Historians believe the use of Lapis Lazuli dates back to over 5,000 years ago. This gemstone was treasured by the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Rome, Mesopotamia, China and Greece; each valuing it for its striking color, and decorative capacity. These civilizations were also known to adore other blue gemstones like sapphire and turquoise.
Lapis Lazuli is known to be one of the most popular and oldest gemstones. It's deep color symbolizes royalty, honor and power, which stems from the Romans and Egyptians, who found many different uses for the stone.
Ancient Egyptians used Lapis Lazuli to create blue cosmetics while also wearing the stone to exhibit their rank. Alongside this, during the Renaissance, artists would grind the stone to make a blue pigment used for painting.
Lapis Lazuli is a rock, meaning it is made of a collection of different kinds of minerals. This gemstone is made up of Pyrite, Lazurite, and Calcite. It can also be known to carry smaller traces of varying minerals, but these three make up the majority of Lapis Lazuli gems. Lapis Lazuli is also known to be completely blue without the veining or coloring of another stone.
Lapis Lazuli is semitranslucent to opaque, with a vitreous luster. It's hardness ranges from 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, depending on the minerals found within the stone.
According to the experts, the most valuable Lapis Lazuli are those with little to no Calcite visible. If Pyrite flecks are seen throughout the gemstone, it does not lower or add to the value. Lapis Lazuli at it's least valuable is when there is an overabundance of Pyrite causing the stone to appear green.