Lapis Lazuli also known as “blue stone,” has a long and interesting history. This gemstone, discovered in the Hindu-Kush Mountains of Afghanistan over 6,000 year ago, still holds allure today. Lapis Lazuli, otherwise known as lapis were first seen as beads in these ancient settings. However, you probably have seen pictures the funeral mask of Tutankhamen. There, lapis is very much in evidence. Over time lapis became important not only in jewelry but for mosaics. You can find lapis being in game boards, bowls, daggers, and hair combs. An interesting note is how in Egyptian times, cylinder seals, carved from lapis were used to impress official seals of the day.
Throughout history, lapis has been an important stone for many civilizations. Besides Egypt, Sumerians, Greeks, Chinese, and Romans were all working with lapis. During the Middle Ages this stone played a big part in providing a brilliant new color for artists. The ultramarine color seen extensively in the 14th and 15th centuries, came from lapis. Extracting the pigment from lapis was a long and laborious process. However, once processed, ultramarine was the main pigment that produced many shades of glorious blue colors. Many colors are still found on shrines and walls of palaces today. According to historical references, this blue color became highly prized. It was even more expensive than gold!
Mythology, Spirituality and Lapis
According to the International Gem Society (https://www.gemsociety.org/article/history-legend-lapis-lazuli-gems-lore) “The myth of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, and her descent and return from the underworld may date from as early as 4,000 BCE. Inanna entered the underworld bearing the insignias of her rank, including a lapis lazuli necklace and rod.” Scott Cunningham wrote (Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magic) how people believed the stone contained “the soul of the deity who would ‘rejoice in its owner.'” The French and English courts of the 18th century created an elaborate and symbolic “gem language” to convey messages discreetly. People would set bracelets, brooches, rings, etc., with gems, the first letters of which conveyed a motto or sentiment. Lapis lazuli could stand for “good luck” or “love me,” depending on its usage and setting. (https:www//gemsociety.org/article/history-legend-lapis-lazuli-gems-lore). So you see there is much to learn about this fascinating stone!
Today, people who study the healing arts believe lapis has a number of important meanings and powers. Spiritual powers, mediation, and a cure for insomnia to name a few. Additionally, it is thought to cure physical ailments and emotional ones as well. So whatever you believe about this stone, there is probably some truth behind the fiction. What we see is that this is a beautiful stone that looks amazing. You can set this stone in sterling silver and be impressed. However, if you set lapis in gold, well the results are stunning! Don’t take our word for this, history can prove this out. The bottom line….you need to take a closer look. We think you’ll find lapis lazuli to be a perfect fit!