Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Lapis lazuli

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is considered one of the best shows in the world. It takes place annually at the end of January - beginning of February. We're fortunate to have good friends from Vancouver, BC who stay with us when they come to buy gems and minerals for their fabulous gallery, Crystalworks. They bring many of their purchases home to show us, before repacking them for shipping to Canada.

Here's a piece of lapis lazuli that came in to our house a few days ago. This beautiful piece came from Afghanistan.

According to Wikipedia:

Lapis lazuli is one of the stones with the longest tradition of being considered a gem, with a history stretching back to 5000 BC. ... Lapis is a rock and not a mineral because it is made up from various other minerals. The main component of lapis lazuli is lazurite (25 to 40 percent), a feldspathoid silicate mineral composed of sodium, silicon, oxygen, sulfur, and chlorine. Most lapis also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue) and pyrite (yellow).

The rock is cubic; hardness: 5.5; S.G. 2.7 – 2.9; vitreous/greasy luster.


T. Beth said...

What a beautiful specimen, and obviously quite valuable, even at wholesale prices.

John said...

I love lapis lazuli. That in itself makes an occasional visit to an ancient Egyptian collection worthwhile.