Since I was small, my favorite color was blue. I used to hoard blue crayons, blue clothes, and the blue aluminum cup in the multi-colored set of cups from my mother’s kitchen. My grandmother had Fiestaware dinner plates, and I always wanted the cobalt blue one with the matching glass when we visited. I spent this last weekend shopping at the gem show, picking up beads to fill in our stock at the store. We were completely out of lapis, so I spent some time looking. Good lapis is sometimes hard to track down. The lesser stone has lots of white in it, or is so blue you know it is dyed. Fortunately, I found some beautiful stones, although I had to shop with several different vendors to get a group of 8mm beads. I also picked up some large pendant stones.
Lapis comes primarily from Afghanistan. There are also mines in Chile, although they do not produce as beautiful a stone. The Egyptians valued lapis and traded for it as long as 6,000 years ago. Tutankhamun’s burial mask contains lapis. Did you know that lapis was ground up for pigments to use in paints during the Renaissance? Many Madonnas are wearing ultramarine-colored robes tinted by ground lapis. What is it about this color that draws us so?
Buddhists recommended Lapis as a stone to bring inner peace and freedom from negative thoughts. As a chakra stone, it is said to allow and encourage self-expression. It is supposed to stimulate objectivity and clarity of thought. It’s also been considered to be a royal color.
Personally, I think the depth and clarity of the color blue is just an inspiration to the eye. I love this stone.