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Ancient Gemstones – Lapis Lazuli

April 23, 2014

Lapis Lazuli Necklace Product ImageThe 20th April sees the entry into the second sign of the zodiac, Taurus. As I have talked about before, each of the zodiac signs also has its own stone. Taurus’ birthstone is the beautiful blue, ancient gemstone Lapis Lazuli.

Lapis Lazuli is one of the oldest and most sought after gemstones. It has been in use throughout the history of mankind. It is still popular today and is a favorite stone of the Islamic Orient, said to provide protection from the ‘evil eye‘. It is deep blue in colour with golden inclusions of pyrites which shimmer like stars. The very earliest cultures valued Lapis Lazuli more highly than gold. The Greeks spoke of an ancient sapphire which was included with gold, this was unmistakeably Lapis.

Lapis Lazuli was one of the first gemstones to be used in jewellery. It was used in Mespotamia, Egypt, Rome and Persia.  The name comes from ‘lapis’ the Latin word for stone, and ‘azula’ which comes from the Arabic word for blue.

The golden sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen was richly inlaid with Lapis, as were other burial ornaments of Egyptian kings and queens. It was used extensively in scarabs, pendants and other jewellery as well as being ground into powder for dyes, eye shadow and medicinal elixirs.

Its deep, celestial blue remains the symbol of royalty and honor, gods and power, spirit and vision. It is a universal symbol of wisdom and truth.

I love to create with Lapis lazuli and have a number of beautiful items made with this special stone. Any of these items would make the perfect birthday gift for anyone born under the sign of the bull.

Categories: History of Jewellery.

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