Lapis Lazuli, one of the oldest gems known to man. It is actually not a gemstone, or a mineral, but a combination of minerals making it a really beautiful rock. Lapis can be this lovely dark blue, as shown, or a lighter blue. It is always opaque and not translucent. It can be carved into various ornamental carvings, such as the beautiful elephant shown, or the lovely cabachon perfect for jewelry making. The darker blue is more valuable, and as far as value stones without any other minerals seen in it, have a higher value. The gold flecks, or pyrite, seen in the stone shown are valued by many customers, and actually sought after. It's healing powers are to help aid in sore throats, mental clarity, and to help calm the mood. The largest and oldest mine is found in Afghanistan. It is very often confused with Sodalite. A true beauty, Lapis Lazuli.