The lapis lazuli meaning is literally ‘blue stone’, with blue deriving from the Persian word lazhward and stone from the Latin word lapis. Lazuli is also the name of the area where this stone originated from. This stone is often referred to as lapis, rather than the full name of lapis lazuli. In this section you will learn the different aspects of the lapis lazuli meaning including the properties and powers of this rock. You will also gain an insight into how it was used in different cultures around the world.
The lapis lazuli gemstone is an opaque, semi-precious stone made from metamorphic volcanic rock. It is composed of many minerals including glittering pyrite and milky calcite. The main mineral is lazurite, where the deep blue hue comes from. The result of this combination is a beautiful blue rock with glittering flecks of gold.
Lapis is mined all over the world, the most notable places are Pakistan, Chile, Russia, Colorado USA, Canada and Angola. It was originally found in Afghanistan and to this day, rocks sourced from this destination are still the most valuable. They were mined in Bactria, now known as Afghanistan. In 1271, Marco Polo described these wondrous lapis mines on his travels.
Due to the deep blue color it was ground into a powder to be used for cosmetics and paintings. This powder is called ultramarine and Cleopatra was famous for using the blue tones as eyeshadow. For centuries ultramarine, in powder and oil form, has been used to create masterpieces. These pieces include the Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer and Van Gogh’s Starry Night. When painting the frescoes on the magnificent ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, Michelangelo used this deep blue pigment.
Lapis, as you know, can vary from light blue-green hues to vibrant blue shades with a hint of violet. Amongst lapis enthusiasts it is generally agreed that the less white calcite present in the stone the higher the value. However, the amount of sparkling pyrite in the stone is up for discussion. If the stone is highly saturated with a rich blue color and sprinkled with attractive specks of glittery pyrite then value could be added for some dealers. Lapis stones that have an obvious green hue are the least expensive stones.
Traditionally, lapis have been cut for cabochons, carvings, beads and inlays. Nowadays it is often cut into free-form sculptures so that the natural beauty of the stone can be enjoyed.
Due to the wide mix of minerals that are present in this rock, lapis can look cloudy with streaks of white and green. It can also appear totally smooth with only a blue color dominating the surface. The highest quality stone is blue lapis lazuli with no streaks of calcite present and very little pyrite. The golden pyrite, if present, must appear in very small speckles and has to be distributed in a way that is pleasing to the eye.
Rough lapis is naturally found large and whole. This is why it had been used for decorative carvings in the past. Nowadays, it is popularly used for art and jewelry.
In the ancient world lapis lazuli has always been a favored stone. It has been discovered in tombs across Africa, Asia and Europe from prehistoric times. This reveals the powerful, spiritual meaning the lapis had for many cultures.
There is a legend about Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love. Upon her descent into the underworld Inanna took seven symbols of her divine power. This included a lapis lazuli necklace made of beads and a lapis measuring rod. This reflects the views of lapis lazuli as a sacred stone. In ancient civilizations it was associated with religion and royalty and it was used as amulets and talismans by the Ancient Egyptians.
People of religion such as holy men, and even shamans, used this stone for many purposes. As mentioned above it was present inside tombs around the world and it was also thought of as an aphrodisiac by the Romans. The rich color and gold particles also had royal connotations and it was popularly used by royalty in the past.
This beautiful stone resembles the evening sky speckled with golden stars, this is why the Ancient Greeks believed it symbolized the night sky. The Sumerians held the belief that to wear a lapis would be to carry around the spirit of Gods. With this in mind, lapis is seen to have powers to ward off evil and to offer strength, truth, courage and wisdom to anyone who bears the stone.
What powers does lapis lazuli have?
As mentioned above, this powerful stone can be connected to the fifth chakra to help you communicate with ease. If you get stage fright but you’re in a situation where you need to stand up and speak to people then this is the stone for you. Wear a lapis close to the most central part of your neck or hold the stone in your hand when you’re speaking. Doing so will relieve you of your anxieties and give you the courage to speak with ease.
Is Lapis Lazuli a protection stone?
The lapis stone has protective properties and can ward off physical and psychic attacks. This stone can also be used to protect you from other people’s negative energies and empower you to make positive decisions. As a protection stone, lapis cleanses you of negative thoughts and emboldens you to tap into your wisdom and take positive steps in your life.
Does lapis lazuli bring luck?
This powerful stone is known for its luck-acquiring qualities. Whether you need luck in your career, finances or even in love, keeping a lapis close to you can help give you fortune in many aspects of your life. As a symbol of good luck, wearing this stone can recycle negative energy into positive energy.
How do you take care of lapis lazuli?
Lapis lazuli is a soft stone with a MOHS hardness rating of 5-6 which is why extra care needs to be taken with this rock. It is a striking, unusual stone which is why it is so popularly used in jewelry but it is best to keep this stone for special occasions. However, earrings, pendants and any jewelry which doesn’t come into heavy contact may still be worn daily.
To keep your stone in good condition it should be repolished periodically. To clean it just use soapy water and a soft-bristled brush and dry it with a soft cloth. Do not use salt water as it may damage your stone and stay clear of chemical solvents, ultrasonic cleaning methods and steaming. When storing lapis, keep it away from other stones and wrap it in soft fabric to keep it from getting scratched.
Does lapis lazuli need to be cleansed?
Crystals are great because of the power they are able to give us, but they also have the ability to retain negative or stale energy. That’s why it’s important to cleanse crystals before using them to ensure they are personal to you and only hold good energy.
As a soft stone, lapis lazuli should not be cleansed using water. Instead, try to cleanse them by laying them out in the sun or in the full moon. For both methods, ensure you turn the lapis over so that the whole stone is able to soak in the goodness of the light. After thirty minutes your stone will be cleansed.
Another popular way to cleanse your crystals is using other cleansing crystals. For example, selenite and amethyst are naturally cleansing crystals. If you have large slabs of these crystals then carefully place your lapis on top and let it cleanse for up to thirty minutes. Take care when placing your lapis on other stones in case of scratches. When cleansing your lapis stone, always remember to clear your mind of negativity and only think positive thoughts.
Is Lapis Lazuli a birthstone?
Birthstones originate from the Biblical book of Exodus, specifically ‘the breastplate of Aaron’ story. In this story twelve gemstones adorned the breastplate and these stones represented the twelve birthstones we have today.
One of the gemstones on the breastplate was sapphire, however it is argued that in Biblical times the word sapphire meant blue stone. Therefore, it is likely the stone that was actually encrusted in the breastplate was lapis lazuli due to how highly prized it was in ancient times. If this is to be believed then lapis lazuli is in fact the birthstone for September.
Who should wear lapis lazuli?
Lapis lazuli can be worn by anyone to gain healing benefits from the stone but there are beneficial ways to wear blue lapis. For example, if you are wearing this stone as a bracelet or ring then people who are right handed should wear the stone on their right hand and vice versa. Another useful tip comes from astrologers, who advise against wearing this stone with gold. To gain maximum benefit, pair it with platinum or silver instead.
If you are using the lapis occasionally then the best day to choose is Saturday. The best time would be in the evening, especially if a waning moon is present in the night sky. If you do not wish to wear lapis as jewelry then keeping a tumbled stone in your pocket will suffice. In this way, it can be used as a touchstone for good luck. For financial luck, you may want to keep a stone in your wallet or purse. However, be mindful that this is a soft stone and so you should take care to not scratch or damage it.
Lapis lazuli is a mystical stone not only in appearance but also in the spiritual, metaphysical and healing properties it offers. With a long-existing history, lapis was used as a protection stone for good luck and symbolized strength and courage. Nowadays, this stone is great for meditation, especially when used for the throat chakra and the third-eye chakra as it can help unblock energy channels. Lapis comes in many colors due to the mineral compositions but all lapis lazuli stones look great when made into jewelry. Wear it as a beautiful piece of jewelry to clear your mind in order to make good decisions, and to help you speak your truth with confidence.