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Lapis Lazuli

Lapis lazuli is actually a rock composed of several minerals, primarily of blue lazurite, with minor amounts of white calcite and pyrite. Lazurite is a complex sodium calcium aluminum silicate with variable amounts of sulfur and chlorine. The deep-blue color is caused by light interacting with the sulfur atoms. This carved figurine is from Afghanistan.

Image Number: 95-40450
Catalog Number: G8544
Gift of Leonard J. Wilkinson , 1980


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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits