This is lapis lazuli. It is a "blue stone" and is commonly used for the September gemstone. Sapphire is also the stone for September however it can be a lot pricier than lapis lazuli.
As my day was winding down and I had completed my domestic dinner duties I settled in for a creative rest and a good look through one of my latest bead magazines..."Bead Style". I am looking at the September 2009 issue which is currently on the book stand. If you would like to check it out go to http://www.beadstylemag.com/ and you can see it for yourself. I enjoyed reading a short article regarding "10 things to know about lapis lazuli".
Let me recap it for you and save you some time possibly.
1. Lapis lazuli is pronounced as one word with the emphasis on "slaz".
2. The most valuable lapis lazuli stones have an even saturated blue color.
3. Lapis is a combination of several minerals; lazurite, sodalite, calcite and pyrite.
4. Most gemstone quality lapis has been dyed or heat treated to minimize fading.
5. There is a "denim" lapis which is pale blue and usually less expensive than the darker blue.
6. Afghanistan mountains have yielded the highest quality deposits for 6,000 years.
7. Ancient Egyptians ground lapis into powder for eye shadow.
8. Lapis is thought to stand for trust and friendship and promote harmony in relationships.
9. Lapis is an alternative birthstone for September or December.
10. Lapis is cut into a myriad of sizes and shapes for beading and jewelry making.
I hope this review helps you with your September gemstone choices. As you can see this is only a small bit of information.
Have you made anything with lapis lazuli even if in a different month of the year?
Blue just happens to be my all time favorite color. I think I might invest in some lapis lazuli for myself...hmmm.