If you’ve researched ancient cultures and the types of gemstones that the ancient populations preferred, your time spent learning about Ancient Egyptians will reveal the fact that one of the gemstones that the Egyptians commonly used was a stunning blue gemstone called lapis lazuli.
Lapis lazuli is a white calcite gemstone, but it’s also made of other compounds like pyrites and sodalite in yellow and blue, respectively.
Lapis lazuli is not just beautiful, but this stone is also known for its immense benefits and offers to all who wear it.
Some of its benefits include enhanced mental state as well as protection of your aura and energy, as well as your health.
But then, this stone is imperfect, and if you aren’t cautious, you may suffer some of the adverse effects that are associated with lapis lazuli.
You should be aware of all these side effects for your well-being.
About lapis lazuli
Lapis lazuli is mined in Afghanistan, primarily. It was found in many ancient artifacts like beads, bowls, and even inlays.
They were used to represent beards and eyebrows, as depicted by the discoveries from Royal Tombs on sarcophagi.
Given the popularity of lapis lazuli in ancient times, this gemstone was used by Cleopatra as the base for her blue infamous blue eyeshadow.
These uses stemmed from the beauty of the blue hues on the paintings and decorations.
Notably, Michelangelo used lapis lazuli powder to color the famous Sistine Chapel’s frescoes.
Negative effects of wearing lapis lazuli jewelry
The first thing you need to know about the negative effects of lapis lazuli is that although this semi-precious mineral stone is safe to handle and wear, it is water-soluble, which means it will release heavy metals to your body, which may result in more toxic effects.
In most cases, lapis lazuli poisoning occurs during its handling, more specifically, during the cutting of the mineral, which often means inhalation and accidental ingestion of the mineral particles. This might happen inadvertently, but the effects are detrimental in the long run.
If ingested orally, lapis lazuli will cause health problems in the long run. Note that lapis lazuli is also extremely toxic when it’s broken down and released into your body through the skin or inhalation, something that may happen if the lapis lazuli reacts with an acid, including vinegar and any other acidic substances.
2. Fool’s Gold
The version of lapis lazuli with pyrite is also called fool’s gold. Although it’s tied to the ancient belief that lapis lazuli attracts good luck and enhances the success of anyone who wears or holds these crystals, pyrite lapis lazuli can be very toxic and dangerous.
The toxicity of pyrite comes from the fact that this mineral gemstone contains sulfur and iron. When iron and sulfur interact with water, especially groundwater, pyrite causes contamination. Often, mining waste is the biggest reason for the toxicity and contamination of groundwater.
3. Corrosion from sulfur consumption or exposure
The presence of sulfur in pyrite lapis lazuli means that when the sulfur in the lapis lazuli leaks, it gradually reacts with the water it is exposed to, ultimately forming sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is one of the most corrosive acids.
So, if your lapis lazuli bracelet stays on your hands for long and throughout, even when swimming and showering, it will ultimately start to react, and the sulfur-acid combination will cause irritation of the skin.
This is often the case when the protective layer over the gemstone wears off, something that happens much faster when you expose the gemstone to unsafe conditions.
In case of chemical reactions and leeching sulfur underground, the acid formed poses a great risk to anyone who ever drinks the water – especially in the mines. Sulfur consumption in water or exposure to and on the skin will ultimately cause health problems, and in most cases, the issues manifest as skin discomfort.
4. Arsenic Poisoning
One of the dangers associated with lapis lazuli is the fact that the oxidation of pyrite in the lapis lazuli will make the gemstone toxic, and arsenic is one of the by-products resulting from lapis lazuli’s reaction with water and other components.
Arsenic is often found in charcoal veins, and it’s become a huge health problem for most people living near lapis lazuli mines. One of the side effects of arsenic, especially after long-term exposure, is that it causes skin lesions and cancer.
Arsenic has also been associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. And for pregnant women, exposure of the fetus to arsenic leads to cognitive development issues and, later, a higher risk of death, especially for young adults.
5. High risk to pets
One of the other dangers associated with pyrite lapis lazuli is that it is unsafe around pets.
You should be careful and take good care of the pets because your pet nibbling on that shiny blue stone and carrying it in their mouth is often fatal.
The good outweighs the bad
The negative side effects of lapis lazuli notwithstanding, this blue-colored gemstone is quite powerful and boasts an array of benefits to the wearers. Some of its benefits include:
I. Energy increase and enlightenment– thanks to lapis lazuli being associated with the third eye chakra, the stone offers one of the most powerful transformations. It is also associated with the throat chakra. In general, lapis lazuli was also referred to as the Blue or the Medicine Buddha with incredible health benefits. Medicine Buddha’s bright azure blue is revered for its healing powers. It will also invigorate and enlighten your spirit since it activates the psychic centers in your throat and third-eye chakras.
II. Medical Benefits– lapis lazuli will help you overcome anxiety and depression, soothe your inflammatory and nervous systems, and unblock any issues you may have with the thyroid.
III. Meditation tool– this blue gemstone will also ensure your peace of mind during meditation. It offers great soothing effects, and you only need to hold it close and to the palm of your hand whenever you’re meditating.
Lapis lazuli boasts incredible benefits to your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, but it’s also imperfect given the elements incorporated in lapis lazuli, especially the pyrite version.
It releases sulfur (sulfuric acid) and arsenic, which can be very harmful to your health. You should be aware of the risks and opt to keep the jewelry safe from water or other conditions that may damage the gemstone.
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