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Lapis Lazuli comes from the Latin word lapis, meaning, "stone", and the Arabic word “azul”, which means, "blue". Because of it’s incredible color Lapis Lazuli is has been used and admired for over 6,000 years. It measures about 5.5 in hardness and 2.7 in density. The blue comes from Lazurite, Hauynite, Sodalite, and Noselite. Other constituents are Pyrite, Diopside, Feldspar, and Mica. The major source for highest quality of Lapis in the past and now is Afghanistan, where the ancient mines are located in the rugged mountains of the Hindu Kush. The Afghanistan Lapis has been likened to the night sky bedecked with stars. Lapis Lazuli from Badakhshan, Afghanistan was used in the palace of king Darius 1 (522-486 B.C.) during the Achamenid period. Lapis Lazuli was also a material favored by the pharaohs of Egypt, the leaders of Babylon, and the rulers and nobility of Greece and Rome. The ancient Egyptians regarded the stone as a symbol of heavens and it was thought to bestow wisdom and promote truth. Lapis was also believed to promote the connection between the physical plane and the celestial kingdom. It represents the forces of initiation into wisdom and the mystical realm. Lapis is also believed to assist one in the organization of life and day-to-day activities. HEALING PROPERTIES. Like most gemstones, Lapis Lazuli has been credited with metaphysical properties. In Rome it was supposed to have a powerful aphrodisiac effect on its owner at the right moment. In the middle ages it kept limbs healthy, made the body younger and freed the soul from error, envy, and fear. It was also thought to be a cure for fever and by placing it on a painful area it was thought to provide relief. The gemstone was also used to prevent headaches and to protect the eyes. It provides objectivity, clarity and mental endurance during release of emotional bondage. It also helps to diminish the internal smoldering fire that leads to disease. In the past it has been used as a protective stone, sheltering the carrier from physical danger and psychic attacks. AFGHAN LAPIS JEWELRY: The jewelry on the following pages is tribal jewelry from Afghanistan, inlaid with genuine Lapis Lazuli stones. The jewelry is handcrafted using a traditional, non-precious metal called “gillit” by the Afghans. Gillit is a coin based alloy metal, which is made up of several different kinds of metals. The nomadic tribes of Central Asia have used this metal for making tribal jewelry and ornaments for many decades. We are often asked by our customers if this metal would change its color or stain the skin upon wear. During many years of trading we have not heard of any problems from our customers regarding the metal changing its color or staining the skin upon wear. Jewelry made with gillit metal is easy to clean and care for. If you prefer your jewelry to be shiny rather than “antique looking”, you can simply wash it using a hard wire-brush and soap. After washing dry the jewelry thoroughly using a towel then polish it with a silver cleaning cloth and the jewelry will become bright and shiny.

 

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Thursday April 24, 2014
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