Lapis lazuli, a rare, deep blue gemstone

Lapis lazuli, a rare, deep blue gemstone

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Credit: J.C. REVY, ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lapis lazuli, a rare, deep blue gemstone. Lapis lazuli is a complex mineral containing a mixture of blue lazurite (sodium aluminium silicate), white calcite (calcium carbonate) and small amounts of other minerals. It occurs in silica- poor igneous rocks and metamorphic limestones and is found in Afghanistan, Siberia, Iran and Chile. It was formerly used as the source of the blue pigment ultramarine.

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Keywords: earth science, geology, lapis lazuli, lazurite, mineral, source of, ultramarine

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