Lapis Lazuli

Historians believe the link between lapis lazuli and humans dates far back over the thread of time- back more than 6,500 years. The deep blue and pyrite sparkle resembled the night sky to the Ancient Egyptians, which they treasured dearly. The name Lapis Lazuli directly translates to “blue stone”. 


One of the most famous and historical uses of Lapis Lazuli is that King Tutankhamun’s bright gold ornamental death mask was inlaid with Lapis Lazuli, turquoise, and carnelian. One of his successors, Cleopatra, the woman responsible for the aesthetic evolution of makeup, was known to use ground lapis lazuli as an eyeshadow with the underlying belief it would enhance both physical and spiritual sight. 

Lapis has been used in a great many ways- For thousands of years, it has been a multi-purpose stone that was never limited to jewelry. Lapis has been used in practical objects such as bowls, game boards, tablets, inlays, sculptures, combs, blade handles, and legal seals. 

Origin Story:

The Afghanistan mountains are home to the finest lapis around. These mountains continue to be the location of the world’s oldest known commercial gem mines. These mines date back to 700 BCE! Other mining locations are Siberia, Canada, the USA, Angola, Chile, and Pakistan.

Lapis is made up of a mixture of minerals that consist mainly of lazurite, calcite, and pyrite. Lazurite is what creates the brilliant blue and pyrite is what gives lapis the glitter effect.

Mythological History:

In the practice of feng shui, lapis represents wealth, abundance, protection, and tranquility. In metaphysical practices, lapis is believed to promote wisdom, memory, and enhanced learning. In healing, it has been used to benefit throat and ear ailments. Lapis is associated with the throat chakra, and since Ancient Egypt has been associated with the third eye. Lapis lazuli legends are among the oldest in the world.

Photo Credit: Cornelia NG via

About Us

Homegrown in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, Mackley Jewelers has been East Tennessee’s hometown jeweler in Knoxville, TN for 41 years. Treating customers with respect, providing ethical service, and selling beautiful jewelry with natural stones is the foundation of Mackley Jewelers’ philosophy. We also offer a full range of professional Knoxville jewelry repair services performed by our talented jeweler right here, in-house. Every day, our goal is to be the best family-owned Knoxville jewelry store we can be all while giving our customers an authentic small business buying experience with genuine Southern charm.

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