Lapis Lazuli, Lapis Lazult

LAPIS LAZULI, LAPIS LAZULT, lă’ pĭs lă’ zulī, an azure-blue or Berlin-blue colored mineral which has been valued as an ornamental stone since ancient times and may have been referred to as sapphire (q.v.) by some early writers (cf. KJV and RSV, Exod 28:18, Rev 21:19). It is a sodium aluminum silicate which is cut and polished for ornamental purposes, possibly explaining the reference in Lamentations 4:7, and used in the manufacture of mosaics. While too soft to be much used in jewelry, ancient Egyptian amulets carved out of it are common. It occurs in limestones adjacent to granitic intrusions in Iran, Turkestan, Afghanistan and Mongolia.