Lapis Lazuli, Afghanistan.
6" x 2.75" x 8" / 14.5 lbs
This ancient rock is an aggregate of several minerals, mainly lazurite, calcite & pyrite. Renaissance painters such as Johannes Vermeer (e.g., Girl with a Pearl Earring, c. 1665) used lapis to make ultramarine blue. The name comes from the Latin ultramarinus, literally “beyond the sea”, because the pigment was imported into Europe from mines in Afghanistan by Italian traders during the 14th and 15th centuries.