Lapis lazuli is a gemstone of astounding appearance, and with a grand history. Among the first to be worked on and worn as jewelry, it looks just like the night sky, sporting a unique, opaque deep blue coloration complete with shimmering pyrite “star” inclusions. It was popular thousands of years ago in Greece, Rome, Egypt, Persia, and Mesopotamia. It has been regarded as a holy stone and believed to possess magical powers. It has long been carved into scarabs, figures, rings and more, and was ground up and made into expensive “ultramarine blue” paint and used to make famous works of art including the Madonna. The best specimens of lapis lazuli can be found in Afghanistan, as they have been for over 5,000 years now. Additional deposits exist in Russia, Chile, Italy, Myanmar, Pakistan, Canada and the United States. Excellent quality gemstones are rare, resulting in a range of prices on the gemstone market. Lapis lazuli exhibits a compact and massive crystal habit, a Moh’s scale hardness of 5-5.5, a specific gravity of 2.7-2.9, a dull luster and light blue streak. It is technically not a crystal but a rock.

In the metaphysical world, lapis lazuli is valued for a multitude of reasons. It may be handled, carried, or worn set in jewelry on a regular basis by those who wish to experience the benefits it has to offer. Firstly, it is regarded as a stone of truth. It is believed to reveal one’s inner truth and promote the acceptance of it as well as promote self awareness, allow for effective and honest self expression, and help its keeper to conquer suppressed feelings that may be holding him or her back. In addition, lapis lazuli is said to enhance the quality of friendships, encourage compassion and uprightness, and provide a clearer perspective on life. On a spiritual level, this stone may enhance dream work, stimulate enlightenment, permit spiritual journeying, block psychic attack, promote peace and serenity, and put one in touch with her or her spiritual and personal power.

Aside from its beauty, history and metaphysical benefits, the lapis lazuli is valued for its physical healing abilities. Crystal healers claim success in using it to treat ADD, Asperger’s syndrome, austism, and a wide range of issues related to the throat, larynx, vocal chords, thyroid and endocrine glands, brain and nervous system, and ear and nasal passages. It is also believed to improve cardiac rhythm, enhance blood circulation, lower blood pressure, reduce vertigo, alleviate insomnia, correct menstrual cycle irregularities, and relieve pain and inflammation, migraine headaches, cramps, lumbago and stiffness. After being heated up in the sunlight, a lapis lazuli can be used to improve the state of insect bites, bruises and other skin problems. To relieve sties and other eye infections, you may try rubbing the affected area with one of these crystals after it has been heated in a bath of warm water. Once the water has cooled, it may also be used as an eye bath.