An aggregate of several minerals, lapis lazuli is a fascinating opaque stone whose look varies greatly depending on its matrix and color. The name lapis lazuli is derived from the Latin "lapis" meaning stone, and the Persian "lazhward," meaning blue. Lapis lazuli has long been admired for its intense blue color, with less desirable shades ranging through light greyish blue, to greenish blue, to a dark violet blue.
Lapis lazuli has long been considered a stone of truth and friendship that can enhance awareness, insight and intellect. It has also been deemed a stone of peace and harmony, and self-awareness and enlightenment. Elders in ancient times referred to lapis lazuli as "a fragment of the starry firmament" in admiration of its deep blue color and twinkling gold pyrite inclusions.
Lapis lazuli is rated at 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Lapis should be worn and stored with care to avoid any permanent damage to the stone.