An elegant brooch in the shape of a gentian, a flower normally to be found in alpine habitats in temperate regions. The genus name is a tribute to Gentius, an Illyrian king who may have been the discoverer of the tonic properties of gentians.
The large, trumpet-shaped flowers are most often of an intense blue. Lapis lazuli is the perfect material to depict that specific colour.
The opaque azure stone (‘lapis‘) is actually not one mineral but the name given to a stone consisting of several components. Roman author and naturalist Pliny the Elder described Lapis lazuli as ‘a fragment of the starry vault of heaven’.
Lapis lazuli has been loved since ancient times, as a gemstone and as a pigment called ‘genuine ultramarine’ for paint and fabric.
Link to an excellent article about Lapis Lazuli by David Margulies.