Lapis Lazuli Pendant wire wrapped in 14kt Rolled Gold. Total Pendant Length 2". Lapis Lazuli This is a gemstone straight out of Arabian Nights tales: deep blue with shining inclusions that twinkle like stars. Its evocative name is a combination of the Latin word lapis, or "stone," and the Arabian name azul, meaning "blue." One of the few rocks used as a gem, lapis lazuli is composed of grains of several blue minerals, including lazurite and sodalite. This complex, opaque gemstone additionally has a matrix of calcite and speckles of pyrite. It is distinctively fluorescent. Lapis lazuli was created millions of years ago in the course of a metamorphosis, turning chalk into marble stone. The rich blue color is due to the sulfur inherent in the structure of lazurite. Lazurite is resistant to atmospheric gases and light-fast (light won't fade it). Until 1958, lapis lazuli was an official birthstone of December. This gemstone is easily scratched or chipped, and water can dissolve its protective coating, so clean it with a soft, dry cloth. Lapis lazuli was one of the first gemstones ever to be used and worn as jewelry. Excavations around the Mediterranean have unearthed jewelry samples left in tombs to accompany the deceased into the afterlife. The countless other necklaces and artifacts crafted from lapis lazuli found in ancient sites are a clear indication that the people of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome cherished this deep blue gemstone. Persian legend says the sky owes its color to a giant slab of lapis upon which the earth rests. The legendary city of Ur, situated on the Euphrates River, is reported to have run a busy trade in lapis lazuli as early as 4000 B.C. Many cultures worshipped it as a holy stone, especially in the Orient, where it was believed to contain magical powers. The stone was introduced to Europe by Alexander the Great. In the Middle Ages, monks powdered the stone and kneaded it into dough with beeswax, resin and linseed oil, for use in illuminated manuscripts. Today, people around the world consider lapis lazuli to be a stone of truth and friendship. It is reputed to bring about harmony in relationships and to cleanse the mental body while releasing old karmic patterns. Being a spiritual stone, it allows spiritual energy to be absorbed in the aura.