Lapis lazuli

Later as it began to travel throughout Europe, it was ground into powder and used as a colouring pigment known as ultramarine which was widely used by artists such as Vermeer. 

Lapis is actually classified as a rock because it is a combination of several different minerals, namely lazurite (responsible for the fabulous colour) calcite (the whitish streaks) and pyrite (the little golden-coloured flecks).  The best quality still comes from the ancient source in the mountains of Afghanistan, however it is also found in Chile, Siberia and Canada.

Lapis lazuli

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