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Marketing in Lapis lazuli market of Middle East
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What is Azure or Lazuli Lapis and its characteristics?
A name taken from the Persian lājevard and taken from the Arabic is common. In the past, in addition to aspects of radial and dignity causing the stone to the rich, this stone has more applications in dyeing fabrics, glazed and painted porcelain pottery, tile -making and properties of Azure in treatment and medical use.
According to the ancient Roman historian Pliny, in ancient times the name of "Lapis Lazuli" was known as "sapphire". Lapis stone and Lazuli means blue of the blue sky. Azure was called this name by the ancient Iranians, which the Arabs called azure because of their linguistic limitations.
In English, semi-precious stone with a bluish blue to purple color is relatively sensitive to heat, pressure, hot solutions, acids, and alkaline solutions.
The azure stone has no cracks and its fracture is irregular and its specific gravity is whatever percentage of pyrite and varies between 2.7 to 2.9. Lapis lazuli is seen as opaque and its luster is glassy to waxy. It has no multicolor phenomenon and is idiochromatic, and its fluorescence is often neutral. The crystalline system of Lapis lazuli cubic and dodecahedron in variable sizes in the form of veins, often found in the bed a few centimeters, among marble or irregular veins in limestone. Blue azure stone is the best color and blue colors of the sky to green and it may be wrong with turquoise.
Azure is not a mineral and is a metaphorical rock with a chemical formula Na, Ca ₈ Al ₆ Si ₆ O ₂₄ (S, SO) ₄. It consists of several different minerals such as mica, calcite (white impurities on it, diopside, hornblende, augite, hoinite, and pyrite, the main minerals of which are lazurite and sodalite (blue).
Synthetic Azure Stones that you may confuse with natural azure!
Now, if the amount of pyrite is high, azure can be seen as a green or matte background. In Lapis lazuli from Chile (north of Santiago) and Russia, they have a lower value due to the presence of prominent streaks and white spots of calcite.
Synthetic Azure Stones
In the field of production of synthetic azure stone, although many jewelers do not consider it a fundamental center. In 1954, artificial glassware such as spinel was dyed with cobalt oxide and sold as lapis lazuli, which is easy to detect because it does not contain any inclusions or substances such as pyrite.
Stones that you may confuse with natural azure!
Azure stone can be used with stones such as lazurite, sodalite, azurite, blue jasper, or be mistaken for dumortierite. Nowadays, stones often dye low-quality azure, which depending on the quality of the resin used and its processing method, this stone may fade or remain unchanged over time.
For example, dolomitic marble (Jade Mountain or Jasper or Howlite painted with blue resin and polished with oil. On the other hand, some eat the azure and squeeze it together with plastic.
In German Neukrish, the jade-brown gray powder is melted in a blue process and marketed as Swiss lapis lazuli. Others use pyrite to beautify this stone.
Also, sometimes there are different names of this stone in the market, for example:
- Swiss Lapis (Painted jasper or chalcedony)
- German Lapis (Painted jasper)
- Canadian Lapis (The same as sodalite)
so you should not confuse them with Lapis lazuli gemstone.
How to distinguish the original azure from the fake Lazuli Lapis
Artificial and plastic stones heat up with a little touch. Wet a cotton ball with acetone and hit the rock surface. This material dissolves the artificial color in itself. Check the color difference in the cracks of its surface with the magnifying loop. As a destructive test for azure reconstructed with plastic material, the hot tip of the metal rod gives off an unpleasant plastic odor. These specimens also sink by pressing under the tooth. Be careful when buying azure that has a uniform color without streaks or spots and is very colorful and looks like artificial colors. With the Chelsea Filter Gemological Tool, you can distinguish original azure from synthetic and laboratory. Under Chelsea Filter (Chelsea filter), Natural Lapis lazuli reflects a faint reddish-brown light, while a synthetic lapis lacquer reflects bright red light.
Tips to remember when buying natural azure!
When there is too much white in the rock, it is classified in the cheap calcite class. When the color of the stone you want is dark blue-gray, it is probably not Lapis lazuli and it is sodalite. They usually paint low-quality sodalities and sell them as azure! Many imitation Lapis lazuli is found in Taiwan. Artificial azure specimens made of golden mottled glass are not visible but are less common in Gilson synthetic specimens. Physically, natural azure rough has a light blue sand color on the glazed porcelain surface. If it's not too pleasant smell half of sulfur smell.
Obtained a guarantee from the seller that in case of a negative answer, the gemology laboratory will take it back.
Where are the Azure or Lapis lazuli Mines?
There are very few azure mines in the world, and today in Badakhshan, Afghanistan, the Kokcheh Valley in the Kranomunjan region, as well as the western Hindu Kush mountains near the source of the Amu Darya River, are among the best azure species in the world still extracted by traditional methods. Afghan Lapis lazuli has been considered since 6500 years ago during the Achaemenid period, which was part of Iran.
Pakistan in the Chagay Mountains at Bibi Dick, 35 km north of Dalbandian near the Afghan border, Lake Baikal in western Russia where Lapis lazuli contains Dolomite marble, the Pamirs, South America, the Sinai Peninsula, and parts of Iran.
Lapis lazuli stone mines in historical texts and Islamic books
Scientists have so far identified several mines for lapis lazuli, but only a few by lithological experiments approved. Abu Rihan al-Biruni writes in the valuable book Al-Jamahir Fi Al-Ma'rifah Al-Jawahir:
He also says: « Azure is called Arminaton in Rome». This book is the oldest work that mentions the existence of Lajevardi mine other than Badakhshan mine.
In the book of geography related to the sixth century AH. AH, Only the existence of Lapis lazuli mine in the mountains of " Sabar Maq " in Khorasan is mentioned.
Iranian azure mines based on historical books
While the science of archeology and geology of the two mines of Badakhshan (in the fourth and third millennia BC and Quetta are called, Islamic texts associated with Azure mine in northwest Iran was confirmed.
In the eighth century, Ibn Battuta and Amoli only mentioned the Lapis lazuli mine in Badakhshan. In the same century, in the book of Iraq Al-Jawahir in Al-Nafis Al-Atayb, for the first time, four types of azure, Badakhshan, Kermani, Georgian, and Desmari are mentioned.
Glazed brick panel with Aurochs - details of the Babylonian Ishtar Tor (Ishtar Gate) in the Istanbul Archeology Museum on October 30, 2015, in Istanbul, Turkey
In the tenth century, which includes the last period of writing this article, Bayhaqi and Mohammad Ibn Mansour mentioned four mines in the Kashani style in mentioning the azure mines. With the difference that instead of the Georgian mine, they call it the Karaji mine. Beyhaqi states this in determining the location of Karaj.
What is the best type of azure stone?
In general, the deeper the blue Lapis lazuli stone, the higher the value of one azure and without cracks and golden streaks of pyrite. Where you can see the gold dots and the smoother and more colorful and less white spots on it, this Azure is the better.
It should be noted that old books always prefer Badakhshan azure stone to different types of azure stones.
Today, Lapis lazuli type afghan or Persian has a bluish-purple color and is classified as one of the best types of azure with a small amount of pyrite. Russian type or Siberian They have different blue colors and some amounts of pyrite and calcite. Another example called Chilean is green dots as well as white calcite as a tree.
Properties of Azure in Ancient Medical Books
The azure healing status and trade of this stone to meet the medical and medicinal needs is always empty in the interpretations of archaeologists, but in the texts and sources of ancient books, information can be obtained about the healing and medical properties of the azure stone.
In this regard, the medical books of Ibn Sina's law mention the Khwarezmshahi reserve and the Tazkereh of Al-Kahalin, in addition to mentioning medicines, the medicinal and therapeutic properties of Lapis lazuli gemstone. Ibn Sina says about the medicinal properties of this stone:
- Its strength is the same as that of Badran gum and it is a little weaker than that.
- Temperament: it is hot and in the third it is dry.
- Properties: Stinging, biting, abrasive with sharpness and little biting. It burns and makes it ulcerous.
- Makeup: Removes warts of eyes. It is said that the habitat makes the lashes look their best and increases the lashes. Some say that the reason is that azure anti-growth sputum removes lashes and the lashes grow without any obstacles.
- Treatment of cutaneous breath is caused by fatigue.
- Excretory organs: If eaten or taken, it will give a gentle drop to the urine, expel soda and anything mixed with blood, and concentrate. It is a pollen pain medicine. The amount of azure is up to four (grams) and if it is with other drugs, up to one dirham is prescribed.
Properties of azure in ancient non-medical books
In other non-medical history books that have provided information about the azure stone to the reader, many medicinal and therapeutic properties have been attributed to this stone. The book of the elite of Al-Dahr in the wonders of the sea and the sea considers it useful for the treatment of shortness of breath, hyperopia of the eyes, rapid healing, and soda.
Amoli considers azure to be effective for biliary diarrhea, insomnia, treatment of people with melancholy, and eyelash growth. According to the information obtained from historical books, the most important medicinal properties of azure can be considered as the treatment of insomnia and biliary diarrhea, treatment of people with melancholy and eyelash growth.
Spiritual Properties of Azure in Chakra Therapy
This stone helps the person to gain more knowledge from within and eliminate emotional damage. The properties of Lapis lazuli also enhance intuitive awareness, increase meditation depth, activate the third eye and enhance a person's ability to dream and understand intuitive guidance.
Lapis Lazuli was used to bury and adorn the pharaohs in ancient Egypt, and as a stone belonging to the monarchy and spirituality, it has excelled over others. This stone belongs to the truth and is an inspiring awareness and brings new information to a person's mind in the form of images instead of words.