are still used today. For example, such paints are commercially available under the name Fra Angelico Blue for restoration purposes.

However, the production of blue color pigments from Lapislazuli has lost importance since the 19th century. In 1834, the first ultramarine factory was founded in Germany and artificial ultramarine pigment was produced, which quickly overtook the natural pigments from Lapislazuli.

The largest Lapislazuli gemstone ever found and mined was a monolith with a raw weight of 18.3 tons. From it, the Austrian sculptor Hans Muhr made the famous Water Wave Life Fountain in Vienna. Two of the total 112 columns in St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg, individually weighing up to 114 tons, are made of Lapislazuli.

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Lapislazuli: Use in Jewelry

The Lapislazuli gemstone is popularly used for necklaces or rings because of its beautiful blue color. The value of Lapislazuli gemstone primarily depends on the intensity of its color. It is most sought after in a dark blue to violet blue color. Value is increased primarily by a balanced color distribution. High quality Lapislazuli often have gold colored inclusions of pyrite as well.

Discover our Lapislazuli ring YIN, 18 carat Gold Vermeil

Spiritual Meaning

Lapislazuli also plays an important role in spirituality. It is said to have mental and spiritual effects. The blue stone is said to strengthen the will, persuasion and protect against bad influences. People who wear it are said to be helped to a stronger self-confidence. In order for it to have its full effect,Lapislazuli should be worn on the skin if possible. Lapislazuli is also considered the stone of truth. It promotes sincerity and strengthens credibility. 

Lapislazuli gemstone: Use as a Chakra Stone

Chakra theory comes from India and is a spiritual way of describing energies. Chakras are the centers of life energy in the human body. They are located in the spinal cord and nerve plexuses.

There are seven main chakras that are interconnected. The condition of the chakras is said to affect certain organs associated with the particular chakra, as well as the emotions and psyche of the person. The chakra energies must flow freely. Disturbances and blockages can have a negative effect on both a physical and psychological level.

Help is promised by the so-called chakra stones. They are said to be able to dissolve disturbances and blockages of the chakras. The chakra energy can flow unhindered again. Chakra stones are made of various minerals in different shapes and colors. Lapislazuli is also used as a chakra stone, for example, in alternative medicine. The healing effect is said to occur by placing it on or wearing it in the form of jewelry (necklaces, bracelets).


The Lapislazuli gemstone activates the brow chakra, which represents intuition, insight, perception, mindset, willpower. The stone also has a strong connection to the throat chakra. It is said to have a beneficial effect on the function of the thyroid gland.

Spiritual people believe that Lapislazuli should be charged once a month. Thus, the natural stone regains its healing powers, which diminish with time. It is enough to expose it to sunlight for a longer period of time.

Lapislazuli Gemstone: Astrology

Astrology also has a close relationship to healing through stones. Thus, characteristic effects of Lapislazuli are associated with certain properties of astrological signs of the zodiac. The Lapislazuli is assigned to the planet Jupiter. It is considered a lucky stone for the zodiac sign Sagittarius and is said to strengthen integrity and authenticity. For the star sign Virgo it helps to a better self-assessment. For those born in Libra, it serves as a balancing stone.

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