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Encyclopedia > Lapis
Lapis lazuli
A block of lapis lazuli.
General
Category Rock
Chemical formula ?
Identification
Color Blue, mottled with white calcite and brassy pyrite
Crystal habit Compact, massive
Crystal system None as lapis is a rock. Lazurite, the main constituent, frequently occurs as dodecahedra
Cleavage None
Fracture Uneven
Mohs Scale hardness 5 - 5.5
Luster Vitreous to greasy
Refractive index 1.5
Pleochroism N/A
Streak light blue
Specific gravity 4.4
Other Characteristics The variations in composition cause a wide variation in the above values.

Lapis lazuli, also known as just lapis, is one of the stones with the longest tradition of being considered a gem, with a history stretching back to 5000 BC. Deep blue in color and opaque, this gemstone was highly prized by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, as can be seen by its prominent use in many of the treasures recovered from pharaonic tombs. It is still extremely popular today. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (673x1197, 161 KB) From fr, uploaded by fr:User:Luna04 under GFDL. File links The following pages link to this file: Lapis lazuli ... Sedimentary, volcanic, plutonic, metamorphic rock types of North America. ... A chemical formula (also called molecular formula) is a concise way of expressing information about the atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound. ... Doubly refracting Calcite from Iceberg claim, Dixon, New Mexico. ... The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is iron disulfide, FeS2. ... In mineralogy, shape and size give rise to descriptive terms applied to the typical appearance, or habit of crystals. ... Rose des Sables (Sand Rose), formed of gypsum crystals In mineralogy and crystallography, a crystal structure is a unique arrangement of atoms in a crystal. ... A block of lapis lazuli Lapis lazuli is one of the oldest of all gems, with a history of use stretching back 7,000 years. ... A dodecahedron is a Platonic solid composed of twelve pentagonal faces, with three meeting at each vertex. ... Cleavage, in mineralogy, is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along definite planes, creating smooth surfaces, of which there are several named types: Basal cleavage: cleavage parallel to the base of a crystal, or to the plane of the lateral axes. ... A fracture is the separation of a body into two, or more, pieces under the action of stress. ... Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer. ... The refractive index of a material is the factor by which the phase velocity of electromagnetic radiation is slowed relative to vacuum. ... Pleochroism is an optical phenomenon where due to double refraction of light by a colored gem or crystal, the light is divided into two paths which are polarized at a 90° angle to each other. ... The term streak is used in several ways: Streaking, the act of running around nude in public places. ... Relative density (also known as specific gravity) is a measure of the density of a material. ... A selection of gemstone pebbles made by tumbling rough rock with abrasive grit, in a rotating drum. ... (6th millennium BC – 5th millennium BC – 4th millennium BC – other millennia) Events 4713 BC – The epoch (origin) of the Julian Period described by Joseph Justus Scaliger occurred on January 1, the astronomical Julian day number zero. ... This article refers to the historical Pharaoh. ...


Lapis is a rock and not a mineral because it is made up from various other minerals. To be a true mineral it would have one constituent only. Sedimentary, volcanic, plutonic, metamorphic rock types of North America. ... This article is about minerals in the geologic sense; for nutrient minerals see dietary mineral; for the band see Mineral (band). ...


The first part of the name is the Latin lapis, meaning stone. The second part, lazuli, is the genitive form of the medieval Latin lazulum, a loanword adapted from the Arabic (al-)lazward, itself a borrowed word from the Persian لاژورد lazhward. This was originally a place-name, but soon came to mean blue because of its association with the stone. English azure, Spanish azul, Italian azur also derives from this source. Taken as a whole, lapis lazuli means stone of azure. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... The genitive case is a grammatical case that indicates a relationship, primarily one of possession, between the noun in the genitive case and another noun. ... Arabic (; , less formally, ) is the largest member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family (classification: South Central Semitic) and is closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ... Persian (known variously as: فارسی Fârsi, local name in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, پارسی Pârsi, older, local name still used by some speakers, Tajik, a Central Asian dialect, or Dari, another local name in Tajikistan and Afghanistan) is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

Contents


Description

The main component of lapis lazuli is lazurite (25 to 40 percent), a feldspathoid silicate mineral composed of sodium, aluminium, silicon, oxygen, sulfur, and chlorine. Most lapis also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue) and pyrite (yellow). Other possible constituents are augite, diopside, enstatite, mica, hauynite, hornblende and nosean. Lazurite's formula is (Na,Ca)8(AlSiO4)6(S,SO4,Cl)1-2 [1]. A block of lapis lazuli Lapis lazuli is one of the oldest of all gems, with a history of use stretching back 7,000 years. ... The feldspathoids are a group of tectosilicate minerals which resemble feldspars but have a different structure and much lower silica content. ... The silicate minerals make up the the largest and most important class of rock-forming minerals. ... General Name, Symbol, Number sodium, Na, 11 Chemical series alkali metals Group, Period, Block 1, 3, s Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 22. ... General Name, Symbol, Number aluminium, Al, 13 Chemical series poor metals Group, Period, Block 13, 3, p Appearance silvery Atomic mass 26. ... General Name, Symbol, Number silicon, Si, 14 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 14, 3, p Appearance dark gray, bluish tinge Atomic mass 28. ... General Name, Symbol, Number oxygen, O, 8 Chemical series Nonmetals Group, Period, Block 16, 2, p Appearance colorless Atomic mass 15. ... General Name, Symbol, Number sulfur, S, 16 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 16, 3, p Appearance lemon yellow Atomic mass 32. ... General Name, Symbol, Number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Atomic mass 35. ... Doubly refracting Calcite from Iceberg claim, Dixon, New Mexico. ... Sodalite is a rare, rich royal blue mineral widely enjoyed as an ornamental stone. ... The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is iron disulfide, FeS2. ... Augite is a mafic mineral described chemically as (Ca, Na)(Mg, Fe, Al)(Al, Si)2O6 or calcium sodium magnesium iron aluminium silicate. ... Diopside is a monoclinic pyroxene mineral with composition MgCaSi2O6. ... The pyroxene silicate minerals enstatite (MgSiO3) and ferrosilite (FeSiO3) form a complete solid solution series and are common rock-forming minerals found in igneous and metamorphic rocks and meteorites. ... rock with mica Mica sheet mica flakes The mica group of minerals includes several closely related materials having highly perfect basal cleavage. ... Amphibole (Hornblende) Hornblende is a complex inosilicate series of minerals. ... Nosean, also known as Noselite, is a form of sodalite. ...


Lapis lazuli usually occurs in crystalline limestones as a result of contact metamorphism. Limey shale overlaid by limestone. ... Metamorphism can be defined as the mineralogical, chemical and crystallographic changes in a solid-state rock, i. ...

A Mesopotamian lapis lazuli pendant circa 2900 BC.
A Mesopotamian lapis lazuli pendant circa 2900 BC.
A carving in high quality lapis lazuli, showing gold-colored inclusions of pyrite. These inclusions are common in lapis and are an important help in identifying the stone. The carving is 8 cm (3 inches) long
A carving in high quality lapis lazuli, showing gold-colored inclusions of pyrite. These inclusions are common in lapis and are an important help in identifying the stone. The carving is 8 cm (3 inches) long

The finest color is intense blue, lightly dusted with small flecks of golden pyrite. There should be no white calcite veins and the pyrite inclusions should be small. Stones that contain too much calcite or pyrite are not as valuable. Patches of pyrite are an important help in identifying the stone as genuine and do not detract from its value. Often, inferior lapis is dyed to improve its color, but these are often a very dark blue with a noticeable grey cast. ImageMetadata File history File links Mesolapis. ... This is an article about the ancient middle eastern region. ... Download high resolution version (800x617, 97 KB)Elephant carved from high quality Lapis Lazuli. ... Download high resolution version (800x617, 97 KB)Elephant carved from high quality Lapis Lazuli. ... The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is iron disulfide, FeS2. ... The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is iron disulfide, FeS2. ... Doubly refracting Calcite from Iceberg claim, Dixon, New Mexico. ...


Sources

The finest lapis comes from the Badakshan area of Afghanistan. This source of lapis may be the oldest continually worked set of mines in the world, the same mines operating today having supplied the lapis of the pharaohs. More recently, during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Afghani resistance fighters disassembled unexploded Russian landmines and ordnance and used the scavenged explosive to help mine lapis to further fund their resistance efforts. Afghanistan and of Tajikistan. ...


In addition to the Afghan deposits, lapis has been found in the Andes near Ovalle, Chile, where it is usually pale rather than deep blue. Other less important sources are the Lake Baikal region of Russia, Siberia, Angola, Burma, Pakistan, USA (California and Colorado) and Canada. The Andes between Chile and Argentina Computer generated image of the Andes, made from a digital elevation model with a resolution of 30 arcseconds The Andes is a vast mountain range forming a continuous chain of highland along the western coast of South America. ... In 1831 the city of Ovalle was founded. ... Lake Baikal The Yenisei River basin, Lake Baikal, and the cities of Dikson, Dudinka, Turukhansk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk Lake Baikal (Russian: О́зеро Байка́л (Ozero Baykal)), a lake in southern Siberia, Russia, between Irkutsk Oblast on the northwest and Buryatia on the southeast, near Irkutsk. ... Siberia Siberia (Russian: , common English transliterations: Sibir’, Sibir; from the Tatar for “sleeping land”) is a vast region of Russia and northern Kazakhstan constituting almost all of northern Asia. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 3rd 410,000 km² 402. ... Official language(s) English Capital Denver Largest city Denver Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 8th 269 837 km² 451 km 612 km 0. ...


Uses

Lapis takes an excellent polish and has been made into jewelry, carvings, boxes, mosaics, ornaments and vases. In architecture it has been used for cladding the walls and columns of palaces and churches.


It was also ground and processed to make the pigment Ultramarine for tempera paint and, more rarely, oil paint. Its usage as a pigment in oil paint ended in the early 19th century as a chemically identical synthetic variety, often called French Ultramarine, became available. In biology, pigment is any material resulting in color in plant or animal cells which is the result of selective absorption. ... Natural ultramarine. ... A 1367 tempera on wood by Niccolò Semitecolo. ... Oil painting is done on surfaces with pigment ground into a medium of oil - especially in early modern Europe, linseed oil. ... Natural ultramarine. ...


Enhancements

The most common enhancement for lapis lazuli is dyeing (staining), where a stone with white calcite inclusions is stained blue to improve the colour. Other enhancements commonly seen are waxing and resin impregnations, again to improve colour. The colour of stained lapis is unstable and will fade with time.


Imitations

Sintered synthetic blue spinel was once used as an imitation of lapis lazuli but is rarely seen today. So-called synthetic lapis lazuli (such as the Gilson product) is more properly termed an imitation, since it does not match exactly the structure and properties of the natural. It is found in various forms, complete with pyrite specks (but all lacking calcite). Various forms of glass and plastic are also commonly seen as imitations. The spinels are any of a class of minerals which crystallize in the isometric system with an octahedral habit. ...


Cultural and historical/mythical usage

In ancient times, lapis lazuli was known as sapphire, which is the name that is used today for the blue corundum variety sapphire. It appears to have been the sapphire of ancient writers because Pliny refers to sapphirus as a stone sprinkled with specks of gold. A similar reference can be found in the Hebrew Bible in Job 28:6. Sapphire is the single-crystal form of aluminium oxide (Al2O3), a mineral known as corundum. ...


In ancient Egypt lapis lazuli was a favorite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs; it was also used by the Assyrians and Babylonians for seals. Egyptian burial sites dating before 3000 B.C. contained thousands of jewelry items, many of lapis. Powdered lapis was used by Egyptian ladies as a cosmetic eye shadow. Genera not a complete list Agestrata Augosoma Canthon Chalcosoma Chelorrhina Cheirolasia Cheirotonus Cotinis Dynastes Eudicella Goliathus Megsoma Onthophagus Pachnoda Phanaeus Plusiotis Ranzania Rhomborrhina Stephanorrhina Xylotrupes The scarab is a type of beetle noted for rolling dung into spherical balls and pushing it, as well as its habit of laying its...


As inscribed in the 140th chapter of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, lapis lazuli, in the shape of an eye set in gold, was considered an amulet of great power. On the last day of the month, an offering was made before this symbolic eye, for it was believed that, on that day, the supreme being placed such an image on his head. Book of the Dead is the common name for ancient Egyptian funerary texts known as The Book of Coming [or Going] Forth By Day. ...


The ancient royal Sumerian tombs of Ur, located near the Euphrates River in lower Iraq, contained more than 6000 beautifully executed lapis lazuli statuettes of birds, deer, and rodents as well as dishes, beads, and cylinder seals. These carved artifacts undoubtedly came from material mined in Badakhshan in northern Afghanistan. The word lazuli itself originates from the Persian dialect of Badakhshan. Badakhshan is a region comprising parts of northeastern Afghanistan and of Tajikistan. ... Persian (known variously as: فارسی Fârsi, local name in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, پارسی Pârsi, older, local name still used by some speakers, Tajik, a Central Asian dialect, or Dari, another local name in Tajikistan and Afghanistan) is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia...


The Romans believed that lapis was a powerful aphrodisiac. In the Middle Ages, it was thought to keep the limbs healthy, and free the soul from error, envy and fear. An aphrodisiac is an agent which acts on the mind and causes the arousal of the mood of sexual desire. ...


It was once believed that lapis had medicinal properties. It was ground down, mixed with milk and applied as a dressing for boils and ulcers.


Many of the blues in painting from medieval Illuminated manuscripts to Renaissance panels were derived from lapis lazuli. Ground to a powder and processed to remove impurities and isolate the component lazurite, it forms the pigment ultramarine. This clear, bright blue, which was one of the few available to painters before the 19th century, cost a princely sum. As tempera painting was superseded by the advent of oil paint in the Renaissance, painters found that the brilliance of ultramarine was greatly diminished when it was ground in oil and this, along with its cost, led to a steady decline in usage. Since the synthetic version of ultramarine was discovered in the 19th century (along with other 19th century blues, such as cobalt blue), production and use of the natural variety has almost ceased, though several pigment companies still produce it and some painters are still attracted to its brilliance and its romantic history. An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript, often of a religious nature, in which the text is supplemented by the addition of colourful ornamentation, such as decorated initials, borders and the like. ... In the traditional view, the Renaissance is understood as an historical age that was preceded by the Middle Ages and followed by the Reformation. ... Natural ultramarine. ... A 1367 tempera on wood by Niccolò Semitecolo. ... Oil painting is done on surfaces with pigment ground into a medium of oil - especially in early modern Europe, linseed oil. ... General Name, Symbol, Number cobalt, Co, 27 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 9, 4, d Appearance metallic with gray tinge Atomic mass 58. ...


Poetry

Lapis Lazuli is a poem written by William Butler Yeats. Text available at Readprint.com W.B. Yeats in Dublin on 24 January 1908. ...


Lapis lazuli is also repeatedly mentioned in the poem The Epic of Gilgamesh. For instance, the Bull of Heaven's horns are composed of Lapis lazuli. The Deluge tablet of the Gilgamesh epic in Akkadian The Epic of Gilgamesh is from Babylonia, dating from long after the time that king Gilgamesh was supposed to have ruled. ... The Bull of Heaven is the constellation we call Taurus. ...


Finally, lapis lazuli also makes an appearance in Marianne Moore's poem, "A Talisman" - which is quoted by T. S. Eliot in his "Introduction to Selected Poems [of Marianne Moore]." The stanza of Moore's poem reads: "Of lapis-lazuli,/A scarab of the sea,/With wings spread-". Eliot, in the next paragraph, raises the question: "I cannot see what a bird carved of lapis-lazuli should be doing with coral feet; but even here the cadence, the use of rhyme, and a certain authoritativeness of manner distinguish the poem." Marianne Moore photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1948 Marianne Moore (December 11, 1887 - February 5, 1972) was a Modernist American poet and writer. ... T.S. Eliot (by E.O. Hoppe, 1919) Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965) was an American-born poet, dramatist, and literary critic, whose works, such as The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, and Four Quartets, are considered defining achievements of twentieth...


External links


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Choir "Consonanse" during Christmas concert in church of Saint Roch on Golden Hill in Minsk, Belarus.
Choir "Consonanse" on festival of sacred music in Lapy, Poland together with composer Tadeusz Trojanowski.
Choir "Consonanse" on festival of sacred music in Lapy, Poland together with Warazaw Polytechnic choir from Plock.
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