Time and again, people have turned to the metaphysical properties of gemstones to assist them with everything from balancing their chakra systems to inviting wealth and prosperity into their lives and everything in between. Lapis lazuli is one of these remarkable stones, cherished since ancient times.
Together we’ll explore lapis lazuli gemstones, including where to find them, their fascinating use throughout history, and how you can tap into their mystic healing properties in your own life.
What Is Lapis Lazuli?
According to Athena Perrakis’s book, “Crystal: Lore, Legends & Myths,” the name lapis lazuli is a hybrid of the Greek word for stone (lapis) and the Persian word for blue (lazhward).
Lapis lazuli is a blue metamorphic rock and has been used for centuries for its beauty and color. Lapis gemstones are composed of various minerals with lazurite lending the stone its characteristic blue color. Calcite is another mineral abundant in lapis lazuli stones. Sometimes lazurite and white calcite mix to form a light, denim-colored stone.
Other common minerals found in lapis lazuli include pyrite, sodalite, augite, diopside, mica, hauyne, enstatite, and hornblende. Lapis's hardness on the Mohs scale and its specific gravity depends on the types of minerals present in a particular stone. The refractive index of lapis lazuli is 1.500 to 1.670.
The most prized pieces of lapis lazuli gemstones are a deep blue color with few, if any, flecks of pyrite or other minerals.
Afghanistan is one of the richest sources of lapis lazuli since antiquity and has lapis deposits throughout the country. Internationally, you can find lapis lazuli mines in Argentina, Chile, Canada, India, Italy, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Russia. In the United States, you can find beautiful quality stones from the Blue Wrinkle Mine in Colorado.
Lapis Lazuli Throughout History
Lapis lazuli has been prized for centuries by civilizations across the globe. Perrakis notes one of the earliest works of literature, “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” mentions lapis lazuli as one of the stones ancient Sumerians searched for, and lapis appears in the poem more than once. The goddess Ishtar speaks of gifting Gilgamesh a chariot made from lapis and gold. At one point, he stumbles upon a garden with trees made of carnelian and lapis.
The Sumerians weren’t the only ones eager to work with lapis lazuli.
Ancient Egyptians, queens and pharaohs alike, lusted after lapis gemstones. Cleopatra coveted these precious stones because she believed they would grant her both eternal power and eternal life. She was so convinced of lapis’s mystical properties she used lapis gemstones to adorn her palace walls (which is where the term “royal blue” originates). She even crushed the stones into a fine powder to use as an eyeliner or eye shadow.
Lapis lazuli's use as a pigment can be traced back to the sixth and seventh centuries, where its richness brought early cave art and mural paintings to life. Lapis was still treasured during the late middle ages and became especially popular with Renaissance artists.
Artists ground lapis gemstones into a fine powder and created a pigment known as ultramarine, which provided the vibrant blue of oceans and skies in Renaissance artwork. You've likely already seen it in some of your favorite paintings, including Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato’s "The Virgin in Prayer" as well as Vermeer's "Girl With a Pearl Earring" and countless others.
Healing Properties of Lapis Lazuli Gemstones
There’s so much more to this gemstone than meets the eye. It’s unique healing properties can be used to enhance your energy and sharpen your intuition. You can also look forward to cultivating a deep sense of confidence in expressing your authentic self when you work with it.
Here are a few easy ways you can use lapis lazuli in your everyday life.
Harmonize Your Chakra System
In Athena Perrakis’s book, “The Ultimate Guide to Chakras,” she mentions how lapis lazuli gemstones are especially supportive of your third eye and throat chakras. Perhaps you feel cut off from your intuition, and no matter how hard you try to hear that inner voice, you just can’t connect to it in the way you’d like. Or maybe you’re struggling with self-expression in your relationships or communicating with others. Turning to this healing blue stone could be just the ticket.
If you’re ready to connect with yourself more profoundly and shuffle off feelings of not being able to express yourself clearly, tap into some lapis lazuli healing by wearing a beaded bracelet. You can also hold a piece of this dark blue stone in your palm while you meditate, helping you revitalize the energy in your fifth and sixth chakras.
Protect Yourself From Negative Energies
Another way you can use this natural wonder in your life is as a protection stone. Lapis lazuli is said to shield the wearer from negative energies and help you focus on higher and healthier states of being.
Whether you’re interested in guarding yourself against the complaints of a co-worker or embarking on a new and fit lifestyle, lapis lazuli gemstones can help you do just that. Pick up a lapis inlay necklace to use as an amulet whenever you feel like you could use some extra support. Allow it’s comforting energy to help you come back into the present moment, free from stress and negativity.
Embrace an Unshakeable Sense of Confidence
Take a cue from Cleopatra and pick up a lapis lazuli stone when you’re looking to channel a majestic sense of self-assuredness and personal power. Use lapis to help you gain wisdom and clarity of thought, both things that can take your confidence to the next level.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to put your best foot forward and ace a job interview or feel more graceful for a night out, lapis’s metaphysical properties will help you get there. Tuck a lapis stone into your clutch or pocket and let the deep royal blue color of lapis inspire you to step into a focused and poised state of being.
If you want to enhance your experience working with lapis, consider adding kyanite or black obsidian to your gemstone collection.
Invite Wealth and Prosperity Into Your Life
You might be surprised to learn lapis lazuli is an excellent stone to work with for abundance, but it’s true. The shimmer and specks of pyrite inclusions are what make it a perfect fit if you’re hoping to give yourself a leg up financially.
It’s worth noting that prosperity can come to you in other ways, like having a wonderful group of friends or spending more time participating in your favorite hobbies. Don’t limit yourself on how many ways lapis lazuli can help invite abundance into your life.
Even though pure blue lapis stones are the most desirable, don't let this dissuade you from picking up a cabochon with plenty of pyrite twinkling back at you — especially if you're interested in working with lapis for abundance.
Use Lapis Lazuli to Sharpen Your Intuition and Step Into Your Personal Power
Lapis Lazuli has been a beloved gemstone throughout history — from early literature and ancient Sumeria to the rulers of Egypt and the art palettes of renaissance masters. Beyond its beauty, lapis can offer us an opportunity to work with its healing properties in our daily lives.
Pick up lapis gemstones whenever you’re feeling the call to replenish your energy centers, strengthen your intuition, or confidently step into the best version of yourself. You’ll be so glad you did.