Gemstone of the Day for September 22nd – Lapis LazuliI

I am reblogging this from Ladyoftheabyss because Lapis is one of my favourite stones.

Gemstone of the Day

 Lapis Lazuli

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 Turquoise 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 figurines.

A soft stone, 5 -5.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, lapis lazuli is one of the most valuable semi opaque stones.

Category: rock
Cleavage: none
Crystal habit: compact, massive
Specific gravity: 2.7 – 2.9
Luster: dull
Fracture: uneven
Streak: light blue

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.

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