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Lapis lazuli

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Name:
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'
An uncommon metamorphic rock having lazurite as an essential component. Believed to be meta-evaporites recrystallized during high-grade regional metamorphism.

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.

Many of the properties listed here are for the blue mineral (an opaque sulfur bearing gem Hauyne) in the rock.

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 gemdat.org for gemological information about Lapis lazuli.


Classification of Lapis lazuli

Mineralogy of Lapis lazuli

Essential minerals - these are minerals that are required within the classification of this rock:
Feldspathoid > LazuriteNa6 Ca2(Al6Si6O24)(SO4,S,S2, S3,Cl,OH)2
Non-essential minerals - these minerals are common, sometimes major components, but are not always present:
CalciteCaCO3
PyriteFeS2

Occurrences of Lapis lazuli

Physical Properties of Lapis lazuli

Sub-Vitreous, Greasy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Opaque
Comment:
Takes a good polish
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven

Other Names for Lapis lazuli

Name in Other Languages:

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

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