Lapis Lazuli – The Royal Gemstone of Ancient Egypt

Lapis Lazuli – The Royal Gemstone of Ancient Egypt

Lapis Lazuli – The Royal Gemstone of Ancient Egypt

Lapis Lazuli – The Royal Gemstone of Ancient Egypt


Ancient Egypt, known for its grandeur and opulence, had a deep appreciation for precious gemstones. Among them, lapis lazuli held a special place as a symbol of royalty and power. This deep blue gemstone was highly prized by the pharaohs and played a significant role in their culture, religion, and art.

Discovery and Origins

Lapis lazuli has been mined for over 6,000 years and was first discovered in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. The ancient Egyptians imported lapis lazuli from these mines, considering it a precious and rare stone.

Symbolism and Significance

Lapis lazuli was associated with the goddess Maat, who represented truth, justice, and balance. It was believed to have protective and healing properties. The stone was often used in amulets and jewelry worn by both the living and the deceased.

Art and Architecture

Ancient Egyptian artisans used lapis lazuli extensively in their creations. It was ground into a powder to create the famous blue pigment known as ultramarine, used in wall paintings, sculptures, and even cosmetics. The stone’s vibrant blue color symbolized the heavens and was frequently used to depict the night sky or the skin of deities.

Royal Burials

Pharaohs were buried in elaborate tombs with intricate burial masks and jewelry made from lapis lazuli. These precious adornments were believed to provide protection and guide the pharaohs in the afterlife. The most famous example is the burial mask of Tutankhamun, which features lapis lazuli prominently.

Decline and Rediscovery

With the decline of the Egyptian civilization, the mining and trade of lapis lazuli decreased. The gemstone lost its popularity and was overshadowed by other precious stones. However, in recent centuries, lapis lazuli has experienced a resurgence in popularity as people rediscover its beauty and historical significance.


Lapis lazuli remains a cherished gemstone, representing the rich history and cultural heritage of ancient Egypt. Its deep blue color and association with royalty continue to captivate and inspire people today. Whether worn as jewelry or used in artistic creations, lapis lazuli holds a timeless allure that transcends time and connects us to the mystique of the ancient world.