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Lapis Lazuli

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Lapis-lazuli was known in ancient times and was highly prized. The earliest published use of the name lapis-lazuli appears to be from 1636 by Anselmus Boetus de Boodt in Gemmarum et Lapidum Historia. page 273. The name is said to be derived from the Latin 'Lapis' and the persian 'Lazhward', meaning Blue. The name should be pronounced 'Lap-is Laz-u-lee'
The name Lapis Lazuli has been used both to describe the blue mineral previously known as lazurite (but in most cases is actually a S-rich variety of Hauyne) and the rock that is made up predominantly of this mineral plus calcite, pyrite and other minerals. In general today the name Lapis Lazuli is used to describe the material used as a decorative stone (ie, the rock) rather than the mineral component. The localities listed here are localities where this decorative stone has been reported.

Worldwide, virtually all of the lapis-lazuli occurrences have hauyne, vladimirivanovite, afghanite, etc. The species lazurite is actually ultra-rare and virtually no valid specimens are known to contain true lazurite. By far, the greatest number of lapis-lazuli specimens contain hauyne as the deep blue component. Lapis-lazuli is mined and carved as a decorative stone, this rock has a distinctive blue colour. Lapis Lazuli historically came from Lapis-lazuli mines and occurrences, near Sar-e-Sang, Badakhshan (Badakshan; Badahsan) Province, Afghanistan.

Visit for gemological information about Lapis Lazuli.

Classification of Lapis Lazuli

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Occurrences of Lapis Lazuli

Geological Setting:
In marble skarns

Physical Properties of Lapis Lazuli

Sub-Vitreous, Greasy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Takes a good polish

Other Names for Lapis Lazuli

Name in Other Languages:

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:
Decorative stone

References for Lapis Lazuli

Reference List:
Hogarth, D.D. and Griffin, W.L. (1978) Lapis lazuli from Baffin Island - a Precambrian meta-evaporite. Lithos: 11: 37-60.

Internet Links for Lapis Lazuli

Localities for Lapis Lazuli

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
(TL) indicates type locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
  • Badakhshan Province (Badakshan Province; Badahsan Province)
    • Jurm District
      • Koksha Valley (Kokscha Valley; Kokcha Valley)
        • Jurm (Firghamu; Firgamu)
Orris, G.J., and Bliss, J.D. (2002): Mines and Mineral Occurrences of Afghanistan. United States Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-110
    • Khash & Kuran Wa Munjan Districts
      • Koksha Valley (Kokscha Valley; Kokcha Valley)
        • Sar-e Sang (Sar Sang; Sary Sang)
Van King
    • Zebak District
      • Sanglich
Orris, G.J., and Bliss, J.D. (2002): Mines and Mineral Occurrences of Afghanistan. United States Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-110
Burma (Myanmar)
  • Mandalay Division
    • Pyin-Oo-Lwin District
      • Mogok Township
        • Bernardmyo
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Harald Schillhammer collection
        • Chaung-gyi
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems and Mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems and Mines of Mogok
        • Kyatpyin North
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Kyauk-Pyat-That
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Marble Ark
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Mogok Valley
          • Dattaw Hill
            • Dattaw-mid
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
No reference listed
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
  • Nunavut Territory
    • Baffin Island
Rocks & Minerals: 58: 12; Lithos: 11: 37-60.; D.D. Hogarth, W.L. Griffin, Lapis lazuli from Baffin island — a precambrian meta-evaporite, Lithos, Volume 11, Issue 1, 15 January 1978, Pages 37-60; D. D. Hogarth (1971) Lapis Lazuli near Lake Harbour, Southern Baffin Island, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 8:1210-1217.
  • Coquimbo Region
    • Limarí Province
      • Ovalle
Michael O'Donoghue (2006) Gems: Their Sources, Descriptions and Identification. 6th ed. Elsevier
  • Latium
    • Rome Province
      • Alban Hills
De Michele, V. (1974). Guida mineralogica d'Italia. Istituto Geografico De Agostini, Novara, 2 vol
  • Eastern-Siberian Region
    • Prebaikalia (Pribaikal'e)
      • Irkutskaya Oblast'
  • Viloyati Mukhtori Gorno-Badakhshan (Viloyati Badakhshoni Kuni)
Gerard van der Veld
  • California
AmMin 23:111
      • San Gabriel Mts
        • San Antonio Canyon
Eaton, A. L. 1946. Pomona club collects at mineralized Cascade Canyon. The Desert Magazine, Volume 9 Number 10, August. Desert Press, Inc. El Centro, California, p. 31, 40pp.
Sterrett, D. B. 1911. Gems and precious stones. Mineral Resources of the United States for 1910, part 2; Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey: p. 872
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