Monday, October 21, 2013


Lapis  is a deep blue semi-precious stone that has been valued  for thousands of years for its beautiful, deep blue color.
Lapis lazuli was in northeast Afghanistan as early as the 6000 BC. It was used for jewelry, ( such as the beautiful Egyptian piece pictured ), bowls and urns, and for inlay in such things as the funeral masks of the Egyptian pharohs.
At the end of the Middle Ages, lapis was exported to Europe, where it was ground into powder for the most valued and expensive paint pigments: ultramarine,  Renaissance and Baroque artists such as Da Vinci and Botecell and Rembrandt and Vermeer often reserved the color for the clothing of the central figure of the painting.
Today mines in northeast Afghanistan are still produce the most valued lapis. It is also mined in Russia, and in the Andes mountains in Chile.

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