Literally translated lapis lazuli means stone of ‘Azure’, the word we now use to refer to a shade of blue. The modern English ‘Azure’ is derived from the French ‘Lazur’, in turn originating from the Arabic ‘Al-lazaward’ and the Persian ‘Lajward’, named after the city of Lajward in Turkestan where lapis lazuli was mined.

The Lajward lapis lazuli deposits were sourced from the 12th to 14th Centuries. In this period, the Persians had a particular type of pottery called ‘Lajvardina’, which were ceramic vases with a dark blue glaze that was made from a dye derived from lapis lazuli.

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