Lapis Lazuli, which is most often referred to as Lapis, has been used as a gemstone for thousands of years. Mined in Northeastern Afghanistan since the early 7th millennium BC, today, Lapis is also mined in Pakistan, from mines west of Lake Baikal in Russia, and the Andes Mountains in Chile. Smaller quantities are mined in Italy, Mongolia, the United States, and Canada. It is primarily composed of Lazurite (a deep blue), with the remaining composition made up of Sodalite (a lighter blue), its host rock (White Calcite), Pyrite, and other various minor constituents. Pyrite can have a gold or silver metallic sheen when polished and is often referred to as Fool's Gold. It is the Pyrite that gives Lapis its unique glimmer. Lapis stones are not typically treated. They are sometimes left in a rough-cut nugget form, cut and lightly polished, matted—smoothed and highly polished, which is most often seen in the cabachons used for rings, earrings, and pendants. The process to matte finish a stone starts with putting it through all the normal steps of a polished bead. It is cut, drilled and polished, then goes back into a tumbler with a fine grit powder of tiny stones and water and additional tiny stones. Depending on the stone’s hardness and characteristics, it can take up to two hours in the tumbler - and may require multiple tumbles with various sized grit powder. Miriam’s Designer Jewelry Collection includes both polished and matte Lapis. Metaphysical essence: Communication, friendship, abundance, honesty and forthrightness.