Mined for thousands of years before the time of Christ, this stone was highly prized for its colour. Artefacts dating from 7570 BCE have been found in the area inhabited by the Indus Valley Civilisation (7570-1900BCE) at Bhirrana (an archaeological site located in the Indian state of Haryana). which is the oldest site of Indus Valley Civilisation. Lapis Lazuli was also used in the funeral mask of Tutankhamun (1341–1323 BCE). It has also been found in treasures such as eye-shaped amulets and scarabs.
To the ancients the deep blue colour bedazzled with flecks of gold must have seemed luscious and deep compared to the arid and dry conditions that would have prevailed around them.
During the middle ages, lapis lazuli was mined and exported to Europe to be ground into ultramarine, one of the most expensive blue pigments – to be used by some of the most important artists of the Renaissance and was sometimes kept for the blue cloak of the Virgin Mary for example. High priests of the pagan religions used Lapis lazuli as dye for their own robes.
Afghanistan continue to be a major source of lapis lazuli. It is also mined in west of Lake Baikal in Russia, and in the Andes mountains in Chile. It is commonly used to carve jewellery, boxes, mosaics, ornaments, small statues, and vases.
It’s history of being used by royalty and paintings of divine characters gives rise to its metaphysical qualities – royalty, honour, universal wisdom, gods,protection, power and visions. When kept on the person, Lapis lazuli encourages self awareness, confidence, compassion and morality. It inspires one to live their own truth whatever that may be. It is viewed as a stone that encourages higher thinking and connection through the crown chakra – think of deities and divine Egyptian Kings. Truth in all its forms is encouraged by this stone whether in our daily lives or seeing the truth of who we really are.
Mohs hardness: 5.5
Lustre: Vitreous to greasy
Colour: Deep blues with white and gold flecks
Magickal Uses: truth, awareness, confidence, insight, morality