Lapis lazuli gemstone

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Physical properties of lapis lazuli

Hardness: 5.5 out of 10 on the Mohs scale
Luster: glass
Transparency: translucent, opaque
Color: deep blue, blue, blue-violet, bluish-gray, greenish-gray

Characteristics of lapis lazuli

Lapis lazuli (lazurite, stone of the sky, niili, asmani, sufsi) is a special and very beautiful gemstone. It was highly valued in Babylon, Assyria and Ancient Egypt. And in China, lapis lazuli was considered a symbol of power.

The color of lapis lazuli is predominantly blue. This can be understood from the name of the precious stone: "lapis" in Latin means "stone", and "lazuli" comes from the Arabic "lazurd", which means "sky". Although the shades of lapis lazuli can range from blue to green-blue and purple. The color of the stone is usually heterogeneous.

Lapis lazuli is very similar to another gemstone - azurite.

Lapis lazuli. Gemstone. Lapis lazuli cabochons

Because of the blue color in the East, lapis lazuli was called the "stone of the sky", and in Russia it was called "lazurite". In Afghanistan, where most of the lapis lazuli is mined, lapis lazuli is divided into three categories: niili - the most valuable indigo-blue lapis lazuli, asmani - medium-priced sky-blue lapis lazuli, sufsi - cheap greenish-blue lapis lazuli.

However, lapis lazuli crystals are very rare, and they rarely reach sizes that would be of interest to jewelers (usually such crystals do not exceed the size of a pea). The most commonly used rock is fused lapis lazuli. The rock with various impurities has its own name - lapis lazuli, but the content of lapis lazuli in it should not be less than 40 percent.

Lapis lazuli is similar to sapphire and kyanite, but has a brighter blue color.

How much is lapis lazuli

The cost of lapis lazuli usually depends on the brightness. The most expensive are bright blue and purple lapis lazuli. The cheapest lapis lazuli has shades of green.

Lapis lazuli is quite expensive among jewelry and ornamental stones. Beads made of high quality lapis lazuli can be valued at $500-650. At the same time, low-quality lapis lazuli beads can be purchased for as little as $60-70.

By the way, under artificial lighting, lapis lazuli looks less bright than in sunlight.

Beads, pendants, amulets, rings, earrings and necklaces are made from lapis lazuli. Also very often lapis lazuli is used to make various amulets and carvings.

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See also: Coral gemstone
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