Lapis lazuli is a precious stone of the category that may have come directly out of the Arabian Nights: a deep blue in the midst of golden additions of pyrites which glisten like diminutive stars. This obscure, deep blue jewel has a majestic past. It was in the midst of the 1st gemstones to be dilapidated as jewellery and worked on. At quarries in the prehistoric centers of civilization around the Mediterranean, archaeologists have over and again found amongst the critical furnishings enhancing chains and figures prepared of lapis lazuli - apparent indications that the deep blue stone was by now trendy thousands of years ago amongst the people of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome.
It is whispered that the celebrated metropolis of Ur on the Euphrates plied a devoted lapis lazuli deal as long ago as the 4th millennium B.C., the fabric coming to the land of the 2 huge rivers from the famed set downs in Afghanistan. In additional cultures, lapis lazuli was considered as a holy stone. Chiefly in the Middle East, it was deliberated to have supernatural powers. Innumerable signet rings, scarabs and figures were fashioned from the blue stone which Alexander the Great brought forth to Europe. There, the color was compared to as 'ultramarine', which revenue somewhat like 'from further than the sea'.
The euphonious nomenclature is self-possessed from 'lapis', the Latin expression for stone, and 'azula', which rises from the Arabic term meaning blue. All true, so it's a blue precious stone - but what an implausible blue! The worth of this pebble to the globe of art is beyond measure, for the ultramarine of the Old Masters is not anything other than authentic lapis lazuli.
Lapis takes as an excellent polish and can be made into jewelry, carvings, boxes, mosaics, ornaments and vases. In architecture it has been used for cladding the walls and columns of palaces and churches.
It was also ground and processed to make the pigment ultramarine for tempera paint and, more rarely, oil paint. Its usage as a pigment in oil paint ended in the early 19th century as a chemically identical synthetic variety, often called French Ultramarine, became available.
Occurrence and historical uses :
Malachite often results from weathering of copper ores and is often found together with azurite (Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2), goethite, and calcite. Except for its vibrant green color, the properties of malachite are similar to those of azurite and aggregates of the two minerals occur frequently together. Malachite is more common than azurite and is typically associated with copper deposits around limestones, the source of the carbonate.
Large quantities of malachite have been mined in the Urals. It is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Zambia; Tsumeb, Namibia; Ural mountains, Russia; Mexico; Broken Hill, New South Wales; England; Lyon; and in the Southwestern United States especially in Arkansas and Arizona. In Israel, malachite is extensively mined at Timna, often called King Solomon's Mines. Archeological evidence indicates that the mineral has been mined and smelted at the site for over 3,000 years. Most of Timna's current production is also smelted, but the finest pieces are worked into silver jewelry.