Lapis Lazuli is listed as the traditional birthstone
for December. (Note that the official birthstone list adopted
by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912 denotes
and blue Topaz
as the official birthstones.) It is also the Planetary stone
for Capricorn and the birthstone for Libra. See the birthstone
tables for additional references to lapis. Lapis may be
given as a gem on the 7th and 9th wedding anniversary.
Lapis is considered a rock, not a mineral. It
combines various minerals, mostly lazurite, but also contains
calcite (white), sodalite (blue) and pyrite (fools' gold,
a metallic yellow) and to be considered a mineral it would
have only one component.
Top quality lapis lazuli comes from Afghanistan
where is has been mined for more than 6000 years, but is also
found in Siberia, Chile, the U.S., Pakistan, and Canada.
A strong blue, sometimes with a hint of violet,
lapis lazuli's value decreases with the presence of white
patches (calcite), while small veins of pyrite are often prized.
The Egyptians used Lapis for seals, ground it
for an eyelid cosmetic and often carved it into vases and
A soft stone, 5 -5.5 on the Mohs
scale of hardness, lapis lazuli is one of the most valuable
semi opaque stones.
Crystal habit: compact, massive
Specific gravity: 2.7 - 2.9
Streak: light blue
Designer jewelry made with lapis and a selection of cabochons
and rough available for custom designed jewelry.
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see other December
Larger view of lapis
Lapis Folklore, Legend, and Healing Properties:
Strengthens total awareness, creativity, ESP,
skeleton, thyroid, helps to expand viewpoint. It is believed
to improve sleep and cure insomnia.
The Romans used lapis as an aphrodisiac.
During ancient times lapis was ground up and
used for medicinal purposes as well as a cosmetic. The ground
powder was mixed with milk and used as a compress to relieve
ulcers and boils and, during the Middle Ages, lapis lazuli
was believed to maintain the skeleton in healthy condition
while keeping the spirit free from the negative emotions of
fear and jealousy.
Lapis is used to energize the throat chakra
and when placed over the brow chakra it induces a heightened
state of awareness.