What is Lapis Lazuli? Uncovering its Captivating Meaning

The mesmerizing deep blue color of lapis lazuli has captivated people for thousands of years. This rare metamorphic rock has a long history of being prized for its intense color and mystical properties. But what exactly is lapis lazuli and what does it symbolize?

History and Origins of Lapis Lazuli

Lapis lazuli has been mined as a gemstone since at least the 7th millennium BC in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. In fact, this is the only source of high-quality lapis lazuli in the ancient world.

The vibrant blue stone was highly prized in many ancient civilizations. It was popular for jewelry, carvings, and ornamental objects. Egyptian pharaohs wore lapis lazuli amulets and adorned their tombs with it. The Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians all used lapis lazuli extensively in art and artifacts.

The most famous example is the mask of King Tutankhamun, which features lapis lazuli around the eyes and in decorative stripes. Powdered lapis was even used by medieval painters as the pigment ultramarine blue.


The name lapis lazuli literally means “stone of azure” in Latin. Lapis means stone, while lazuli refers to the deep blue color which comes from the mineral lazurite. Lazurite is a major component of lapis lazuli along with calcite, pyrite, and other minerals that give it its distinctive look.


While Afghanistan yielded most lapis lazuli in ancient times, discoveries have since been made in Russia, Pakistan, Canada, Chile, and the United States. However, the Afghan stone remains the highest quality with its trademark vibrant blue. The Sar-e-Sang mines in Badakhshan are the oldest lapis mines still in operation today.

Meaning and Symbolism of Lapis Lazuli

So why has lapis lazuli been treasured for thousands of years across many cultures? Much is thanks to its symbolic meaning and mystical properties.

Wisdom and Truth

The deep blue color is associated with wisdom, truth, and power. Ancient Egyptians believed lapis lazuli could provide spiritual insight and connect them to the gods. Buddhists view it as symbolic of truth and enlightenment. In the Middle Ages, lapis was considered a stone of great knowledge.


As lapis lazuli adorned the tombs of pharaohs and was popular among royals, it became a symbol of honor, leadership, and nobility. Its vibrancy and rarity also made it synonymous with luxury. Only those of high rank could afford the coveted stone.

Courage and Confidence

Lapis lazuli is thought to build confidence and bring inner strength. Many warriors wore lapis for protection and to connect with the power of the stone before battle. King Solomon was said to own a lapis lazuli ring which gave him courage in times of peril.


Exchanging lapis lazuli jewelry or carvings is a traditional way to honor friendship. The blue stone signifies harmony, compassion, and deep bonds. Gifting it showed loyalty and devotion in relationships.

Psychic Abilities

Some believe lapis activates psychic abilities and intuition. It’s seen as a powerful stone that can grant access to spiritual guidance and heightened awareness. Lapis lazuli supposedly stimulates the pineal gland and expands consciousness.

Healing Properties and Benefits of Lapis Lazuli

In crystal healing traditions, lapis lazuli is an incredibly versatile stone said to impart many metaphysical benefits:

Emotional Healing

Lapis lazuli releases negative thought patterns and destructive emotional bonds. It brings inner peace, self-awareness, and helps process traumas. The stone balances emotions and clears repressed anger, guilt, and resentment. By resolving inner conflicts, lapis allows positive energy to flourish.


By activating the throat and third eye chakras, lapis lazuli helps you speak your inner truth. It’s an excellent stone for writers, speakers and musicians seeking inspiration. Lapis can reveal your true voice and creative abilities.


The wisdom imparted by lapis lazuli allows you to objectively understand situations and discover their deeper meaning. It’s an invaluable tool for meditation. Lapis teaches you to be present and aware without judgement or expectations.


Its protective powers shield you from negative energy and psychic attacks. Place lapis lazuli in your home or workspace to cleanse the environment. It creates a peaceful sanctuary that repels darkness and fear.

Spiritual Insight

Use lapis lazuli to enhance your intuition, gain spiritual guidance, and uncover hidden truths. It connects you with your authentic self and the collective unconscious. Many believe lapis can open your third eye and expand perception beyond ordinary reality.

Using Lapis Lazuli Crystals for Meditation

Incorporating lapis lazuli into your meditation practice can be deeply revealing. Here are some recommendations:

Crystal Grids

Place lapis lazuli crystals in sacred geometric patterns to enhance their energy during meditation. This multiplies the stone’s effects. Try circular, triangular, star or wheel shaped grids suited to your intention.

Body Placement

Rest lapis lazuli over your third eye and throat chakra as you meditate to stimulate intuition, communication, and truth. The stone against your skin potentiates the effects. You can also hold lapis in each hand.


Gaze at a lapis lazuli stone during meditation and use it as a focal point to clear your mind. Allow its wisdom and energy to flow through you. Let the light reflected in its blue hues guide you.

Cleansing Ritual

Hold lapis lazuli while meditating and visualize it absorbing negative energy, leaving you feeling calm and rejuvenated. See its blue light cleansing your body, heart and mind.


Chanting mantras like “Om” while holding lapis lazuli can help achieve a peaceful, trance-like state ideal for spiritual insights. Repeat the vowel sound with intention to reach higher states.

Tips For Choosing and Caring For Lapis Lazuli Jewelry

Lapis lazuli makes exceptional jewelry that channels its therapeutic powers. Here are some tips for choosing and maintaining lapis pieces:

Color Intensity

Look for stones with vibrant, uniform blue and minimal white calcite veins. Mottled or pale lapis has lower quality. The most prized is deep royal blue with bright flecks of pyrite.


Cabochon cuts better display the stone’s rich color. Avoid fragile carved or thin slices prone to chipping. Well polished domes enhance lapis’s smooth, luxurious look.


Natural, unaltered lapis lazuli is ideal. Stones may be dyed, treated with wax or oil to improve color which lowers value. Ask jewelers about any treatments.


Protective settings like bezels prevent abrasion. Softer metals like gold showcase lapis better than silver. Minimal designs let this stone be the focus.


Avoid ultrasonic or steam cleaners. Use mild soap, water and soft cloth to gently clean lapis jewelry as needed. Take care to not scratch or chip the surface.

It’s easy to see why lapis lazuli is revered. Its deep color signifies wisdom, truth, confidence and protection. Lapis lazuli crystals and jewelry harness these metaphysical powers to heal, inspire, and impart ancient knowledge. Next time you admire this stone’s captivating blue, remember the meaningful history behind it.