This glorious piece of lapis is a handful of colour and tactile sensation. It really buzzes with vibrant colour -- you can really see why lapis has been prized for much of human history. It has been used for pigment, ornamentation and jewellery for over 3,000 years and has a strong folklore and tradition in all cultures where it has been available. For most of its history, Lapis has only come from Afghanistan and difficult trade routes and relatively scarcity means that it has always been relatively expensive -- this means that it has strong associations with power and leadership.
Lapis is a rock not a mineral, it forms in alkaline igneous rocks and consists of Lazurite (a form of huayne), calcite and pyrite.