The intense blue of this naturally occurring stone has been prized for its color by ancient peoples. It takes its name from Latin and Arabic words that translate to heaven-blue stone. The name is sometimes shortened to Lapis and while the stone is hard it can be carved. This stone has been mined in Afghanistan for more than 6,000 years and deposits are also found in Russia, Argentina, Myanmar, Pakistan, Canada, India, and in the United States.
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