Posted on by Nevil Agrawal

A gemstone with a history dating back to more than 7 millenniums, lapis lazuli is a well-known and sought-after gemstone even today for its beautiful deep blue color and golden sparkle. It’s the only gemstone that has two words in its name. The word ‘Lapis’ comes from the Latin word for stone, and ‘lazuli’ is taken from the Persian word ‘lazhward,’ which is the actual name of the stone in the Persian language. For at least 9000 years, it has been mined in Afghanistan, and this is still where the highest quality stones are found. Generally, gemstones are minerals, but it’s a different story for lapis lazuli. It is a rock that is a combination of several minerals such as lazurite, sodalite, and calcite.

One cannot see through lapis lazuli, meaning it is an opaque gemstone. This opaque characteristic of lapis lazuli is one of the main reasons why it is often preferred to be cut into cabochons. Since it is found in the shape of large blocks, it is also used for many other decorative purposes. Vases, statues, caskets, bowls, mosaics, almost anything you can think of can be carved from it. One of the most important uses of lapis lazuli was in art as a dye in the paint. High-quality lapis lazuli was extensively used to make the color called ‘ultramarine.’  Lapis lazuli’s value is directly proportional to the intensity of its color.

In case you’re planning to buy this opaque beauty, then go through our comprehensive guide for some useful buying tips and facts about this gemstone.

What is lapis lazuli?


Lapis Lazuli is a stone composed of at least 14 different minerals. But we extensively emphasize lazurite as it gives the blue color, while wollastonite and calcite give it its gray and white streaks.  Lazurite is a sodium, calcium, alumino silicate mineral that contains sulfur.  The mineral pyrite gives the golden specks amongst the blue and white body color of the stone. While the other minerals in lapis lazuli stone often decrease its value, pyrite helps bolster it . Lesser amounts of calcite and more of pyrite increase the value of this gemstone.  Lapis lazuli owes its beautiful inclusions of gold to the sulfide of iron in the stone. Lapis lazuli stone can be perfectly polished and widely used not only in jewelry but for various decorative purposes as well.


Where is lapis lazuli found?


Deep in the mountains of Afghanistan is a well-known source of lapis lazuli gemstone. The world has only two known deposits where it is possible to find this gemstone: a mine in Chile called Fleur des Andes and another located in Afghanistan. Also, lapis lazuli is the national stone of Chile.  Parts of Afghanistan have been actively mined for thousands of years, making it the world's leading source of lapis lazuli. India, Russia, Angola, Argentina, Canada, Italy, Pakistan, and Chile are a few other countries that produce considerable amounts of lapis lazuli. Notable amounts of lapis lazuli have also been produced in America, particularly in Colorado, Arizona, and California.

The Four C’s of Lapis Lazuli:


Color: The color determines the value of lapis lazuli. That pretty much sums up its importance. The color intensity of deep blue with violet tones accompanied by gold streaks would define the value of this gemstone. The pyrite inclusions enhance the gemstone’s color and thereby its value in the minds of many jewelry lovers.The calcite inclusions almost always lower the value. Along with the color, the quality of polish and craftsmanship in faceting artistry would also affect the value of the gemstone.

Clarity: The other determining factors that govern the value of lapis lazuli gemstone are its luster and clarity. Although it is primarily considered a matte or opaque stone, when polished, it exhibits a slight luster. Lapis lazuli often contains variable amounts of whitish calcite matrix. This is the host rock that surrounds the gem—or flecks or veins of glinting yellow pyrite. The gem can also have a smoothly uniform bodycolor, free of visible pyrite and calcite.  Lapis lazuli stone is naturally opaque to the naked eye. However, fine stones are not expected to possess cracks, which might lower their clarity and durability.

Cut: Although lapis lazuli has been widely known for its rich blue color for thousands of years, the cut of this gemstone plays an equally crucial role in determining its value. Typically, lapis lazuli is cut into beads, inlays, cabochons, and tablets, as well as decorative carvings for use in jewelry. Today, lapis lazuli is frequently fashioned into nature-themed sculptures and various decorative items, and some of these carvings have also become wearable art.

Carat Weight: While lapis lazuli is found in large sizes, the carat weight significantly decreases after it’s cut and polished. High-quality gemstone between 6-15 carats and more are very rare and difficult to find and hence fetch a very high price. However, the most commonly available carat weight is 5-6, which is pretty much affordable.

Treatments of lapis lazuli:


How to take care of lapis lazuli?


Lapis lazuli’s hardness is between 5-6 Mohs. This makes it softer than several faceted gems yet harder than a range of other popular stones. Hence, lapis lazuli requires a set of precautions and a little care. For example, long durations of exposure to direct sunlight and substantial temperature changes must be avoided. It is also sensitive to pressure and heat and must be protected from the chemicals present in cosmetics, household cleaning agents, and abrasives. Lapis lazuli should be cleaned with mild soapy water and must be wiped off completely with a soft cloth as this gemstone is porous. Even little amounts of moisture left behind might largely harm the durability of the gem mounted in the ornaments. It is recommended to store this gemstone in a separate bag or box so that it doesn’t get scratched by other jewelry. Also, avoid ultrasound cleaning or usage of steam cleaners that might affect its quality.



Back in ancient times, the true lapis lazuli meaning was believed to be a source of knowledge and wisdom. In ancient Egypt, it was believed to have several healing properties. Lapis lazuli stone was used to solve the problems of depression, recurring fevers, insomnia, and anxiety. The Romans saw it as a powerful aphrodisiac. It was thought to bring peace and self-acceptance by keeping the soul free from all sorts of negative feelings like fear and jealousy. A symbol of health, elegance, luck, purity, and nobility, lapis lazuli was always believed to be a problem-solver. This gemstone was considered lavish and even more expensive than gold, which can be observed in the portraits of Egyptian royal families.

Lapis lazuli uses:


  • Carved pendants, rings, and necklaces made out of this unique blue beauty have gained a lot of popularity among gemstone lovers. Lapis lazuli stone is also paired along with other gemstones.
  • Today, few painters use lapis lazuli as a pigment in their paintings to give it a royal, aesthetic look. The best part is that it never fades away.
  • Along with jewelry, this gemstone is also widely used for restorations and renovations, specifically when the historical appearance is desired.
  • Lapis lazuli is also used in the making of handcrafted carvings and decorative items.

Lapis lazuli metaphysical properties:


Lapis lazuli stone has got several metaphysical properties of its kind. The ancient Egyptians saw this gemstone as a symbol of the night sky, whereas the Sumerians believed that the stone carried the spirit of their gods. Lapis lazuli has often been associated with royalty and wisdom, strength and courage, and intellect and truth. It is said that possessing this gemstone would eradicate all evil and negative aura in the surroundings. In ancient Egypt, as a measure to improve eyesight, lapis lazuli stone was powdered and worn around the eyes. It is believed by some to possess metaphysical properties that help balance the brow chakra and bring about a sense of stability.

Lapis lazuli healing properties:

  • Lapis lazuli stone is believed to quickly release stress and bring deep inner peace.
  • It acts as a stone of protection against psychic and split-personality attacks.
  • This gemstone reveals inner truth, allows self-expression, and encourages self-awareness.
  • It stimulates objectivity, clarity, and encourages creativity.
  • Lapis lazuli purifies blood, lowers blood pressure, soothing the areas of inflammation, and overall boosts the immune system. 
  • It aids in dealing with depression, alleviates vertigo and insomnia as well.
  • It cleans the throat, vocal cords, thyroid, and organs, and aids in the increase of bone marrow.

Lapis lazuli birthstone and anniversaries:


Lapis lazuli is considered a birthstone for people born in December. It is also an auspicious anniversary gemstone for the 7th and 9th year of marriage.

Where should you buy lapis lazuli gemstones?


When it comes to purchasing these precious gemstones, one can be skeptical as there are several stores you can refer to and buy from. But at GemsforJewels, be rest assured, we offer lapis lazuli gemstone of the highest quality. Providing a plethora of varieties for you to choose from, we aim to serve the best. These gemstones can be bought as cabochons, strands, connectors, carvings, and even rosary chains. We also boast a range of different shapes to pick from, including tyre, heart, cube, rectangle, pear, rondelles, and more than 11 other appealing shapes.