Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December Birthstone

The Myth and Lore of Lapis Lazuli

December's Birthstone


HMS Victory
Lapis-Lazuli Handstitched Soutache Pendant 


In the ancient world Lapis-Lazuli was as valued as gold. Egyptians sent out legions of soldiers with with traders to collect Lapis. The word Lapis-Lazuli comes from the Latin Lapis meaning stone and Lazuli meaning blue.  The Arabic word L'azulaus is translated as blue, heaven and sky.  It has been mined in Afghanistan for more than six thousand years and is widely referenced in many ancient texts.

In the third millennium, BC, Puabi, a Sumerian queen dressed in a robe of Lapis & Gold.  In the middle ages Lapis was crushed and mixed with oil to create an exquisitely deep blue paint which served as a pigment for illuminated manuscripts.  The blue stone flecked with gold appears to in itself represent royalty.



Though there are references to Lapis as a healing gem, particularly as a cure for depression or a weak heart, generally the richness and color in itself has been associated with royalty and authority.

 



Other stones are listed such as Turquoise, Blue Topaz and Tanzanite.  Blue Topaz being the most popular was believed by the Greeks that its cooling effect could have the power of calming one's temper and balancing one's mental state.



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