What precious stone has a name that translates to blue rock?

Question: What precious stone has a name that translates to blue rock?

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Lapis lazuli.

The precious stone with a name that translates to “blue rock” is lapis lazuli, a gemstone renowned for its deep, celestial blue color, often flecked with golden pyrite inclusions that resemble stars in the night sky. The name “lapis lazuli” derives from the Latin “lapis,” meaning “stone,” and the Arabic “azul,” meaning “blue,” which is a testament to its significance and widespread appreciation in various cultures throughout history.

Lapis lazuli has been cherished for thousands of years, dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Sumerians, and Babylonians, who valued it not only for its beauty but also for its symbolic associations with royalty, gods, and power. This gemstone was used in some of the most iconic artifacts of the ancient world, including the funeral mask of Tutankhamun, where its deep blue hues were meant to evoke the heavens.

The extraction of lapis lazuli historically centered around the Sar-e-Sang mines in what is now Afghanistan, a region that has been the principal source of this gemstone since ancient times. Its rarity and the difficulty of mining it in remote locations contributed to its value and mystique.

In addition to its use in jewelry and decorative objects, lapis lazuli was also ground into powder to create ultramarine, the finest and most expensive of all blue pigments. This pigment was highly prized by artists during the Renaissance and Baroque periods for its intense color and durability, used in some of the most magnificent artworks of the time.

Lapis lazuli’s enduring appeal lies in its mesmerizing color and the way it has been imbued with cultural, spiritual, and artistic significance across millennia. Its association with wisdom, truth, and the divine reflects the deep human connection to the beauty and mystery of the natural world, making lapis lazuli much more than just a “blue rock” but a gemstone with a rich history that continues to captivate and inspire.

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