Royal blue


Lapis Lazuli Origin & Physical Properties

Lapis lazuli is a deep royal blue metamorphic rock that has been used as a semi-precious stone for millennia. It is estimated that Lapis has been mined since at least 7000 BC in the Himalayas of northeast Afghanistan. The name ‘Lapis’ means stone in Latin while ‘Lazuli’ is related to the word ‘azul’ or blue in Spanish and Portuguese. Lapis is actually made up of several different minerals. It commonly contains 25-40% lazurite, a blue tectosilicate mineral. Most Lapis also contains white calcite, blue sodalite and metallic golden specs of pyrite.

Historically, Afghanistan and the Indus valley were the sources of Lapis for the ancient world from Egypt to Mesopatamia, and later the ancient Greeks and Romans. In South America, extractions in the Andes of Chile were the most important source from pre-Colombian times till today. Afghanistan is still the largest exporter of fine quality Lapis worldwide, with other important deposits found in Russia, Canada, Chile, Argentina and Pakistan.

Lapis has a hardness of 5 Mohs making it not ideal for rings but it is used extensively in pendants, necklaces and beading. Lapis has also been used as a mineral pigment for over 1000 years. It was an incredibly valuable source of blue color for clothing and art and was considered a valuable commodity. Famous paintings using Lapis powder for the blues include ‘The Starry Night’ by Vincent Van Gogh and ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Johannes Vermeer.

Category Properties

Chemical Composition


Mohs Hardness 




Specific Gravity


Refractive Index




Crystal System







Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan


Throat (5th), Third Eye (6th)


Taurus, Libra, Sagittarius, Capricorn



Metaphysical Effects

Compassion, Honesty, Creativity, Clarity

Lapis Lazuli Healing & Metaphysical Properties

Lapis Lazuli History & Mythology

In Ancient Egypt, Lapis was a royal stone that was thought to hold the spirit of the gods. It was used in burial rituals of the Egyptians to guide souls into the next dimension after death. Pharoah’s and priests died their robes with precious powdered lapis. Lapis was commonly used as a precious powder to achieve rich natural blues in art and garments. The oldest and highest quality source for Lapis is from northeast Afghanistan in the Himalayan Mountains. It has been mined from that same area since at least 6000 BC. The valuable commodity of Lapis Lazuli traded in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome was nearly all from this source.

The Indus Valley civilization treasured Lapis and were also some of the first exporters of the stone to the west. The Ajanta caves of India carved in the 5th century, used lapis as a key color in their elaborate buddhist murals. Later, in the 12th century it found its way back to Europe where it became as valuable as gold per gram. It was called ‘ultramarine’. Later in the Renaissance, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and other leading artists used the lapis powder as a symbol of prestige. The 17th century artist Johannes Vermeer, who painted the ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’, depicted with a lapis colored head scarf, famously went broke buying the precious pigment.