I’ve visited Khemet (Egypt) three times and each time I was intrigued by the evidence that remains of the ancient Egyptians’ fascination with gemstones. Of course, we all know of the splendid treasures that were taken from the tombs of these ancestors – the gold from Tutankhamen’s tomb alone is estimated to be worth over 2 Billion Euros. But as I wandered through the Valley of the Kings and the Cairo Museum, I wondered if certain semi-precious stones, especially lapis lazuli which could be seen everywhere, were not held in regard for more than decorative purposes.
Lapis is a deep blue opaque stone imbedded with flecks of gold or white. It was extremely popular in ancient Egypt as the beautiful color symbolized the water of the Nile and the night sky. Among many of King Tutankhamen’s treasures, this beautiful stone is front and center, including all over his famous golden mask; in its inlaid blue stripes of the headdress and around the eyes.
Lapis was also ground into a pigment and used to enhance the seductive eyes of Queen Cleopatra. But with typical Khemet genius, what was used for adornment, was also practical medicine. Lapis lazuli was considered protection for eyes. Necklaces were hung around the neck of sick children for protection. The stone was also associated with the Egyptian sky goddess, Nut; the goddess of balance and truth, Maat; and Ra, the sun god.
After these strong connections were established, through the ages the stone became known for attracting to its wearers the energy of healing, love and fidelity, protection and joy.
But for me, lapis will always be the stone of ancient Khemet.They wore it in their jewelry, used it as their medicine, worshipped with it and buried it in their tombs.
Check out these lovely quartz and lapis waist beads, Wrap and Soul’s homage to the Egyptian sky goddess, Nut.