"Azure stone" - so in Russia was called a beautiful sky-blue gemstone lapis lazuli. This beautiful decorative stone was used in decorating the interior of the temples and facing their facades. Shining in the sun, a deep blue-blue color, this stone aroused special sincere awe in believers.
And today, products made of lapis lazuli are very popular.
History of stone
The history of lapis lazuli is more than 7 thousand years, from the moment when itThey began to mine in the Badakhshan mines of Afghanistan. A special attitude to this stone was in many countries of the world.
- India. In ancient times this beautiful blue stone was considered sacred here. So, it is on products made of lapis lazuli that the priests of Ancient India carved their magic formulas and spells.
- Egypt. The ancient Egyptians and Sumerians called lapis lazuli "a stone of the sky", decorated with tombs and carved figurines of deities from it. Moreover, the figure of Maat, the Egyptian goddess of truth and justice, carved from lapis lazuli, must have been worn by the supreme judge of Egypt on his chest, and scarabs from this gem were decorated with pectoral - a sign of power of the Egyptian pharaoh.
- China. No less revered lapis lazuli in ancient China, where it saw the reflection of the mighty divine heavenly powers and was called "the stone of the golden star."Considering lazurite as a symbol of celestial power, the Chinese rulers( tangerines) adorned their headdresses with lazuli balls. And the Tibetan lamas valued him even above gold.
- Countries in Europe. Lazurite also loved Europe. In the Renaissance the representatives of the highest world wore large jewelry made of lapis lazuli, decorated their interior with decorative objects from this decorative stone, and well-known artists used a padded gem to achieve a bright ultramarine shade of paint that did not burn out in the sun.
- Russia. Lapis lazuli was extensively used for the manufacture of interior and decoration articles in Russia. So, it was lapis lazuli that decorated the halls of the Peterhof palace complex, columns of St. Isaac's Cathedral and interior decorations of the Winter Imperial Palace.
Until the middle of the XIX century, it was brought from Afghanistan, and from 1851 it began to be mined directly on the territory of the country.
Description of mineral
Lazurite - opaque gem of blue, bluish-gray, blue and greenish-gray color. The most highly valued are lazurites of monochromatic juicy blue, bright blue and blue-violet.
The modern name of the gemstone "lapis lazuli", according to specialists, appeared in the 18th century and came from the words "azul", which in Arabic means "heaven" and "lazhvard", which means "blue" in Persian.
In Italy this gem was called "Lapis Lazzuli", and in France "Pierre d'Azur".There are other names for this mineral: lazuli, lapis lazuli, "sky stone".to contents ^
Saturated bright blue and blue shades of the gem give sulfate and sulphide ion radicals. It is their presence that provides this or that color of the stone. Depending on the shade and homogeneity of the color, there are such varieties of lapis lazuli:
- Homogeneous lapis lazurite is a valuable jeweler stone of dense, fine-grained structure and homogeneous violet-blue and bright blue color.
- Spotted lapis lazuli is decorative, ornamental and partly jeweler stone of spotted violet-blue, bright blue, bright blue, dark blue and pale gray-blue. A characteristic feature of this variety of lapis lazuli is the heterogeneity of its texture and structure.
- Spotted and lacustrine lapis lazuli is a decorative and jewel-ornamental stone of spotted violet-blue, bright blue and blue, which differs from spotted lapis lazuli by the presence of slightly arched, rectilinear and branching veins.
Chemical composition and physical properties of mineral
Mineral lapis lazuli is a sulfur-containing sodium aluminosilicate.and calcium.
The chemical composition of this gem includes:
- sulfur oxide( SO3) - 34%;
- silica( SiO2) - more than 31%;
- aluminum oxide( Al2O3) - more than 27%;
- sodium oxide( Na2O) - about 17%;
- calcium oxide( CaO) - about 9%;
- chlorine( Cl) - up to 0,25%.
The crystals of lapis lazuli have a simple cubic structure.
This mineral is rather fragile. Its Mohs hardness is only 5.5, and its density is from 2380 to 2420 kg / m3.to contents ^
Lazurite was initially mined in Afghanistan, in Badakhshan. Here and to this day are the richest deposits of several of its varieties. No less famous for today are deposits of lapis lazuli in Pamir, in China, Tibet, India and Burma.
Scale lapis lazuli in Canada, the USA( in California), Tajikistan, Russia( in the Southern Transbaikalia and Baikal region), in Africa.to the table of contents ^
Medical properties of the gem
It has long been believed that lapis lazuli is a wonderful tool for restoring vision, it is enough to contemplate this beautiful gem every day for at least a few minutes.
In addition, traditional healers attributed the stone to anti-inflammatory, anti-burn and analgesic properties.
Lithotherapists recommend wearing lapis lazuli around the neck in the form of beads or gold-framed ornaments. This, in their opinion, can help:
- to reduce the increased pressure;
- cope with migraine;
- relieve nervous tension;
- cope with insomnia and nightmares.
And folk healers advise wearing lapis lazuli or products from it to pregnant women. They are sure that this stone can protect the future mother from miscarriages and help cope with the toxicosis.to contents ^
Magic properties of lazurite
Ancient Egyptians considered lapis lazuli as a divine stone and believed that it was possible to communicate with gods using it, so they made special paint from lapis lazuli and painted the clothes of high priests. In addition, the Egyptians were confident that this stone is able to free the soul from demons. For this purpose, they applied to the top of the lotion, made from grated lapis lazuli, water and gold powder.
In Europe, lazuli was considered a stone of sincerity and frankness, and its receipt as a gift is a manifestation of true friendship.
And today, people who believe in the magic power of stones, say that lapis lazuli can help a person:
- develop spiritually;
- get rid of negative energy and clear the aura;
- to become merciful;
- to realize the set goals;
- to bring to life success and good luck.
To this end, various talismans and amulets are made of lapis lazuli.to the table of contents ^
Lapis lazuli and zodiac signs
Astrologers say that it is possible to wear lapis lazuli to almost all the signs of the zodiac. Only the Capricorn of this gem is recommended to be avoided.
Most of all, this stone is suitable for people born under the signs:
To a lesser extent:
- to the Lions;
Application of gem
Lazurite is a jewelry, ornamental and ornamental stone. It can be easily processed: cutting, grinding, cutting and grinding. Thanks to this stone is widely used for manufacturing:
- interior items;
- decor elements of buildings.
It should be noted that in the jewelry business the most popular is a homogeneous dense lapis lazuli purple, dark blue and cornflower blue. It is cut in the form of plates and cabochons and is sent to silver or non-precious metals.
As an ornamental stone, lapis lazuli is very similar in its characteristics to marble and is successfully used for the manufacture of table tops, stained glass and wall panels, writing materials and souvenirs.to the table of contents ^
Interesting facts about the stone
According to legend, the tablets that were given to Moses on Mount Sinai were made from lapis lazuli.
Jewelry from lapis lazuli was found by archaeologist Roman Hirschman during excavations of the burials of two women who lived in Iran at the end of IV-III millennium BC.e.
Above the throne of the famous Iranian king Khosrov II Parviz, who ruled Iran from 591 to 628, hung a canopy made of gold and lapis lazuli, which depicted the signs of the zodiac, stars, planets and ancient reigning persons.
1248 kilograms of Badakhshan violet-blue lapis lazuli were used to cover the columns of the iconostasis of St. Petersburg's St. Isaac's Cathedral, reaching a height of five meters.
Today in the State Hermitage there are exhibited a vase and a table top, carved from a monolithic stone and lined with lazurite.
Natural lapis lazuli is particularly resistant to high temperatures. According to the manuscripts dating from the 17th century, in order to reveal the defects in the structure of lapis lazuli, before using it for making jewelry, it was mulled on fire for several days.to the table of contents ^
How to distinguish natural lazurite from counterfeit
Natural lazurite is forged quite often. Naturally, most often, the most expensive varieties are forged. For this purple color is painted with jasper or sodalite.
To distinguish a fake from natural lapis lazuli is quite easy. This can be done with the help of light, water and fire.
- Look closely at the stone in the daytime, and then under artificial light. If the gem does not change its color and beauty - it is exactly a fake in front of you, because the real lapis lazuli shines only under natural bright light, and when artificial - fades. Forgery can shine regardless of the lighting.
- Dampen the stone with plain water. The natural gem, if it gets on it, the moisture will be completely moistened, and on the fake the water will collect in droplets.
- Try to heat the stone with fire. Lazurite is refractory and is able to withstand the effects of high temperatures for several days. Naturally, imitation of such a test simply can not stand.
Photos of the stone of lapis lazuli and its products