We can all use a little help, encouragement, and inspiration sometimes. Whatever you believe about the healing properties of gemstones, it’s undeniable: Jewelry empowers us. That’s the motivation behind our Gemstone Feature series. By sharing the stories of some of the gemstones gracing our latest Bloom pieces, we celebrate the countless ways jewelry brings positive energy to our lives.
Lapis Lazuli, also known as Lapis, is a 9th anniversary gemstone, a September birthstone, and associated with the Zodiac signs Taurus, Virgo, Libra, and Sagittarius. It also has one of the most illustrious histories of any gemstone. After all, what other gemstone can claim to have decorated the eyes of the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen, adorned the eyelids of Cleopatra (as a powder), and played key roles in famed masterworks such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” (as the pigment ultramarine)?
According to the International Gem Society (IGS), “Lapis Lazuli was among the first gemstones ever to be won for adornment.” That means the very first jewelry, folks! So, as jewelry designers, we can’t help thinking that’s pretty cool. But there are actually loads of cool things to know about Lapis Lazuli.
What Is the Meaning of Lapis Lazuli?
The most common meaning of Lapis Lazuli is that it is the “sky stone,” or “heaven stone.” “Lapis” is the Latin word for “stone,” and “lazuli” is a form of the Medieval Latin “lazulum,” which means “sky” or “heaven.”
It’s easy to see why Lapis Lazuli is considered the stone of the skies and heavens. The striking stone is most often a combination of Lazurite — the deep blue backdrop — and flecks of Calcite and Pyrite — the sparkling stars. Some ancient cultures believed that Lapis Lazuli was the night sky reduced to the size of a gem. As cited by IGS, Ancient Roman historian Pliny the Elder called it “a fragment of the starry firmament.”
But the meaning of Lapis Lazuli — having been around for, you know, a mere 6,500 years or so — has also become associated with other ideas over time. According to the International Colored Gemstone Association, Lapis Lazuli symbolizes friendship and truth. Many other articles on Lapis Lazuli call out its connection with self-knowledge, or one’s inner truth. The ancient Egyptians reportedly celebrated Lapis Lazuli as “The Wisdom Stone” while also associating it with strength, courage, and truth. A New York Times article calls out Lapis Lazuli’s association with protection, explaining that “its reputed magic aura as a defense against the evil eye goes back thousands of years.” (Hey, we know all about the evil eye! Our Traveler’s Collection was partly inspired by it.)
What Are the Healing Properties of Lapis Lazuli?
The supposed healing properties of Lapis Lazuli tend to concentrate in a few areas, including:
- Promoting deep self-knowledge and self-expression, helping you to develop your intuition and to know and speak your inner truth. It is also thought to encourage honesty, compassion, creativity, and the desire for learning.
- Protecting well-being and peace of mind. Not content with simply warding off that evil eye, Lapis Lazuli is thought to block negative energy while promoting mental balance, serenity, positive energy, and harmony of body, mind, and spirit. These purported healing properties of Lapis Lazuli also lend themselves to building strong, healthy friendships and other relationships.
- Promoting good health. As How Stuff Works recounts, some claim that Lapis Lazuli can help boost the immune system, ease physical pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy circulatory, respiratory, and nervous systems. (While we’re not in the business of promoting such claims, we do think it’s interesting to note them in relation to thinking about the meaning and symbolism associated with a given gemstone.)
Lapis Lazuli Jewelry You’ll Love
The Bloom team loved learning about the history and meaning of Lapis Lazuli. But we’ll also readily admit that we’re largely motivated by our love of its deep, rich, and unexpectedly sparkling blue appearance. Our head designer associates it with coasts and oceans dear to her, like the Connecticut shoreline where she grew up and the paradise-like beaches of Greece. Which is to say: Totally fine by us if you buy Lapis Lazuli only because it looks amazing!
Whether it’s the appearance, historical meanings, or healing properties of Lapis Lazuli that appeal to you, we think you’ll agree that Bloom Jewelry has designed a range of gorgeous pieces featuring Lapis Lazuli. See them all here, or check out a few of our favorites below.
We love how Lapis looks on earrings! All of our Lapis Lazuli earrings lend your look an excellent pop of bold blue color, whether you choose our more elaborate Lapis Bridge Hoops (available in Sterling Silver or Gold Filled), our more subdued Lapis Drop Earrings, or one of the other pairs in our Lapis Collection.
Lapis Bridge Hoops$154.00
Bloom’s Lapis TL Mixed Chain Long Necklace is a true celebration of this enchanting gemstone, putting a new twist on an old favorite. The unique design highlights not only the Lapis Lazuli stones, but also an array of glorious chains. Wear it long or double it up for two different looks.
Our Lapis Filigree Layering Necklace uses Lapis Lazuli a little more subtly — but no less beautifully. This Gold Filled 17”-18” necklace looks amazing alone or layered with some of your favorites. (Check out our tips on layering!)
Want to see us try on your favorite Lapis Lazuli earrings, bracelets, or necklaces before committing? Let us know! We’re happy to set up a quick Zoom to help you make your decision.