The New Student's Reference Work/Lapis Lazuli
La′pis Laz′uli (Latin for azure stone), a mineral of beautiful azure color, which varies much in its degree of intensity. Lapis lazuli is often marked by white spots and bands. It is found in Siberia, Tibet, Chile and California. The finest specimens are brought from Bokhara. It was the only stone of value known to the Egyptians under the Pharaohs. It is much used in ornamental and mosaic work. The principal use of the stone has been that of making the blue ultramarine pigment (paint). As the best stones yielded only two or three per cent., the cost of the purest article sometimes was over $100 an ounce. Now, however, the substance of which the mineral is composed is made artificially on a large scale and at a low cost. There remains no occasion for using natural ultramarine as a pigment.