Lapis & Sodalite
Lapis is the called the Queen of stones. Sodalite is noted for its similar blues, but without the pyrite inclusions. Both are beautiful stones that have been used for thousands of years.
Lapis was ground and mixed with oils to make eye-make up by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks and the rich blue pigment for the Madonna's traditional blue gown in Medieval art. It's rich, deep blue, flecked with glittering pyrite, has been long sought as a decorative stone, both in jewelry and in objets d'art. Some of the best quality Lapis comes from mines in Afghanistan, which makes it understandably hard to get these days.
Sodalite, with it's silky black and blue, is a lovely stone in it's own right. Some of the best deposits are here in Canada, in Bancroft, Ontario. At one time, known as Canadian Lapis or Canadian Blue Stone, it was a serious contender for the province's "official" stone, but eventually lost out to Amethyst.
Orange Sodalite is a variety of the traditional blue Sodalite. Sodalite was discovered in 1806 - in Greenland, but really took off in 1891 when large deposits were found in Ontario, Canada. 130 tons of it were quarried and shipped to England to decorate Marlborough House for the Princess Patricia.
Dumortiertie (do-mor-TEER-ite) was first described in 1881 from a discovery in Chaponost, in the Rhone-Alps of France, and named for the French paleontologist, Eugene Domortier. Found around the world in Austria, Canada, France, Italy, Madagascar, Namibia, Nevade, Norway, Poland, Russia, and Sri Lanka.