Lapis lazuli is a sulfur-containing sodium aluminum silicate. The stone comes in colors that range from light to dark blue. Often, the lapis lazuli also has bright, white features, which are caused by deposits of calcite. There are also wonderful golden, dot-like deposits among the blue, which results from an admixture of pyrite. This unique color scheme reminds one of the stars in the night sky. The stone takes its name from the Latin word "lapis" (stone) and the Spanish word "azul" (blue). The main sites of lapis lazuli are located in Afghanistan and Chile. The early Egyptians and Greeks made jewelery and ritual objects from lapis lazuli. In the Egyptian pyramids, objects and amulets made of lapis lazuli were found. Many generations throughout Antiquity recognized lapis lazuli as a divine stone of peace, wisdom, love, and protection (“a stone of heaven”). Lapis lazuli was also regarded as the stone of friendship and eternal life. As a healing stone, lapis lazuli is thought to help headaches and insomnia, lower blood pressure and help with inflammation and swelling when heated.
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