Lapis is a beautiful rock; an aggregate of several minerals, mainly lazurite, calcite, and pyrite.
This ancient rock is an aggregate of several minerals. The three major minerals that comprise lapis are lazurite, calcite, and pyrite. The rock can also contain lesser amounts of diopside, amphibole, feldspar, or mica. Lazurite is the ingredient responsible for producing the gem’s most prized color—bright royal blue.
Lapis was treasured by the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome.
Golden flecks of pyrite create a sparkle in lapis lazuli.
In 1271, Marco Polo described ancient Bactria’s lapis mines.
There are processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or improve the durability of gems. Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.
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