A Writers Guide to Lapis lazuli


lapis lazuli

Lapis lazuli, often shortened to simply lapis, is a semi-precious stone. It’s a rock formed largely from the mineral lazurite, but also contains calcite, sodalite, and pyrite. It’s an intense blue that’s often mottled with white and yellow.

Lapis is Latin for “stone” and lazuli is the genitive form of the Medieval Latin lazulum, which is from the Arabic لازورد lāzaward, which is from the Persian لاژورد lāzhward, which is the name of a place where lapis lazuli was mined. All together lapis lazuli means “stone of Lāzhward.”

History and Lore

  • Most ancient cultures used this stone.
  • Predynastic Egyptians made lapis jewelry.
  • The oldest drinking straw (found in a Sumerian tomb dated 3,000 B.C.E.) was a gold tube inlaid with lapis lazuli.
  • Lapis beads have been found at neolithic burials in Mehrgarh, the Caucasus, and Mauritania.
  • Cleopatra used powdered lapis as eye shadow. (How cool is that?)
  • Romans used lapis as an aphrodisiac.

Magical and Mystical Properties include

  • relieving stress
  • promoting peace throughout the body
  • helping to balance the function of the thyroid gland
  • strengthening the neck and vocal chords
  • helping to remove emotional baggage
  • enhancing dreams
  • promoting intuition
  • strengthening awareness
  • promoting understanding
  • blocking psychic attacks

Discharging & Recharging

To discharge lapis, once a month place the stone in a bowl with hematite. To recharge, place that among a mass of clear quartz crystals. (In stone therapy, when using stones to heal, their energy is used up, requiring the stones to be recharged.)

This is a reference for fiction writers and should not be taken as medical or spiritual advice.

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  1. I just like saying its name, but it really is a pretty stone.

  2. I LOVE this one. Also have it in my novel. 😉

  3. Thanks for the info on what its name means — didn't know that before! It's such a beautiful name and a gorgeous stone.

  4. I love lapis lazuli, but I'm not sure I'd enjoy having it on my eyes! Might be painful if it got in…

  5. Lapis Lazuli is such a beautiful gemstone. The color is so inviting.

  6. I was introduced to lapis over a year ago when I was helping my best friend choose the bridesmaid dress for her wedding. She decided on a dress color called “lapis.” Since the dress was dark purple, we thought the name came from a type of flower. Imagine our surprise when we looked it up and found out it's a bright blue stone! To this day we're totally baffled why David's Bridal named a purple dress lapis.

  7. Hi Holly .. lapis is so beautiful .. it's amazing to think that they clad palaces, temples or churches with the 'stuff' .. the Byzantine mineral.

    Love this – and I love the stone .. just too beautiful ..

    Thanks so much .. cheers Hilary

  8. Lapis Lazuli. Rolls off the tongue. A beautiful stone indeed.

    Sorry to hear about the death in your family. And thanks for your concern about my daughter's neck surgery. There's always something, isn't there, to test and try us.

    My favorite stone, when I was a teenager, was in a ring. I had a ruby ring that my grandmother gave me. And then I lost it! Sad.

    I think, though, from your photograph, that I like this blue. It's stunning. And its history is fascinating. Thanks for sharing.
    Ann Carbine Best’s Long Journey Home

  9. What a gorgeous stone. Lapis is one of my all time favorites. I particularly like to gold flecks inside the deep blue stone.

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