Lapis usually forms in crystalline marble through the geological process of contact metamorphism and due to its composition, it is technically defined as a rock rather than a mineral. It is primarily composed of lazurite, while the remaining composition is made up of sodalite, calcite, pyrite and other various minor constituents In the ancient world, lapis was considered as valuable as gold. Egyptians sent out legions of soldiers with traders for years to collect lapis for amulets, scarabs and for their high priests, who wore images of Mat, the goddess of truth around their necks.
The word, lapis-lazuli, comes from Latin. Lapis means stone; lazuli translates to blue. The Arabic word, L'azulaus means blue, heaven and sky.
It has been mined continuously in Afghanistan for over six thousand years and is widely referenced in many ancient texts. An angel gave King Solomon a lapis ring to control demons. The deep blue stone flecked with gold seems to represent royalty.
In Biblical times, the Ten Commandments are believed to have been inscribed on a lapis tablet. The stone has a long and varied associated with gods of truth, power and kings across cultural lines. (Kuntz 139-140)