Lapis Lazuli is a metamorphic rock, composed mainly of the minerals lazurite, calcite, and pyrite. Its striking blue color is due to the presence of lazurite.
The name "lapis lazuli" originates from the Latin word "lapis," meaning stone, and the Persian word "lazhward," referring to its blue color.
Ancient civilizations highly prized Lapis Lazuli for its intense blue hue, often using it in artwork, jewelry, and even ground into powder to create the pigment ultramarine.
The finest quality Lapis Lazuli comes from the Sar-e-Sang mine in Afghanistan, which has been the source of this gemstone for over 6,000 years.
Cleopatra is said to have used powdered Lapis Lazuli as eyeshadow, not only for its beautiful color but also because it was believed to have protective properties for the eyes.
Lapis lazuli is a porous stone that can be easily damaged or discolored if submerged in water or exposed to excessive moisture.