lapis lazuli | PLAINS of STONE
The stone referenced in the Bible as sapphire (a stone foreign to the ancient near east), lapis lazuli is revered for its depth of blues and sparks of gold. Reflecting the majestic blue skies of the night scattered with golden colored stars lapis lazuli has been mined and exported from Babylon since the earliest days (4000 BCE) and given as tribute to kings and deities alike. The biblical sapphire, a precious stone of a sky-blue color, Lapis lazuli, is associated with diamonds & emeralds and displayed prominently in the high priest's breastplate. The throne of God is described as of the color of this biblical sapphire (Exodus & Ezekiel). The Elder Pliny (AD 23-69) gives a description of sappir (translated by most as sapphire) as being like the night sky, spangled with stars, and Theophratus (372-287BC) describes “sappir spotted with gold;” descriptions indicating lapis lazuli.