lapis lazuli


lapis lazuli
/lap"is laz"oo lee, -luy', laz"yoo-, lazh"oo-/
1. a deep-blue mineral composed mainly of lazurite with smaller quantities of other minerals, used mainly as a gem or as a pigment.
2. a sky-blue color; azure. Also called lapis, lazuli.
[1350-1400; ME < ML, equiv. to L lapis stone + ML lazuli, gen. of lazulum lapis lazuli; see AZURE]

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Semiprecious stone valued for its deep-blue colour caused by the presence of the mineral lazurite, which is the source of the pigment ultramarine.

Lapis lazuli is not a single mineral but an intergrowth lazurite with calcite, pyroxene, and commonly small grains of pyrite. The most important mines are in Afghanistan and Chile. Much of what is sold as lapis is an artificially dyed jasper from Germany that shows colourless specks of clear, crystallized quartz and never the goldlike flecks of pyrite that are characteristic of lapis lazuli.

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      semiprecious stone valued for its deep blue colour. The source of the pigment ultramarine (q.v.), it is not a mineral but a rock coloured by lazurite (see sodalite). In addition to the sodalite minerals in lapis lazuli, small amounts of white calcite and of pyrite crystals are usually present. Diopside, amphibole, feldspar, mica, apatite, titanite (sphene), and zircon may also occur.

      Because lapis is a rock of varying composition, its physical properties are variable. It usually occurs in crystalline limestones and is a product of contact metamorphism. The most important sources are the mines in Badakhshan, northeastern Afghanistan, and those near Ovalle, Chile, where it is usually pale rather than deep blue. Much of the material that is sold as lapis is an artificially coloured jasper from Germany that shows colourless specks of clear, crystallized quartz and never the goldlike flecks of pyrite that are characteristic of lapis lazuli and have been compared with stars in the sky.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lapis-lazuli — lapis ou lapis lazuli [ lapis(lazyli) ] n. m. • 1580 lapis;XIIIe lapis lazuli; lat. médiév. lapis lazuli « pierre d azur », de lazulum « azur » → azur ♦ Pierre fine d un bleu d azur ou d outremer, silicate composé de la famille des feldspaths. ⇒… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Lapis-Lazuli — Un bloc de lapis poli …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lapis lazuli — Un bloc de lapis poli …   Wikipédia en Français

  • lapis-lazuli — lapis ou lapis lazuli (la pis ou la pis la zu li) s. m. Noms vulgaires du minéral appelé lazulite. •   C est ce qui distingue le vrai lapis de la pierre arménienne et de la pierre d azur dont le bleu s évanouit au feu, tandis qu il demeure… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • lapis lazuli — early 15c., from M.L. lapis lazuli, lit. stone of azure, from L. lapis stone + M.L. lazuli, gen. of lazulum, from Arabic lazuward (see AZURE (Cf. azure)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • lapis lazuli — Lazuli Laz u*li, n. [F. & NL. lapis lazuli, LL. lazulus, lazurius, lazur from the same Oriental source as E. azure. See {Azure}.] (Min.) A mineral of a fine azure blue color, usually in small rounded masses. It is essentially a silicate of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lapis lazuli — (also lapis) ► NOUN 1) a bright blue metamorphic rock used in jewellery. 2) ultramarine, originally made by crushing this rock. ORIGIN Latin, stone of lapis lazuli , from Persian; related to AZURE(Cf. ↑azure) …   English terms dictionary

  • lapis lazuli — or lapis [lap′is laz′yo͞o lī΄, lap′islazh′yo͞o lī; lap′is laz′yoolē΄, lap′is lazh′ yo͞olē΄] n. [ModL < L lapis, a stone + ML lazuli, gen. of lazulus, azure < Ar lāzaward: see AZURE] 1. an azure blue, opaque semiprecious stone, a mixture of… …   English World dictionary

  • Lapis lazuli — La pis laz u*li . (Min.) An albuminous mineral of a rich blue color; also called {lapis}. Same as {Lazuli}, which see. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lápis-lazúli — s. m. Lazulita …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • lapis-lazuli — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. mnż, ndm, {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}}to samo co lazuryt. {{/stl 7}} …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień


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