About Lapis Lazuli
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Keep reading to discover more about lapis
- Mineralogy and geology*
- Metaphysical, Spiritual and Healing** Properties***
- Common Associations
Mineralogy and Geology of Lapis
Lapis lazuli is the popular name of a rock containing the blue mineral lazurite, related to hauyne, and sodalite. The rock typically also contains white (calcite) and flecks of "gold" (pyrite). The mineralogical properties are for the mineral lazurite.
Mineral formula: Na7Ca(Al6Si6O24)(SO4)(S3) · H2O
Crystal system: Isometric
Crystal habit: Dodecahedrons, cubes, granular, disseminated, massive.
Cleavage: imperfect / fair
Color: ultramarine, midnight blue, blue-green
Moh’s scale hardness: 5 – 5 ½
Streak: bright blue
Specific gravity: 2.38 – 2.45
Named after: the Persian "Lazhward" for "blue." Also for its dark blue color resemblance to "azurite." Both Lazurite and azurite derive from "Lazhward".
Type locality: Malo-Bystrinskoe lazurite deposit, Malaya Bystraya River Valley, Slyudyanka, Lake Baikal area, Irkutsk Oblast, Russia
Geological occurrence: Contact metamorphism of limestone or evaporite beds.
The mineral lazurite is the main component in lapis lazuli and accounts for the stone's intense blue color, although lapis lazuli also contains pyrite and calcite, and usually some sodalite and hauyne.. Lazurite forms distinct crystals; it should not be confused with the phosphate lazulite. In lapis lazuli, lazurite is well dispersed. Distinct crystals were thought to be very rare until large numbers were brought out of the mines of Badakhshan, Afghanistan, in the 1990s.
Lapis lazuli is relatively rare and commonly forms in crystalline limestone as a product of contact metamorphism. The mines in Afghanistan remain a major source. Lighter blue material comes from Chile, and some lapis lazuli is found in Italy, Argentina, the US, and Tajikistan. Diopside, amphibole, feldspar, mica, apatite, titanite (sphene), and zircon may also occur in lapis lazuli, depending on its origin.
Lapis was treasured by the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome, used for jewelry and sacred objects such as the mask of Tutankhamun. Other objects containing lapis lazuli, including scarabs, pendants, and beads, date from at least 3100 BC.
Powdered lapis was used as one of the first cosmetics – eye shadow – by Egyptians and other ancient peoples.
Spiritual, Metaphysical and Healing Properties
Lapis lazuli is considered to be a stone of awareness, insights, and truth, activating and energizing the throat and third eye chakras. It is known for expanding intellectual capacity, intuition and psychic awareness. It quickly relieves stress, bringing great serenity and deep peace through its harmonizing and integrating properties. Known since antiquity as a protective stone, it has been reported to block psychic attack.
Wearing lapis earrings, or a pendant on a short chain, brings the stone closer to the throat and third eye chakras, adding energy to these centers. Carrying a piece in your pocket helps to soothe stresses.
When used in crystal grids, it serves well as an “enhancer,” providing extra energy for self-improvement and to magnify success.
In feng shui, placing a piece of lapis in the Gen (knowledge) area of your home or workspace (standing in the entrance of the house/space, the near left corner) will help activate energies for self-knowledge and spiritual cultivation. Placed in the Qian (helpful people) corner of the home (standing in the entrance of the house/space, the near right corner) lapis will help activate energies for bringing more help and support into your life, whether real people or spiritual assistance.
- Chakra – throat, third eye
- Numerology - vibrates to the number 3
- Planets – Venus
- Zodiac – Sagittarius
- Bagua areas – Gen (knowledge), Qian (helpful people)
- Elements – Metal, Wood
- Birthstone – an alternative traditional stone for September and December
- Wedding Anniversary – 9th
* Mineralogical information is from mindat.org
** Always consult with your medical professional for any physical or long-term healing issues.
*** Metaphysical properties come from:
Love Is in the Earth (1995) Melody, Earth-Love Publishing House, 726 pp.
The Crystal Bible, A Definitive Guide to Crystals (2003) Judy Hall, Walking Stick Press, 399 pp.
Crystal Muse (2017) Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro, Hay House, 285 pp.
Crystal Gridwork (2018) Kiera Fogg, Weiser Books, 128 pp.