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Monday, February 16, 2009

Lapis Lazuli carved box

Blue and decorated with specks of gold-like pyrite, this lapis lazuli box is lined in the interior with white calcite marble!

Lapis lazuli is a rock, not a mineral: whereas a mineral has only one constituent, lapis lazuli is formed from more than one mineral.

Lapis Lazuli is a semi-precious stone prized since antiquity for its intense blue color.

Lapis lazuli has been mined in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan for 6,500 years, and trade in the stone is ancient enough for lapis jewelry to have been found at Predynastic Egyptian sites, and lapis beads at neolithic burials in Mehrgarh, the Caucasus, and even as far from Afghanistan as Mauritania.

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