Lapis lazuli, often referred to as just "lapis", is a deep blue semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense color.
Lapis lazuli is assigned to the planet Jupiter. Lapis may be given as a gem on the seventh and ninth wedding anniversary.
Today, lapis is common, carried out of the mines of Afghanistan in tin trunks from which it is exported all over the world. Lapis was much more expensive decades ago than it is now.
Smaller quantities are mined in Italy, Mongolia, the United States and Canada.
A soft stone, 5 -5.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, lapis lazuli is one of the most valuable semi opaque stones.
Lapis usually forms in crystalline marble through the geological process of contact metamorphism and due to its composition, it is technically defined as a rock rather than a mineral.
It is primarily composed of Lazurite, while the remaining composition is made up of Sodalite, Calcite, Pyrite and other various minor constituents. The varying composition is what influences its exact coloring.
Lapis lazuli is normally associated with power and gods, even being found in statues of gods since Mesopotamian times nearly six thousand years ago. This matches with Lapis' overwhelming power as a single Gem who is able to fight three other Gems (one being a fusion) to a standstill even with her own gemstone cracked.
Lapis lazuli is said to stimulate the desire for knowledge, truth and understanding, and aids the process of learning. It is believed to strengthen total awareness, creativity, and helps to expand viewpoint.
A stone of truth, lapis encourages honesty of the spirit, and in the spoken and written word. It is also a stone of friendship and brings harmony in relationships.
The word, lapis-lazuli, comes from Latin. Lapis means stone; lazuli translates to blue. The Arabic word, l’azulaus means blue, heaven and sky.
When lapis lazuli is originally mined, it often has to be treated with water to reveal it's true brilliant colors.
The emperors of China wore a lapis lazuli ornament on their head as a symbol of power.