DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lapis lazuli crystals. Lapis lazuli (blue) is a semi-precious stone widely used in jewellery, which has been prized since antiquity. Lapis lazuli is a rock containing the mineral lazurite, which gives it a deep blue colour, and also flecks of the golden-yellow mineral pyrite (iron sulphide). It has been mined in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan for 6,500 years and jewellery containing it has been found at ancient Egyptian sites.
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