Although lapis, as it is often called, is deep blue, its colour does show variation depending on its source and exact composition. Some material is lighter blue or greenish blue, some a rich purple blue, almost black. The best colour is an intense deep blue.
It usually contains golden flecks of pyrites. These are normally regarded as increasing the desirability, and are an indication of authenticity. Lapis also contains calcite, which sometimes shows as white flecks. These flecks are regarded as decreasing its beauty and desirability especially if they are large or numerous, although tiny flecks can help to indicate that it is genuine.
Lapis lazuli is still mined at the deposits of the ancient world in Afghanistan and is also mined in Chile. Small quantities are also mined in Siberia, Colorado, the United States, and in Myanmar.
Lapis Lazuli is not very hard and can easily be scratched or chipped. Water can dissolve the stone's protective coating, hence clean your lapis lazuli jewellery with a soft dry cloth. It is porous and should be protected from chemicals and solvents.
Lapis is said to increase psychic abilities, be a cure for melancholy and for certain types of fever. Lapis lazuli eliminates negative emotions. It relieves sore throat pain.
Traditionally believed to increase mental clarity, virility, and calm, Lapis Lazuli is an energy focuser for teachers, lecturers and speakers. It enhances creative self-expression and is believed to be useful in relieving depression and promoting spirituality. Lapis Lazuli is also powerful during meditation.
Lapis shares the birthstone for September with Sapphire.