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When the ancients first laid their eyes on a deep blue metamorphic rock, so enamored were they of its intense blue color that they began to prize it for its beauty.
The name Lapis Lazuli was derived from Latin. Lapis means ‘stone’ and Lazuli is the name of the place where it was first found. However, the English word azure was coined after the color of Lapis Lazuli.
Lapis Lazuli since antiquity
Lapis Lazuli made its appearance in the Neolithic Age that commenced in 10,200 BC, as indicated by its presence in Neolithic burials. The historical records mention Lapis Lazuli being mined as early as the 7th Millennium BC from Sar-i-Sang and Shortugai mines and in the mines of Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province.
Indus Valley Civilization, that flourished between 3300 and 1900 BC, held this semi-precious stone in high regard. It has also been found in Tutankhamun’s funeral mask.
The end of the Middle Ages saw the introduction of this semi-precious stone in Europe. Here, besides being used in pieces of jewelry, sculptures, crockery and other items, this expensive stone was powdered and turned into Ultramarine.
This finest blue pigment was extensively used by renowned artists of the Renaissance and Baroque period, such as Masaccio, Perugino, Titian, Vermeer and others. It was usually reserved for painting the clothing of central figures, such as Virgin Mary.
Present-day source of Lapis Lazuli
Although Afghanistan has been credited with exporting Lapis Lazuli since Neolithic Age to countries around the Mediterranean and South Asia, it was also found in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, as revealed by the archeological finds. Lapis Lazuli beads were found in Mehrgarh, a Neolithic site near Quetta, Pakistan, and the Indus Valley in the 7th Millennium BC.
The use of Lapis Lazuli was common in ancient Mesopotamia too in seals and jewelry. Lapis Lazuli beads were found in Northern Mesopotamia in the 4th Millennium BC. The stone also finds mention in the famous 17th Century Mesopotamian poem, the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’, the oldest known works of literature.
Lapis Lazuli artefacts, such as amulets, beads and inlays, were also unearthed from the Royal Tombs at Ur in Sumeria and at Shahr-e-Sukhteh in southeast Iran in 3rd Millennium BC. The Egyptian civilization used Lapis Lazuli extensively in all its rituals and in jewelry.
Today, Afghanistan and Pakistan have become major sources of Lapis Lazuli. However, this semi-precious stone is also found in the mines of Lake Baikal in Russia and in Chile’s Andes Mountains. A small percentage of this stone is also mined from Canada, the US, Italy and Mongolia.
Owning a piece of history in jewelry
If you want to own Lapis Lazuli that has remained a favorite of the kings and queens of the ancient times, you can do so at Ayana Wellness. What you get is a beautiful Lapis Lazuli crystal pendant necklace with the purest stone.
This necklace with Lapis Lazuli pendant will not only add to your style, but provide untold benefits, such as boost your power of intuition, enhance prosperity and bring harmony to your relationship. You can order this pendant online at ayanaproducts.com.