Historical Reading List: Lazurite (Lapis Lazuli) from Afghanistan and its Artistic Use as a Blue Pigment (Ultramarine)

Lazurite present in a banded metamorphic gneiss from Badakhshan
Lazurite present in a banded metamorphic gneiss from Badakhshan, Afghanistan Image from Wikipedia

Lapis lazuli is among the earliest, most exotic, and most valuable natural gem materials that has been used ornamentally (carvings, beads, decorative inlays, and artistic pigments), religiously, and medicinally since ancient times (4th millennium BC and perhaps earlier).  Its principal historical source is in Afghanistan in the remote Sar-e-Sang district of Badakhshan province; it has also been found in several other countries generally in inferior quality.  It is a type of metamorphic rock composed of blue lazurite along with other minerals such as calcite, diopside, mica and pyrite.

Historically lapis lazuli was an important, long-distance, luxury trading commodity between its source in Central Asia and China, the Middle East, and then to Europe.  When separated and purified, powdered lazurite is the basis of ultramarine, an intense and highly valued artistic pigment.  The presence of sulfur in the lazurite crystal structure gives rise to the blue color.  Blue mineral pigments are rare, and throughout the European medieval period (5th to 15th centuries AD) only a small number of such pigments were known with ultramarine being the most desired and most expensive.  Its application was therefore restricted to luxury books and paintings of high value and importance, and only the most skilled artisans would have been entrusted with its use.

With the limited availability of high-quality natural lazurite, scientific efforts were begun two centuries ago to create a less-expensive artificial ultramarine pigment.  These efforts were successful when it was first fabricated in the 1820s, and artificial ultramarine has replaced the natural material for most artistic uses.  Today a variety of such blue pigments are commercially available.

How to Use this Reading List

This reading list was compiled to give you an opportunity to learn more about lapis lazuli. The list is presented in chronological order to emphasize the development of ideas over time. The list is not comprehensive, but a compilation of some interesting information that has often been forgotten or overlooked.

Many of the articles in the reading list exist in the public domain and can be found online at digital libraries such as HathitrustInternet Archive, or other digital repositories. More recent publications can often be found in libraries. Abstracts of these articles can usually be found on the website of the original journal or magazine, and the article itself is often available for purchase from the publisher.
Rapport de Quelques Experiences faites sur la Pierre qu'on Nomme Lapis Lazuli [Report on Some Experiences with the Stone that We Name Lapis Lazuli]. A.S. Marggraf, Histoire de l'Académie Royale des Sciences et des Belles Lettres de Berlin, Vol. 14, pp. 10-19, (1758).  The author discusses the works by a number of earlier writers on the nature of lapis lazuli.

Description du Lapis Lazuli un de la Belle Couleur, connue sous la Non d'Outremer [Description of Lapis Lazuli and of the Beautiful Color, Known by the Name Ultramarine]. Unknown author, Journal Encyclopédique, Vol. 15, Sec. 108, pp. 75-76, (1763). An encyclopedia entry on the material.

Nachricht von der Lagerstätte des Lapis Lazuli [Information on the Deposit of Lapis Lazuli].  J.J. Ferber, Schriften der Berlinischen Gesellschaft Naturforschender Freunde, Vol. 7, p. 402, (1786).  Brief note on the material coming from central Asia.

Analysis of the Oriental Lapis Lazuli. M.H. Klaproth, Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, Vol. 1, (April), pp. 77-80, (1797).  Researchers at this time believed the blue color of this material was a result of the presence of iron, copper or cobalt.  The analysis information presented in this article was one of the first instances where sulfur was found to occur in lapis lazuli.

On the Nature of the Colouring Principle of Lapis Lazuli.  L.B. Guyton de Morveau, Philosophical Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 24, pp. 316-324, (1800).  An early chemical analysis in which the author concluded that the origin of the blue color involves sulfur.  The same article appeared in the Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, and the Arts, Vol. 4, (October), pp. 308-313, (1801).

“Analytical Essays towards Promoting the Chemical Knowledge of Mineral Substances”.  M.H. Klaproth, T. Cadell and W. Davies Publishers, London, 591 pp., (1801).  This book contains a section on the examination of “Oriental lapis lazuli” (pp. 163-169).
Mémoire sur l’Outremer [Memoir on Ultramarine].  B. Désormes and N. Clément, Annales de Chimie, Vol. 57, No. 3, pp. 317-326, (1806).  A study of the chemical composition of ultramarine.
Some Experiments and Observations on the Colours used in Paintings by the Ancients.  H. Davy, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 105, pp. 97-124, (1815).  One of the first systematic studies by the famous English scientist on the identity of the artistic pigments (including ultramarine) used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

On Ultramarine, and the Methods by which its Purity may be Ascertained.  R. Phillips, Annals of Philosophy, Vol. 22, (July), pp. 31-35, (1823).  In a discussion of the chemical composition of both lapis lazuli and ultramarine, the author suggests the coloring agent is a non-metallic sulfur compound.

Rapport sur le Prix Proposé pour la Fabrication d'un Outremer Artificie [Report on the Proposed Prize for the Fabrication of Artificial Ultramarine].  J.F.L. Mérimée, Bulletin de la Société d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie Nationale, Vol. 27, No. 293, pp. 346-349, (1828).  Report of a monetary prize given to Jean-Baptiste Guimet for the first preparation of artificial ultramarine in 1826.
Ueber die Künstliche Darstellung einer dem Ultramarin ähnlichen Farbe [On the Artificial Preparation of a Color Similar to Ultramarine].  C.G. Gmelin, Annalen der Physik und Chemie, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 363-371, (1828).  The author was the first to publish an account of the preparation of artificial ultramarine, whose main constituents were silica, alumnia, soda, and sulfur which gave the deep blue color.  Gmelin’s work had been preceded by that of Jean-Baptiste Guimet, who did not publish his earlier discovery.

On Azure Stone, or Lapis Lazuli, Ultramarine, and the Manufacture of Artificial Ultramarine. Unknown author, Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol. 6, (October), pp. 270-273, (1828).  A discussion of the sources of natural lapis lazuli, and of the efforts to create an artificial product for use as a pigment.

On the Blue Colouring Matter of Lapis Lazuli, and on Artificial Ultramarine.  W. Schweigger-Seidel, Philosophical Magazine, Ser. 2, Vol. 7, No. 40 (April), pp. 244-250, (1830).   The very high value of lazurite as a natural pigment, and its limited availability, lead to efforts to produce it artificially.  The author reviews past studies of lazurite to discover the cause of the blue color.  He also discusses the occasional confusion between lazurite and another lighter blue mineral, lazulite.  The same article appeared in the Journal of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 136-143, (1831).

Ueber die Pigmente und die Malertechnik der Atlen, besonders er alten Aegypter [On the Pigments and Painting Techniques of the Ancients, especially the Ancient Egyptians]. H.M. von Minutoli, Journal für Technische und Ökonomische Chemie, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 173-187, (1830).  The author discusses the artistic painting techniques and the use of natural mineral pigments in ancient times among the Egyptians.

Oriental Accounts of the Precious Minerals.  R. Kalikishen and J. Prinsep, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. 1, (August), pp. 353-363, (1832).  A summary of information from early Arabic texts on precious minerals including lapis lazuli.

Ultramarine. Unknown author, Magazine of Science, Vol. 1, No. 39, p. 308, (1839).  A note on the manufacture of ultramarine pigment from purified lazurite.

“A Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Source of the River Oxus”.  J. Wood, J. Murray Publishers, London, 424 pp. (1841).  The author, a Scottish explorer of Central Asia, visited the lazurite mines in the 1830s and described their condition (pp. 263-266).

Chemische Untersuchung über die Blaue Färbung des Ultramarins [Chemical Investigation of the Blue Color of Ultramarines].  L. Elsner, Journal für Praktische Chemie, Vol. 24, No. 7/8, pp. 385-397.  A study of ultramarine composition.  Summaries of this article appeared in the Polytechnisches Centralblatt, Vol. 8, No. 12, pp. 183-190, (1842), in the Philosophical Magazine, Ser. 3, Vol. 21, No. 136, pp. 156-157, (1842), and in Scientific American, Vol. 2, No. 14, p. 1122, (1846).

Beitrage zur Kenntniss und Bereitung des Ultramarins, insbesondere in Fabrikmässiger Hinsicht [Contribution to the Knowledge and Preparation of Ultramarines, especially in Terms of the Size of the Factory].  C.P. Prückner, Journal für Praktische Chemie, Vol. 33, No. 5, pp. 257-281, (1844).  The author discusses the industrial preparation of synthetic ultramarine pigment.

Ueber Natürliches und Künstliches Ultramarin [On Natural and Synthetic Ultramarine]. C. Brunner, Denkschriften Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für die Gesammten Naturwissenschaften, Vol. 7, pp. 1-22, (1845).  A study of the composition of natural and synthetic ultramarine.

Artificial Ultramarine: Its Composition and Chemical Properties.  Unknown author, American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 105-107, (1847).  Note on the artificial material.

The Triumph of Science - Ultramarine or Lapis Lazuli.  Unknown author, Scientific American, Vol. 3, No. 27, p. 213 and No. 28, p. 222, (1848).  Note on the production of artificial ultramarine.

Ueber die Kunstlichen Ultramarinfarben [On the Manufacture of Artificial Ultramarine]. [?] Limberger, Polytechnisches Notizblatt für Gewerbtreibende, Fabrikanten und Kunstler, Vol. 6, No. 22, pp. 337-344, (1851).  Discussion of the color of artificial ultramarine.

Ultramarine. Unknown author, Scientific American, Vol. 7, No. 16, p. 125 and No. 32, p. 252, (1852).  Brief reports on the material.

Anleitung zur Technischen Prüfung und Untersuchung der Künstlichen Blauen Ultramarine [Instructions for the Technical Examination and Investigation of Artificial Blue Ultramarine]. W. Büchner, Polytechnisches Journal, Vol. 134, No. 5, pp. 373-381, (1854).  Description of the properties and uses of artificial ultramarine.

Ueber die Constitution des Blauen und Grünen Ultramarins [On the Constitution of Green and Blue Ultramarines].  E. Breunlin, Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie, Vol. 97, No. 3, pp. 295-315, (1856).  A study of artificial ultramarines.  An English version of this article appeared in the Philosophical Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 75, pp. 528-537, (1856).

Über Künstlichen Ultramarin [On Artificial Ultramarine].  C. Stölzel, Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie Vol. 97, No. 3, pp. 35-53, (1856).  A review of published studies of artificial ultramarine.

Ueber den Blauen und Grünen Ultramarin [On Blue and Green Ultramarine].  J.G. Gentele, Polytechnisches Journal, Vol. 141, No. 2, pp. 116-128, (1856).  A discussion of artificial ultramarines.  A similar article by this author on manufacturing this material appeared in Polytechnisches Journal, Vol. 142, No. 5, pp. 351-365, (1856).

Ueber die Fabrikation des Ultramarins [On Manufacturing Ultramarine]. G.E. Habich, Polytechnisches Notizblatt für Gewerbtreibende, Fabrikanten und Kunstler, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 54-58, (1856).  A discussion of the manufacturing process.

Ueber Lazurstein und die mit demselben Vorkommenden Mineralien [On Lazurite and the Minerals Occurring with it].  N. Nordenskiöld, Bulletin de la Société Impériale des Naturalistes de Moscou, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 213-226, (1857).  A description of the minerals that can be found with lazurite from Afghanistan.

Ueber Lapis Lazuli [On Lapis Lazuli].  N. Werssiloff, Froriep's Notizen aus dem Gebiete der Natur- und Heilkunde, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 1-3, (1858).  A short article on the occurrence of lazurite deposits in marbles.

On Artificial Ultramarines.  H. Wilkens, Journal of the Franklin Institute, Ser. 3, Vol. 35, pp. 136-138, (1858).  A discussion of the chemical composition of the material.

Über die Zusammensetzung des Blauen Ultramarins [On the Composition of Blue Ultramarine]. A. Böckmann, Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie, Vol. 118, No. 2, pp. 212-220, (1861).  A discussion of chemical analyses of the material.

Manufacture of Ultramarine. Unknown author, Scientific American, Vol. 9, No. 5, p. 66, (1863) and Vol. 13, No. 13, pp. 192-193.  Short notes on manufacturing the material.

Ultramarine. Unknown author, American Artisan, Vol. 3, No. 17, p. 260, (1866).  Report of a public lecture by John Percy of the Royal Society of London on natural and artificial ultramarine.

Lapis Lazuli.  Unknown Author, Scientific American, Vol. 17, No. 2, p. 325, (1867).  General information on the material.

Mines de Rubis et de Lapis-Lazuli [Mines for Rubies and Lapis-Lazuli].  Unknown author, Magasin Pittoresque, No. 38, No. 17, pp. 130, (1870).  A brief note on the mines for ruby (red spinel) and lazurite in Badakhshan.

Ueber die Constitution des Ultramarins [On the Constitution of Ultramarine].  W. Stein, Polytechnisches Journal, Vol. 200, No. 4, pp. 299-308, (1871).  A discussion of the chemical composition of the material.

Waarom is Ultrmarijn Blaauw? [Why is Ultramarine Blue?].  J.D. Boeke, Isis Weekblad voor Natuurwetenschap, Vol. 1, No. 12, pp. 96-98, (1872).  A discussion of the blue color of the material.

Ueber den Ultramarin [On Ultramarine].  C. Unger, Polytechnisches Journal, Vol. 206, No. 5, pp. 371-375, (1872).  A discussion of the chemical composition of the material.

Ueber die Naturlichen Ultramarin-Verbindungen [On the Natural Ultramarine Connection].  H.P.J. Vogelsang, Verslagen en Mededeelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen, Ser. 2, Vol. 7, pp. 161-199, (1873).  A discussion of the occurrences and properties of lazurite.

Ueber die Entwicklung der Ultramarin-Fabrikation [On the Development of Ultramarine Manufacturing].  R. Hoffmann, Polytechnisches Journal, Vol. 220, No. 1, pp. 53-60, (1876).  A discussion of the evolution in ultramarine pigment manufacturing.

Studies on Ultramarine. Unknown author, Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol. 108, No. 5, pp. 346-347, (1879).  A note of the difficult process to analyze the chemical composition of ultramarine.

De la Couleur Bleue du Saphir, de la Lazulite et du Lapis-Lazuli; de la Couleur Verte de l'Emeraude et la Couleur Pourpre de l'Amthyste [On the Blue Color of Sapphire, Lazulite and Lapis-Lazuli; the Green Color of Emerald, and the Purple Color of Amethyst].  W.A. Ross, Annales de Chimie et de Physique, Ser. 5, Vol. 27, pp. 532-536, (1882).  The author discusses the colors of several minerals including lazurite.

Ueber Ultramarin [About Ultramarine].  G. Guckelberger, Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie, Vol. 213, No. 2, pp. 182-252, (1882).  The author discusses lapis lazuli and the history of efforts to produce an artificial blue material for use as a pigment.  A similar article by this author appeared in the Festschrift des Vereins für Naturkunde zu Cassel, pp. 217-249, (1886). 

Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Ultramarins [A Contribution to the History of Ultramarine].  J. Heintz, Journal für Praktische Chemie, Vol. 43, No. 1/2, pp. 98-105, (1891).  A review of the historical efforts to produce an artificial blue pigment.

De Eerste Bereiding van Kunstmatig Ultramarijn [The First Preparation of Artificial Ultramarine]. G. Doijer van Cleef, Album der Natuur, pp. 30-32, (1892).  The first preparation of the blue pigment took place in 1826 in France.

Ancient Egyptian pigments. W.J. Russell, Notices of the Proceedings of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Vol. 14, No. 87, pp. 67-71, (1893).  The report of a lecture on the mineralogical and chemical composition of pigments obtained from paintings in ancient Egyptian tombs and monuments.  Although some of the pigments are blue in appearance, none seemed to contain lapis lazuli or a similar artificial product.  A summary of this lecture appeared in Nature, Vol. 49, No. 1268, pp. 374-375, (1894).

“Ultramarin [Ultramarine]”.  R. Hoffmann, F. Vieweg und Sohn, Braunschweig, 154 pp., (1902).  The book presents a detailed history of natural and artificial ultramarine including an extensive reference list.

“Die Fabrikation der Ultramarinfarben: Ihre Prufung, Verwendung in Industrie und Gewerbe [The Fabrication of Ultramarine Colors: Their Testing, and Use in Industry and Trade]”.  L. Bock, W. Knapp Publisher, Halle, 106 pp., (1910).  Book not seen.  The book was republished in 1918.

Ancient Pigments and their Identification in Works of Art. A.P. Laurie, Archaeologia, Vol. 64, pp. 315-335, (1913).  In this review of the use of ancient pigments, the author discusses several blue pigments none of which appeared to contain lapis lazuli, although this mineral was known at the time.  Use of lapis lazuli as a pigment in Europe began at some time in the Middle Ages.

Le Lapis Lazuli [Lapis Lazuli]. G. Rabeck, Société Linnéenne de la Seine-Maritime, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 16-17, (1914).  A short article on the natural material and its chemical composition.

Ueber Naturliches und Kunstliches Ultramarin [On Natural and Artificial Ultramarine].  C. Doelter, Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien – Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse, Vol. 124, No. 1, pp. 37-48, (1915).  A detailed study of the composition of ultramarines, and a discussion of the geologic environments of lazurite formation.

“Die Konstitution der Ultramarine [The Constitution of Ultramarine]”.  L. Bock, F. Vieweg und Sohn, Braunschweig, 56 pp., (1924).  Book not seen.

On the Constitution and the Structure of Ultramarine.  F.M. Jaeger, Faraday Society Transactions, Vol. 25, pp. 320-345, (1929).  A discussion of the nature of this pigment material.

Sur les Outremers Naturels et Artificiels [Natural and Artificial Ultramarines].  F.M. Jaeger, Bulletin de la Société Française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie, Vol. 53, No. 1/6, pp. 183-209, (1930).  A description of lazurite and artificial ultramarines.
Lapis-lazuli et Rubis Balais des Cipolins Afghans [Lapis Lazuli and Balas Ruby (Spinel) of the Afghan Marbles].  J. Barthoux, Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l'Académie des Sciences, Vol. 195, No. 15, pp. 1131-1134, (1933).  A description of the minerals found in marbles from the lazurite deposit in Afghanistan.
Specific Gravity of Lapis Lazuli.  B.W. Anderson and C. J. Payne, Nature, Vol. 134, No. 3390, p. 627, (1934).  The authors discuss the wide variability in specific gravities that they found among lapis lazuli samples.

Ueber die Geologie von Badakshan und Katagan (Afghanistan) [About the Geology of Badakhshan and Katagan].  K. Brueckl, Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie Beilage-Band, Vol. 74, Pt. B, pp. 360-401, (1935).  Article not seen.

Die Chemie des Blauen Ultramarins [The Chemistry of Blue Ultramarine].  K. Leschewski, Zeitschrift für Angewandte Chemie, Vol. 48, No. 32, pp. 533-536, (1935).  Article not seen.

Metodo Sistematico per il Riconoscimento Microchimico dei Colori Minerali – Colori Azzurri e Verdi [Systematic Method for Microchemical Recognition of Colored Minerals – Blue and Green Colors].  S. Augusti, Mikrochemie, Vol. 17, pp. 344-355, (1937).  Article not seen.

Microscopical Identification of Ultramarine Blue in Complex Pigment Mixtures.  I.M. Bernstein, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 262-265, (1945).  Article not seen.

“Lapis Lazuli and Ultramarine in Ancient Times”.  R.J. Gettens, Fondation Universitaire, Bruxelles, 16 pp., (1950).  Publication not seen.

The History of Artist's Pigments. H.J. Penderleith, Science Progress, Vol. 38, No. 150, pp. 246-256, (1950).  A review of mineral artistic pigments used in antiquity.

A New Imitation of Lapis Lazuli. B.W. Anderson, Journal of Gemmology, Vol. 4, No. 7, pp. 281-282, (1954).  A description of an artificial sintered spinel material.

Ion Exchange in Ultramarine.  R.M. Barnes and J.S. Raitt, Journal of the Chemical Society, pp. 4641-4651, (1954).  The structures of lazurite and similar minerals have a crystal structure that can accommodate a variety of cations.

The History of Lazuli in Afghanistan - Most of the Tourists and Historians of the World have Remembered from the Lazuli Mines of Afghanistan - What is the Economical Distinction of Lapis Lazuli? A. Nasiri, Afghanistan, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 51-56 and No. 2, pp. 23-28, (1963).  Article not seen.

Some Notes on the Mineralogy of Lapis-Lazuli.  J. Ostwald, Journal of Gemmology, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 84-101, (1963).  The author discusses the minerals that can occur with lazurite in lapis lazuli.

Données Minéralogiques et Pétrographiques sur le Gisement de Lapis-Lazuli de Sar-e-Sang, Hindou-Kouch, Afghanistan [Mineralogical and Petrographical Data on the Lapis Lazuli Deposit at Sar-e-Sang, Hindu Kush, Afghanistan].  J. Blaise and F. Cesbron, Bulletin de la Société Française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie, Vol. 89, No. 3, pp. 333-343, (1966).  The authors present a geological description of the deposit where lazurite occurs in metamorphic rocks.

Le Lapis Lazuli [Lapis Lazuli].  F. Cesbron and H.J. Schubnel, Revue de l’Association Française Gemmologie, No. 7, (1966).  Article not seen.

Ultramarine Blue - Natural and Artificial.  J. Plesters, Studies in Conservation, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 62-91, (1966).  The author provides a detailed review of the use of this pigment.

Developments and Highlights at the Gem Trade Lab in New York – Dyed Lapis Lazuli.  G.R. Crowningshield, Gems & Gemology, Vol. 12, No. 6, pp. 180-181, (1967).  Description of a dyed gem sample.

“The Source, Distribution, History and Use of Lapis Lazuli in Western Asia from the Earliest Times to the End of the Seleucid Era”.  G. Hermann, PhD Thesis, University of Oxford, 610 pp., (1967).  Thesis not seen. 

Lapis Lazuli in Ancient Egypt.  J.C. Payne, Iraq, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 58-61, (1968).  The author discusses evidence for the use of lapis lazuli before 3000 BC.

Developments and Highlights at the Gem Trade Lab in New York – Lapis Lazuli Mystery Solved?  G.R. Crowningshield, Gems & Gemology, Vol. 12, No. 9, p. 278, (1968).  Description of a dyed and waxed gem sample.

Lapis Lazuli: The Early Phases of its Trade.  G. Hermann, Iraq, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 21-57, (1968).  The Great Khorosan Road was a historical trade and travel route that connected Mesopotamia through the Iranian Plateau and thence to Central Asia and China.  It represented the western portion of the so-called “Silk Road”, and archaeological evidence suggests that it was in operation as a trading route in the 3rd millennium BC for lapis lazuli and other luxury goods.

Kunstliches Ultramarin im Spiegel von Preisaufgaben und der Entwicklung der Mineralanalyse im 19 Jahrhundert [Artificial Ultramarine in the Mirror of Pricing Problems and the Development of Mineral Analysis in the 19th Century].  E. Schmauderer, Technikgeschichte, Vol. 36, pp. 314-333, (1969).  Article not seen.

Ultramarine study by EPR. A. Więckowski, Physica Status Solidi B, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 125-130, (1970).  A spectroscopic study of sulfur coloration in ultramarine.

Paramagnetic Resonance of Sulfur Radicals in Synthetic Sodalites.  S.D. McLaughlin and D.J. Marshall, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Vol. 74, No. 6, pp. 1359-1363, (1970).  A spectroscopic study of the cause of the blue coloration of synthetic ultramarine.

The Lapis Lazuli Route in the Ancient East.  V.I. Sarianidi and L.H. Kowalski, Archaeology Magazine, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 12-15, (1971).  Article not seen.

Le Lapis-Lazuli de Sar-e Sang (Badakhshan, Afghanistan) [The Lazurite of Sar-e-Sang (Badakhshan, Afghanistan)].  J. Wyart, P. Bariand and J. Filippi, Revue de Géographie Physique et de Geologie Dynamique, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 443-448, (1972).  The authors provide a geologic description of the lazurite mines.  An English translation of this article appeared in Gems & Gemology, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 184-190, (1981).  A shorter version appeared in the Revue de l’Association Française de Gemmologie, No. 41, pp. 2-4, (1974).

Lapis-Lazuli from Afghanistan.  P. Bariand, Mineral Digest, Vol. 4, pp. 6-14, (1972).  Article not seen.

Kyanite-Talc Schist from Sar-e-Sang, Afghanistan.  H. Kulke and W. Schreyer, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 324-328, (1973).  Lapis lazuli occurs within marbles and other metamorphic rocks at the deposit.

On the Nature of the Color of Lazurite.  A. Novojilov and V. Radyanshii, Memoirs of the Academy of Science of the USSR - Geology Series, Vol. 7, pp. 95-132, (1973).  Article not seen.
Lithic Technology Behind the Ancient Lapis Lazuli Trade.  M. Tosi and M. Piperno, Expedition, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 15-23, (1973).  Lapis lazuli was one of the valuable commodities, and one in the greatest demand, in the ancient world for architectural decoration and personal adornment.  The authors discuss the distribution of sites in the Mesopotamian region that were involved with the production, trade, and marketing of this material during the 3rd millennium BC.

Das Geheimnis des Lapis Lazuli [The Mystery of Lapis Lazuli].  F. Seel, G. Schäfer, H-J. Güttler and G. Simon, Chemie in Unserer Zeit, Vol. 8, No. 3 pp. 65-71, (1974).  A discussion of the artistic use of lapis lazuli in the ancient world.

Developments and Highlights at the Gem Trade Lab in New York – Imitation Lapis Lazuli.  G.R. Crowningshield, Gems & Gemology, Vol. 14, No. 11, pp. 327-330, (1974).  Description of four different types of imitations.

“The Lapis Lazuli Trade Across the Iranian Plateau in the 3rd Millennium B.C.”  M. Tosi, 28 pp., (1974).  Booklet not seen.

The Resonance Raman Spectrum of Ultramarine Blue.  R.J.H. Clark and M.L. Franks, Chemical Physics Letters, Vol. 34, No. (1), pp. 69-72, (1975).  A spectrometry study to investigate the role of sulfur in the crystal structure.

Seltene Lasuritkristalle aus Afghanistan - Ein Beitrag zum Farbproblem Lapis-Lazuli [Rare Lazurite Crystals from Afghanistan – A Contribution of the Color Problem in Lapis Lazuli]. H. Leithner, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gemmologischen Gesellschaft, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 26-36, (1975).  A description of the gemological properties of this material.

Les Principaux Substituts du Lapis Lazuli [The Principal Lapis Lazuli Imitations]. J.P. Poirot, Revue de l’Association Française de Gemmologie, No. 42, (1975).  Article not seen.

Die Lapis Lazuli – Lagerstätte Sar-e-Sang (Badakhshan): Geologie, Entstehung, Kulturgeschichte und Bergbau [The Sar-e-Sang Lapis Lazuli Deposit (Badakhshan): Geology, Origin, Cultural History and Mining].  H. Kulke, Afghanistan Journal, pp. 43-56, (1976).  Article not seen.

Sulfur Isotope Ratios in Ultramarine Blue: Application to Art Forgery Detection. B. Keisch and R.C. Callahan, Applied Spectroscopy, Vol. 30, No. 5, pp. 515-520, (1976).  The authors use these ratios to distinguish between synthetic and natural pigments, and in the distinction of geographic sources of the latter.

Comparative Gemmological Study of Lapis Lazuli and its New Substitute.  C.A. Schiffmann, Journal of Gemmology, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 172-179, (1976).  A discussion of the identification of the imitation material.

The Chemistry Behind the Artist's Palette. M.V. Orna, Color Research and Application, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 189-196, (1978).  The author discusses the origin of color in a variety of organic and inorganic pigments.

Lapis Lazuli in Early India.  D.K. Chakrabarti, Man and Environment, Vol. 2, pp. 51-58, (1978).  Article not seen.

Lapis-Lazuli von Sar-e-Sang, Afghanistan [Lapis-Lazuli from Afghanistan].  P. Bariand, Lapis, Vol. 4, No. 11, pp. 9-14, (1979).  Article not seen.

Anorganische Pigmente in Vorgeschichte und Antike [Inorganic Pigments in Prehistory and Antiquity]. W. Noll, Fortschritte der Mineralogie, Vol. 57, No. 2, pp. 203-263, (1979).  The author reviews the use of artistic mineral pigments in ancient times.

Anorganische Pigmente: Disperse Festkörper mit Technisch Verwertbaren Optischen und Magnetischen Eigenschaften [Inorganic Pigments: Dispersed Solids with Technically Usable Optical and Magnetic Characteristics].  G. Winter, Fortschritte der Mineralogie, Vol. 57, No. 2, pp. 172-202, (1979).  A discussion of the properties of inorganic mineral pigments.

Color and Colorants in Ancient Egypt. R.G. Kuehni, Color Research and Application, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 169-172, (1980).  The uses of pigments and colorants in painting, dyeing, pottery, glass materials and jewelry manufacture are discussed.

Zum Lapis Lazuli in Indien – Einige Philologische Anmerkungen [On Lapis Lazuli in India – Some Philological Notes].  G. Buddruss, Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik, Vol. 5, No. 6, pp. 3-26, (1980).  Article not seen.

Synthetic Blue Pigments: Ninth to Sixteenth Centuries. M.V. Orna, M.J.D. Low and N.S. Baer, Studies in Conservation, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 53-63, (1980), and Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 155-160, (1985).  The authors discuss a variety of recipes for the synthesis of blue pigments used in the Middle Ages.

On the Nature of Colour Centres in Ultramarine and Blue Alkali Borate Glasses Containing Sulphur.  D.G. Galimov, K.D. Tarzwanov, and N.R. Yafaev, Physica Status Solidi A, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 65-71, (1981).  A spectroscopic study indicating that a sulfur-radical center is the cause of the blue color in these materials.

Lapis Lazuli on the Great Khorasan Road. Y. Majidzadeh, Paleorient, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 59-69, (1982).  The author discusses the trade in lapis lazuli between Badakhshan and Mesopotamia to the west, and China to the east, in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC.

Gem Trade Lab Notes – Lapis Lazuli Imitation.  C. Fryer, Gems & Gemology, Vol. 18, No. 3, p. 172, (1982).  Description of an imitation gem material.

Die Pigmente der Antiken Malerei [The Pigments of Ancient Painters]. J. Riederer, Die Naturwissenschaften, Vol. 69, No. 2, pp. 82-86, (1982).  The author discusses the use of colored earths and minerals as pigments beginning in prehistoric times until the 3rd millennium BC.

Visual Identification of Gilson Lapis.  R.K. Mitchell, Journal of Gemmology, Vol. 188, No. 2, pp. 114-118, (1982).  Gemological means to recognize imitation lapis lazuli.

Gem Trade Lab Notes – Lapis Lazuli, a New Imitation.  C. Fryer, Gems & Gemology, Vol. 19, No. 3, p. 174, (1983).  Description of an imitation gem material.

“Le Lapis Lazuli – son Histoire, ses Gisements, ses Imitations [Lapis Lazuli – History, Deposits, and Imitations]”.  C. da Cunha, La Rocher, Monaco, 138 pp., (1984).  The author presents detailed information on all aspects of this material.

Zur Natur der Lapis Lazuli-Limitation von Gilson [On the Nature of Gilson Imitation Lapis-Lazuli].  K. Schmetzer, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gemmologischen Gesellschaft, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 172-178, (1983).  A description of an imitation material and its gemological properties.   A similar article by this author on this material appeared in the Journal of Gemmology, Vol. 19, No. 7, pp. 571-578, (1985).

Cobalt Glass as a Lapis Imitation.  G. Bosshart, Gems & Gemology, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 228-231, (1983).  Description of an imitation gem material.

“Gem and Crystal Treasures”.  P. Bancroft, Western Enterprises, 487 pp., (1984).  This book on gem and mineral localities contains a section on lazurite from Afghanistan.

Lapis Lazuli: The Gem of Afghanistan.  J. Emmett, Lapidary Journal, Vol. 38, No. 11, pp. 1416-1419, (1985).  General information of lazurite and its history.

The Structure of Lazurite, ideally Na6Ca2(Al6Si6O24)S2, a Member of the Sodalite Group.  I. Hassan, R.C. Peterson and H.D. Grundy, Acta Crystallographica C, Vol. 41, No.6, pp. 827-832, (1985).  A crystal structure determination of lazurite.

Gem Trade Lab Notes – Lapis Lazuli, another Imitation.  K. Hurwit, Gems & Gemology, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 175-176, (1985).  Description of an imitation gem sample.

A Status Report on Gemstones from Afghanistan.  G.W. Bowersox, Gems & Gemology, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 192-204, (1985).  This report includes a description of the lazurite mines.

Localization of Lapis Lazuli Bodies of Badakhshan and their Mineral Zonation.  G.A. Yurgenson and B.P. Sukharev, International Geology Review, Vol. 27, No.2, pp. 230-237, (1985).  A discussion of the geologic setting of lazurite deposits hosted by skarns in marbles in Badakhshan.

Gem Trade Lab Notes –Lapis Lazuli Imitation, Dyed Blue Quartzite. R. Kane, Gems & Gemology, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 49-50, (1986).  Description of an imitation gem sample.

Gem Trade Lab Notes – Imitation Lapis Lazuli.  G.R. Crowningshield, Gems & Gemology, Vol. 22, No. 4, p. 238-239, (1986).  Description of an imitation gem sample.

Gem Trade Lab Notes – Dyed Lapis Lazuli, Difficult to Detect.  R. Kane, Gems & Gemology, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 172-173, (1986).  Note on testing dyed material.

“Symbols of Excellence”.  G. Clark, Cambridge University Press, 126 pp., (1986).  The author, a leading authority on prehistory, discusses the question of why precious metals, gems and a few organic materials (ivory, pearls) are valued so highly in human civilization, in spite of being difficult to obtain and largely “useless for practical purposes”. 

Colour: Its Significance and Production in Ancient Egypt. J. Ragai, Endeavor, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 74-79, (1986).  A discussion of the use of natural minerals and artificial materials as artistic pigments.

Magic-Angle-Spinning NMR shows the Aluminosilicate Framework of Ultramarine to be Disordered.  J. Klinowski, S.W. Carr, S.E. Tarling and P. Barnes, Nature, Vol. 330, No. 6143, pp. 56-58, (1987).  The authors demonstrate that the aluminosilicate framework of natural lazurite is different than that of synthetic ultramarine.

The Lapis Lazuli Sources in the Ancient East.  A.B. Delmas and M. Casanova, Proceedings of South Asian Archaeology, pp. 493-505, (1987).  Article not seen.

“Lapis Lazuli in Geological Contexts and in Ancient Written Sources”. L. van Rosen, Paul Åströms Förlag, Sweden, 47 pp., (1988).  Booklet not seen.

Natural Pigments and their Geologic Occurrence. V.N. Golubov, International Geology Review, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 467-473, (1968).  A review of natural pigment materials.

Observations on Turquoise, Lapis-Lazuli and Coral, and Some of their Simulants.  S. Taki and M. Honda, Journal of Gemmology, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 74-81, (1988).  Photomicrographs of the texture and appearance of these gem materials.

The Structure and Si, Al Distribution of the Ultramarines.  S.E. Tarling, P. Barnes and J. Klinowski, Acta Crystallographica B, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 128-135, (1988).  A crystal structure study of various ultramarine pigments.

4th Millennium BC Lapis Lazuli Working at Mehrgarh, Pakistan.  M. Tozi and M. Vidale, Paleorient, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 89-99, (1990).  An archaeological study of one of the earliest known sites for the making of lapis lazuli bead jewelry.

Pigments d'Egypte, Étude Physique de Matières Colorantes Bleue, Rouge, Blanche, Verte et Jaune, Provenant de Karnak [Pigments of Egypt – Physical Study of Coloring Matters Blue, Red, White, Green and Yellow, coming from Karnak]. O. Rouchon, J. Fabre, M.P. Etcheverry and M. Schvoerer, Revue d'Archéométrie, No. 14, pp. 87-97, (1990).  Article not seen.

A Study of Materials used by Medieval Persian Painters.  N. Purinton and M. Watters, Journal of the American Institute of Conservation, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 125-144, (1991).  A study of ancient works of art indicates the presence of lapis lazuli as a pigment material.

The Sources of Lapis-lazuli Found in Iran.  M. Casanova, South Asian Archaeology 1989, pp. 49-56, (1992). Article not seen.

Lapis Lazuli Beadmaking in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  J.M. Kenoyer, Ornament Magazine, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 70-87, (1992).  Article not seen.

Ultramarine Blue, Natural and Artificial.  J. Plesters, in A. Roy, “Artists Pigments – A Handbook of their History and Characteristics”, Vol. 2, pp. 37-65, (1993).  The author gives a detailed description of these pigments.

Semi-Precious Stone Working at Mundigak: Carnelian and Lapis Lazuli.  B. Barthélémy de Saizieu and M. Casanova, Proceedings of South Asian Archaeology, pp. 189-210, (1993).  Article not seen.

Lapis-Lazuli, die Unendliche Geschichte [Lapis Lazuli, the Never Ending History]. A. Werth, Lapis, Vol. 19, No. 11, pp. 20-27, (1994).  General information on the occurrence and trade in lazurite.

Ultramarine, Lazurite and Sodalite Studied by Positron Annihilation and EPR Methods.  A. Baranowski, M. Debowska, K. Jerie, A. Jezierski and M. Sachanbinski, Acta Physica Polonica A, Vol. 88, No. 1, pp. 29-41, (1995).  A study of natural lazurite and sodalite and their synthetic counterparts.

“Gemstones of Afghanistan”.  G.W. Bowersox and B.E. Chamberlin, Geoscience Press, Tucson, 220 pp., (1995).  The authors review the history of the lapis lazuli from Badakhshan, including its geographic occurrence, geologic conditions of formation, and the trade in this material throughout history.

Matiere Premiere et Commerce a Longue Distance: Le lapis-lazuli et l'Egypte Predynastique [Raw Material and Commerce at a Long Distance: Lapis Lazuli and Predynastic Egypt].  L. Bavay, Archéo-Nil, No. 7, pp. 79-100, (1997).  Article not seen.

Raman spectroscopic library of Natural and Synthetic Pigments (pre ~1850 AD).  I.M. Bell, R.J.H. Clark, and P.J. Gibbs, Spectrochimica Acta A, Vol. 53, No. 12, pp. 2159-2179, (1997).  A library of Raman spectra for 60 natural pigments known to have been in use before about 1850.

Lapis lazuli from the Western Desert? A. Nibbi, Discussions in Egyptology, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 131-135, (1998).  Article not seen.

Encapsulation of the Chromophores into the Sodalite Structure during the Synthesis of the Blue Ultramarine Pigment.  N. Gobeltz, A. Demortier, J.P. Lelieur and C. Duhayon, Journal of the Chemical Society - Faraday Transactions, Vol. 94, No. 15, pp. 2257-2260, (1998).  A short article on the synthesis of ultramarine pigments with different chemical compositions.

From Minerals to Art.  S. Robinson, Rocks & Minerals, Vol. 74, No. 5, pp. 328-331, (1999).  Before the synthesis of color pigments beginning in the early 19th century, the author discusses how natural mineral pigments were difficult to obtain and refine for artistic use.

Metamorphic Evolution of the Precambrian South Badakhshan Block, based on Mineral Reactions in Metapelites and Metabasites Associated with White Schists from Sar-e-Sang (Western Hindu Kush, Afghanistan).  S.W. Faryad, Precambrian Research, Vol. 98, No. 3/4, pp. 223-241, (1999).  A geological study of the geological conditions of metamorphism that formed the lazurite deposits.

The Nature of the Chalcogen Colour Centres in Ultramarine-type Solids.  D. Reinen and G.G. Lindner, Chemical Society Reviews, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 75-84, (1999).  An article on the synthesis of ultramarine pigments with different chemical compositions.

A Colour Chemist's History of Western Art.  H. Skelton, Review of Progress in Coloration and Related Topics, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 43-64, (1999).  The author discusses the history of artistic use of natural mineral pigments.

The Aesthetic Value of Lapis Lazuli in Mesopotamia.  I.J. Winter, in A. Caubet, “Cornaline et Pierres Précieuses la Méditerranée de l’Antiquité à l’Islam”, Musée du Louvre, Paris, pp. 43-58, (1999).  Among precious stones used in ancient Mesopotamia, the author discusses how lapis lazuli was accorded considerable value based on the archaeological record.  An updated version of the article was published in “On Art in the Ancient Near East”, Vol. 2, pp. 291-306, (2009).

Spectrochemical Characterization by Micro-FTIR Spectroscopy of Blue Pigments in Different Polychrome Works of Art.  S. Bruni, F. Cariati, F. Casadio and L. Toniolo, Vibrational Spectroscopy, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 15-25, (1999).  The authors carried out an analytical study of blue paint samples taken from art works dating from the 2nd to 20th centuries AD to characterize the pigments.

Transmission Electron Microscopy and Differential Thermal Studies of Lazurite Polymorphs.  I. Hassan, American Mineralogist, Vol. 85, No. 10, pp. 1383-1389, (2000).  This study has demonstrated the existence of three different structural polymorphs of lazurite.

A Study of Lapis Lazuli in the Formative Period of Egyptian Culture: An Approach in Terms of Culture Contact.  M. Ohshiro, Orient, Vol. 35, pp. 60-74, (2000).  The author discusses the trade of lapis lazuli between Mesopotamia and Egypt during the formative cultural period of the latter.

New Routes in the Preparation of Ultramarine.  C. Gurris, C. Migowski and J. C. Buhl, “Applied Mineralogy in Research, Economy, Technology, Ecology and Culture”, A.A. Balkema Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 787-790, (2000).  Article not seen.

Identification of the Provenance of Lapis Lazuli from Ornamental Objects using a Non-destructive Method.  A. Banerjee, Arbeitsblätter für Restauratoren, Vol. 34, pp. 265-270, (2001).  Article not seen.

Lapis Lazuli – Eigenschaften und Vorkommen, Imitationen und künstliche Eigenschaftsveränderungen [Lapis Lazuli – Properties and Occurrences: Imitations and Treatments].  U. Henn and C. Braun, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gemmologischen Gesellschaft, Vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 95-108, (2001).  A gemological description of the material including imitations and treatment methods.

Le Lapis-Lazuli, la Pierre Précieuse de l'Orient Ancien [Lapis-Lazuli – Precious Stone of the Ancient East]".  M. Casanova, Dialogues d'Histoire Ancienne, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 149-170, (2001).  Article not seen.

Characterization of Azurite- and Lazurite-based Pigments by Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy and Micro-Raman Spectroscopy. M. Bicchieri, M. Nardone, P.A. Russo, A. Sodo and E. Tognoni, Spectrochimica Acta B, Vol 56, No. 6, pp. 915-922, (2001).  The authors use several analytical techniques to characterize blue pigments used in Medieval manuscripts.

Library of FT-Raman Spectra of Pigments, Minerals, Pigment Media and Varnishes, and Supplement to Existing Library of Raman Spectra of Pigments with Visible Excitation.  L. Burgio and R.J.H. Clark, Spectrochimica Acta A, Vol. 57, No. 7, pp. 1491-1521, (2001).  The authors created a database of sixty Raman spectra of pigments.

Metamorphic Conditions and Fluid Compositions of Scapolite-bearing Rocks from the Lapis Lazuli Deposit at Sar e Sang, Afghanistan.  S.W. Faryad, Journal of Petrology, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 725-747, (2002).  A geologic study of the metamorphic conditions of skarn mineral formation at the lapis lazuli deposit.
Chemistry in Ancient Times: The Development of Blue and Purple Pigments.  H. Berke, Angewandte Chemie – International Edition, Vol. 41, No. 14, pp. 2483-2487, (2002).  A review of the use of mineral pigments in ancient societies.
Occupancy of the Sodalite Cages in the Blue Ultramarine Pigments.  N. Gobeltz-Hautecoeur, A. Demortier, B. Lede, J.P. Lelieur and C. Duhayon, Inorganic Chemistry, Vol. 41, No. 11, pp. 2848-2854, (2002).  A spectroscopy study of the concentration of various sulfur species in ultramarine pigments.

Le Lapis-Lazuli, Joyau de l’Orient Ancien [Lapis Lazuli – Jewel of the Ancient East].  M. Casanova, in J. Guilaine, “Matèriaux, Productions, Circulations du Néolithique à l’Age du Bronze”, Paris, pp. 169-190, (2002).  Article not seen.

Etude Spectrometrique de la Lazurite du Pamir, Tajikistan.  M. Ostroumov, E. Fritsch, E. Faulques and O. Chauvet, Canadian Mineralogist, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 885-893, (2002).  A study of Pamir lazurite using several different spectroscopy techniques.

Lapis Lazuli as Unexpected Blue Pigment in Iranian Lajvardina Ceramics. P. Colomban, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, Vol. 34, No. 6, pp. 420-423, (2003).  The discovery of natural ultramarine pigments in these Iranian ceramics confirms an 14th century alchemist’s treatise of coloration.

Historical Pigments: A Collection Analyzed by X-ray Diffraction Analysis and X-ray Fluorescence Analysis in Order to Create a Database. B. Hochleitner, V. Desnica, M. Mantler and M. Schreiner, Spectrochimica Acta B, Vol. 58, No. 4, pp. 641-649, (2003).  The authors create a database of information on inorganic pigments based on two Xray analysis techniques.

The Effect of Cation Composition on the Synthesis and Properties of Ultramarine Blue.  D.G. Booth, S.E. Dann and M.T. Weller, Dyes and Pigments, Vol. 58, No. 1, pp. 73-82, (2003).  The authors investigate the effect of potassium cations on the shade of ultramarine blue pigments, which they demonstrate produces a redder shade in the material.

The Ultra Blue: The Story of Ultramarine. D. Ainley, Chemistry Review, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 2-6, (2003).  Article not seen.

Lapis Lazuli from Sar-e-Sang, Badakhshan, Afghanistan.  W. Heflik and L. Natkaniec-Nowak, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gemmologischen Gesellschaft, Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 11-24, (2003).  The authors characterize this gem material with a variety of analytical techniques.

Micro-Raman Reveals "True Blue" - Chemical Detectives Shine a Light on the Pigmented Past. D. Bradley, Today's Chemist at Work, (January), pp. 17-18, 21, (2003).  A short article on the use of Raman spectroscopy to characterize pigments in works of art.

On the Nature of Lazurite Coloring [in Russian].  V.L. Tauson and A.N. Sapozhnikov, Zapiski Vserossijkogo Mineralogicheskogo Obshchestva, Vol. 132, No. 5, pp. 102-107, (2003).  Article not seen.

New Synthesis and Insight into the Structure of Blue Ultramarine Pigments. D. Arieli, D.E.W. Vaughan and D. Goldfarb, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 126, No. 18, pp. 5776-5788, (2004).  A description of a new method for pigment synthesis.

Solid-State NMR and Resonance Raman Studies of Ultramarine Pigments. E. Del Federico, W. Schoefberger, R. Kumar, W. Ling, S.M. Kapetanaki, J. Schelvis and A. Jershow, Proceedings of the Materials Research Society, Vol. 852, pp. 247-254, (2004).  A study of the sulfur species responsible for the coloration of ultramarine pigments.

Identification of Lapis-Lazuli Pigments in Paint Layers by PIGE Measurements. N. Grassi, A. Migliori, P.A. Mando and H. Calvo del Castillo, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, Vol. 219/220, No. 1, pp. 48-52, (2004).  A description of an improved technique for analyzing pigment paint layers.

Pigment Analysis: Potentialities and Problems. G. Chiari and D. Scott, Periodico di Mineralogia, Vol. 73, No. 3, pp. 227-237, (2004).  Article not seen.

Multianalytical Characterisation of a Variety of Ultramarine Pigments. V. Desnica, K. Furić and M. Schreiner, e-Preservation Science, Vol. 1, pp. 15-21, (2004).  A study of eleven synthetic pigments using a variety of techniques.

The History of Artificial Ultramarine (1787-1844): Science, Industry and Secrecy.  J. Mertens, Ambix, Vol. 51, No. 3, pp. 219-244, (2004).  Between 1826 and 1828, three ways were developed independently of synthesizing artificial ultramarine pigments.  The author chronicles the history of these products, and then their industrial production and marketing.

Where Does Lapis Lazuli Come From?  Non-destructive Provenance Analysis by PGAA.  J. Zöldföldi, J. Mihaly, S. Richter and Z. Kasztovsky, 34th International Symposium on Archaeometry, pp. 353-361, (2004).  The authors report chemical analysis data on natural lazurite samples that provide the basis for determining their geographic country of origin.

Routes du Lapis Lazuli, Lâjvardina et Échanges entre arts du Verre, de la Céramique et du Livre [Routes for Lapis Lazuli, Pottery and Exchanges of Glassware, Ceramics, and Books].  P. Colomban, “Chine-Méditerranée - Routes et Échanges de la Céramique avant le XVIè Siècle”, Editions Findaky, pp. 145-152, (2005).  The author discusses the historical trade from Europe through Central Asia to China in lazurite and its use as a pigment for artistic purposes to pottery, glassware, ceramics and in illustrated manuscripts.

Colour and Art: A Brief History of Pigments. J.R. Barnett, S. Miller and E. Pearce, Optics and Laser Technology, Vol. 38, No. 4/6, pp. 445-453, (2006).  Article not seen.

Lapis Lazuli in an Enigmatic 'Purple' Pigment from a Thirteenth-Century BC Greek Wall Painting. A. Brysbaert, Studies in Conservation, Vol. 51, No. 4, pp. 252-266, (2006).  The authors found lapis lazuli used as pigment in an early Greek Bronze Age wall painting.

Genesis and Composition of Lazurite in Magnesian Skarns.  S.M. Alekandrov and V.G. Senin, Geochemistry International, Vol. 44, No. 10, pp. 976-988, (2006).  The authors discuss the geological conditions of the formation of lazurite and other minerals in skarn deposits.

Insight into Framework Destruction in Ultramarine Pigments.  E. Del Federico, W. Shoefberger, J. Schelvis, S. Kapetanaki, L. Tyne and A. Jerschow, Inorganic Chemistry, Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 1270-1276, (2006). The authors describe evidence of the crystal structure of ultramarine pigments during color fading in fresco paintings.

Mineralogical Characterization of the Blue Pigment of Michelangelo’s Fresco “The Last Judgement”.  P. Ballirano and A. Maras, American Mineralogist, Vol. 91, No. 7, pp. 997-1005, (2006).  The blue pigment in the painting was found to contain lazurite, although the provenance of the material could not be established.

Forms and Origin of structure modulation in lazurites.  N. Bolotina, Philosophical Magazine, Vol. 87, No. 18/21, pp. 2679-2685, (2007).  A discussion of the lazurite crystal structure.

The Invention of Blue and Purple Pigments in Ancient Times.  H. Berke, Chemical Society Reviews, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 15-30, (2007).  A discussion of the development of intense pigments by chemical synthesis among ancient civilizations.

Lapis Lazuli for Blue Decoration of Polychrome Painted Glaze Pottery: A Recurrent Technology during the Middle Ages in Apulia (Southern Italy). I.M. Catalano, A. Genga, C. Laganara, R. Laviano, A. Mangone, D. Marano and A. Traini, Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 503-511, (2007).  The discovery of natural ultramarine pigments in pottery glazes from a Medieval site in Italy.

Lapis Lazuli and Phlogopite Paragenesis from Sar-e-Sang Deposit (Badakhshan, Afghanistan).  L Natkaniec-Nowak, W. Heflik and M. Dumanska-Slowik, Gemmologie - Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gemmologischen Gesellschaft, Vol. 57, No. 3/4, pp. 103-112, (2008).  The authors discuss the geological conditions of lazurite formation.

CO2 entrapment in natural ultramarine blue.  C. Miliani, A. Daveri, B.G. Brunetti and A. Sgamellotti, Chemical Physics Letters, Vol. 466, No. 4/6, pp. 148-151, (2008).  Infrared spectroscopy demonstrates the presence of small amounts of carbon dioxide in voids in the crystal structure of natural lazurite from Afghanistan.

Cluster Ordering in Synthetic Ultramarine Pigments. E. Climent-Pascual, R. Sáez-Puche, A. Gómez-Herrero and J. Romero de Paz, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, Vol. 116, No. 1/3, pp. 344-351, (2008).  A crystal structure study of several synthesized pigments.

Electronic States of the Ultramarine Chromophore S3-.  R. Linguerri, N. Komiha, J. Fabian and P. Rosmus, Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie, Vol. 222, No. 1, pp. 163-176, (2008).  A study of the sulfur chromophore in ultramarine.

An Integrated Spectroscopic Approach for the Identification of What Distinguishes Afghan Lapis Lazuli from Others.  M. Bacci, C. Cucci, E. Del Federico, A. Ienco, A. Jerschow, J.M. Newman and M. Picollo, Vibrational Spectroscopy, Vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 80-83, (2009).  The authors discuss certain spectroscopic features which distinguish Afghan material from other geographic sources.

Multitechnique Characterization of Lapis Lazuli for Provenance Study. A. Lo Giudice, A. Re, S. Calusi, L. Giuntini, M. Massi, P. Olivero, G. Pratesi, M. Albonico and E. Conz, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Vol. 395, No. 7, pp. 2211-2217, (2009).  Lapis lazuli has been used for glyptic purposes (jewels, amulets, seals and inlays) for more than 6000 years.  From an archaeological perspective, identification of the geographic sources of lazurite helps to reconstruct ancient trade routes.  In this study, the authors used several techniques to identify the provenance of lapis lazuli samples from four main sources (Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Chile, and Siberia).

Characterization of Lapis Lazuli Pigments using a Multitechnique Analytical Approach: Implications for Identification and Geological Provenancing.  C.M. Schmidt, M.S. Walton and K. Trentelman, Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 81, No. 20, pp. 8513-8518, (2009).  The authors used several different analytical techniques to characterize areas painted with ultramarine pigments in illuminated pages from a 14th century Italian manuscript.

The Presence of Trapped Carbon Dioxide in Lapis Lazuli and its Potential use in Geo-Sourcing Natural Ultramarine Pigment.  G.D. Smith and R.J. Klinshaw, Journal of Cultural Heritage, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 415-421, (2009).  The authors cast doubt of the use of trapped carbon dioxide (detected by infrared spectroscopy) in natural lazurite as a geo-sourcing criterion, since it appears to occur and not occur in lazurite from a number of geographic sources.  However, its presence seems to be an indication of natural material since it has not been found in artificial pigments.

Analysis of Natural and Artificial Ultramarine Blue Pigments using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy and Pulsed Raman Spectroscopy, Statistical Analysis and Light Microscopy.  I. Osticioli, N.F.C. Mendes, A. Nevin, F.P.S.C. Gil, M. Becucci and E. Castellucci, Spectrochimica Acta A, Vol. 73, No. 3, pp. 525-531, (2009).  A characterization study of various natural and artificial pigments.

“A Multi-instrument Investigation of Pigments, Binders and Varnishes from Egyptian Paintings (AD 1300-1900): Molecular and Elemental Analysis Using Raman, GC-MS and SEM-EDX Techniques”.  M.H. Abdel-Ghani, PhD Thesis, University of Bradford, (2009).  A study of Egyptian paintings by several techniques revealed the presence of twenty-eight organic and inorganic pigments, some of which had never been previously reported.

“New Thoughts on the Trade of Lapis Lazuli in the Ancient Near East c. 3000 - 2000 BC”.  K.M. Ajango, PhD Thesis, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, (2010).  The author discusses evidence for the trade in lapis lazuli from Afghanistan along network routes that extended throughout the ancient Near East.

X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy of Ultramarine Pigments: A New Analytical Method for the Polysulfide Radical Anion S3- Chromophore.  M.E. Fleet and X. Liu, Spectrochimica Acta B, Vol. 65, No. 1, pp. 75-79, (2010).  A characterization study of sulfur species in blue and mauve artists’ pigments.

Lapis Lazuli – Stein für Pharaonen, Könige und Kaiser [Lapis Lazuli – Stone of Pharoahs, Kings and Emperors].  G. Niedermayr, Mineralien Welt, Vol. 4, No. 5, pp. 14-29, (2010).  The author discusses the historical use of lazurite.

“Lapis Lazuli – In Pursuit of a Celestial Stone”.  S. Searight, East and West Publishing Ltd., London, 228 pp., (2010).  The author traces the importance of lapis lazuli through many cultures and their histories in Central Asia, the Middle East and in Europe.

The Aesthetic Value of Lapis Lazuli in Mesopotamia.  I.J. Winter, “On Art in the Ancient Near East”, Vol. 2, Chap. 27, p. 291-306, (2010).  Lapis lazuli was one of the more widely used gem materials in ancient Mesopotamia based on archaeological evidence.

Sulphur Speciation in Lazurite-type Minerals (Na,Ca)8[Al6Si6O24](SO4,S)2 and their Annealing Products: A Comparative XPS and XAS Study.  V.L. Tauson, J. Goettlicher, A.N. Sapozhnikov, S. Mangold and E.E. Lustenberg, European Journal of Mineralogy, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 133-152, (2011).  Sulfur is important as the cause of the blue color, and the authors present a study of its speciation in lazurite.

Afghanistan's Blue Treasure: Lapis Lazuli”.  L.M. Bakhtiar, Front Porch Publishing, Lakeland, Tennessee, 132 pp., (2012).  Book not seen.

Micro-PIXE Analysis of Pyrite in Lapis Lazuli for a Provenance Study.  A. Re, D. Angelici, A. Biondi, D. Ceccato, L. La Torre, A. Lo Giudice, E. Maupas, G. Pratesi and V. Rigato, Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro Annual Report, pp. 135-136, (2011).  This short article discusses the chemical analysis of pyrite, and accessory mineral in lapis lazuli, as a new approach to identifying the geographic source of the material.  A similar article by these authors appeared in Applied Physics A, Vol. 111, No. 1, pp. 69-74, (2013).

Characterization of Lapis Lazuli and Corresponding Purified Pigments for a Provenance Study of Ultramarine Pigments used in Works of Art.  M. Favaro, A. Guastoni, F. Marini, S. Bianchin and A. Gambirasi, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Vol. 402, No. 6, pp. 2195-2208, (2012).  The authors propose an analytical methodology for attributing geographical provenance to lapis lazuli pigments used in works of art.

The Celestial Stone.  R. Covington, Saudi Aramco World, Vol. 64, No. 2, (2013).  A discussion of the historical use of lapis lazuli in works of art.

Rocks as Blue, Green and Black Pigments/Dyes of Glazed Pottery and Enamelled Glass Artefacts - A Review.  P. Colomban, European Journal of Mineralogy, Vol. 25, No. 5, pp. 863-879, (2013).  The author discusses the ancient use of mineral pigments, and the development of enamelling and glazing technologies for use on ceramics and glasses.

“Le Lapis Lazuli dans l’Orient Ancien [Lapis Lazuli in the Ancient East]”.  M. Casanova, CTHS Edition, Aubervilliers, 284 pp., (2013).  Book not seen.  A related article by this author had appeared earlier in Dialogues d’Histoire Ancienne, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 149-170, (2001).

A Systematic Examination of Colour Development in Synthetic Ultramarine According to Historical Methods.  I. Hamerton, L. Tedaldi and N. Eastaugh, PloS One, Vol. 8, No. 2, Art. e50364, (2013).  The authors investigated a number of historical texts to ascertain the optimum conditions for the preparation of synthetic ultramarine, using preparative methods that would have been available to alchemists and colour chemists of the nineteenth century. They also investigated the effect of varying the proportion of sulfur in the starting material on the colour of the final product.

Analytical Raman Spectroscopy in a Forensic Art Context: The Non-destructive Discrimination of Genuine and Fake Lapis Lazuli.  M.A. Ali Esam and H.G.M. Edwards, Spectrochimica Acta A, Vol. 121, (March), pp. 415-419, (2014).  The authors discuss a spectroscopy method to distinguish lazurite materials in jewelry as well as works of art.

Soft X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and Imaging of Sulfur in Lapis Lazuli. M.S. Walton, A.A. Gambardella and C.M. Schmidt-Patterson, Microscopy and Microanalysis, Vol. 20, No. S3, pp. 2040-2041, (2014).  Article not seen.

Famous Mineral Localities: The Sar-e-Sang Lapis Mines, Kuran Wa Munjan District, Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan. T.P. Moore and R.W.M. Woodside, Mineralogical Record, Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 280-336, (2014).  This article provides a description of this famous mineral locality.

Characterization of the Lapis Lazuli from the Egyptian Treasure of Tôd and its Alteration using External μ-PIXE and μ-IBIL.  T. Calligaro, Y. Coquinot, L. Pichon, G. Pierrat-Bonnefois, P. de Campos, A. Re and D. Angelici, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, Vol. 318, Part A, pp. 139-144, (2014).  Discovered in 1936, this buried treasure (dated from the 20th century BC) consisted of four copper chests that contained thousands of pieces of rough lazurite along with many silver and a few gold items.  Since lazurite does not occur in Egypt, the material in this treasure originated elsewhere.  Chemical analysis demonstrated that the material came from the historical deposit in Badakshan, Afghanistan.

Historical Pigment Characterization by Quantitative X-ray Fluorescence (XRF).  D. Fontana, M.F. Alberghina, R. Barraco, S. Basile, L. Tranchina, M. Brai, A. Gueli and S.O. Troja, Journal of Cultural Heritage, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 266-274, (2014).  Most historical paints consist of inorganic pigments spread on surfaces using different binding agents.  This study presents XRF data on pure and mixed pigments for use in evaluating pigment concentrations in unknown paints.

Analytical Raman Spectroscopy in a Forensic Art Context: The Non-destructive Discrimination of Genuine and Fake Lapis Lazuli. M.A.A. Esam and H.G.M. Edwards, Spectrochimica Acta A, Vol. 121, pp. 415-419, (2014).  The authors discuss using a portable Raman spectroscopy unit to differentiate genuine and fake lapis lazuli in art works.

Luxuries of Precious Materials – The Royal Cemetery of Ur (Iraq) and the Lapis Lazuli – Witnesses of Intercultural Relations in the Near East.  M. Casanova, in M. Casanova and M. Feldman, “Les Produits de Luxe au Proche-Orient Ancien aux Âges du Bronze et du Fer”, Paris, pp. 31-44, (2014).  Article not seen.

Evaluating Potential Lapis Lazuli Sources for Ancient South Asia using Sulfur Isotope Analysis.   R. Law, in C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, B. Genito and B. Cerasetti, “My Life is Like the Summer Rose: Maurizio Tosi e l'Archeologia Come Modo di Vita”, Archaeopress Publishers, Oxford, pp. 419-429, (2014). A study of potential ancient lazurite sources in Central Asia (Afghanistan and Tajikistan (?)) and in Russia southwest of Lake Baikal.  The author concludes that the Afghan deposits were the only viable source for peoples in South Asia and the Near East in ancient times.

The Pharmaceutical Use of Lapis Lazuli in the Ancient East.  C.J. Duffin, Pharmaceutical Historian, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 84-87, (2014).  A review of the medical use of lazurite among ancient civilizations.

Historic Mineral Pigments: Colorful Benchmarks of Ancient Civilizations.  M.V. Orna, In S.C. Rasmussen, “Chemical Technology in Antiquity”, Chap. 2, pp. 17-69, American Chemical Society, (2015).  A review of the ancient use of mineral pigments.

µ-XRF Analysis of Trace Elements in Lapis Lazuli-Forming Minerals for a Provenance Study. D. Angelici, A. Borghi, F. Chiarelli, R. Cossio, G. Gariani, A. Lo Giudice, A. Re, G. Pratesi and G. Vaggelli, Microscopy and Microanalysis, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 526-533, (2015).  Lapis lazuli is a rock consisting of lazurite and other minerals.  The authors analyzed diopside and pyrite samples from known lapis lazuli sources to provide an additional tool for provenance determination.

Identification of Lazurite Pigment in Persian Miniatures by PIXE and AFM Methods. M.B. Kasiri, Journal of Color Science and Technology, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 251-258, (2015).  A study of blue paints used in 15th century Persian painting.

Lapis Lazuli – The Most Beautiful Rock in the World.  D. Emerson, Preview, Vol. 179, pp. 63-73. (2015). A review of the history and characteristics of lapis lazuli.

Protocol for Lapis Lazuli Provenance Determination: Evidence for an Afghan Origin of the Stones used for Ancient Carved Artefacts Kept at the Egyptian Museum of Florence (Italy). A. Lo Giudice, D. Angelici, A. Re, G. Gariani, A. Borghi, S. Calusi, L. Giuntini, M. Massi, L. Castelli, F. Taccetti, T. Calligaro, C. Pacheco, Q. Lemasson, L. Pichon, B. Mojgnard, G. Pratesi and M.C. Guidotti, Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 637-651, (2016).  A study of carved museum artifacts using several techniques demonstrates that the lazurite originates from Afghanistan.

Ultramarine – Not Just a Pigment of Traditional Folk Architecture Plasters. R. Nečas and D. Všianský, Procedia Engineering, Vol. 151, pp. 114-118, (2016).  The authors discuss the synthesis of blue ultramarine pigment using historical formulas, and comparison of that material to archaeological samples.

Preliminary Results of Time-resolved Ion Beam-induced Luminescence Applied to the Provenance Study of Lapis Lazuli. C. Czelusniak, L. Palla, M. Massi, L. Carraresi, L. Giuntini, A. Re, A. Lo Giudice, G. Pratesi, A. Mazzinghi, C. Rubeto, L. Castelli, M.E. Fedi, L. Liccioli, A. Gueli, P.A. Mando and F. Taccetti, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, Vol. 371, pp. 336-339, (2016).  Luminescence studies of lazurite samples from Chile, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Myanmar, and Siberia suggest that certain spectral features might aid in provenance determination.

Raman Spectroscopy of Minerals and Mineral Pigments in Archaeometry. D. Bersani and P.P. Lottici, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, Vol. 47, No. 5, pp. 499-530, (2016).  The authors discuss the value of this analytical technique for characterizing mineral pigments.

Lapis Lazuli, Lazurite, Ultramarine ‘Blue’, and the Colour Term ‘Azure’ up to the 13th Century.  G. Frison and G. Brun, Journal of the International Colour Association, Vol. 16, pp. 41-55, (2016).  The authors discuss the changing historical use of these color terms.

A Review of Ancient Egyptian Pigments and Cosmetics.  D.A. Scott, Studies in Conservation, Vol. 61, No. 4, pp. 185-202, (2016).  The author discusses the pigments used in ancient Egypt, which were the most diverse pigment palette used at the time.

Egyptian Blue: Modern Myths, Ancient Realities.  A. Skovmøller, C. Brøns and M.L. Sargent, Journal of Roman Archaeology, Vol. 29, pp. 371-387, (2016).  Discussion of several types of blue pigments used anciently in Egypt.

The Use of Geological Materials in Ancient and Contemporary Art.  R. Dickerson and P. Fortner, Geology Today, Vol. 33, No. 5, pp. 185-189, (2017).  The authors review the history of use of mineral pigments.

Ionoluminescence Spectroscopy and Microscopy of Lapis Lazuli.  T. Nikbakht, O. Kakuee and M. Lamehi-Rachti, Journal of Luminescence, Vol. 181, pp. 246-251, (2017).  A characterization of minerals in lapis lazuli using several techniques.

Thermoluminescence in Lapis Lazuli Crystal: Glow Peaks and their Connection with F-centers Estimated by ESR Analysis.  N.B. Silva-Carrera, N.F. Cano, T.K. Gundu-Rao, J.S. Ayala-Arenas and S. Watanabe, Journal of Luminescence, Vol. 188, pp. 472-477, (2017).  A study of the thermoluminescence of lazurite reveals defect centers related to Mn2+ and Fe3+, along with what are called F-centers (an oxygen vacancy with two electrons).

Materials and Techniques in Lapis Lazuli. K. Flitcroft, Gems and Jewellery, Vol. 26, (Summer), pp. 32-35, (2017).  The author discusses the use of various lapidary techniques to manufacture lazurite for jewelry and other artistic purposes.

Ion Microbeam Analysis in Cultural Heritage: Application to Lapis Lazuli and Ancient Coins. A. Lo Giudice, A. Re, D. Angelici, J. Corsi, G. Gariani, M. Zangirolami and E. Ziraldo, Acta Imeko, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 76-81, (2017).  The authors use this analytical technique to measure the trace elements in lapis lazuli for provenance determination.

“Egyptian Blue” or “Lapis Lazuli Paste”? Structural Study and Identification of the Collection of the Objects Nominate [Designated as] Lapis Lazuli Paste in the National Museum of Iran. M. Dadashzadeh, M. Gorji and R. Vahidazadeh, Journal of Research on Archaeometry, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 35-48, (2017).  The authors distinguish between lapis lazuli, a blue rock composed of several minerals including lazurite, and “Egyptian blue”, a frit composed of quartz, lime, a copper mineral (cuproivaite) and an alkali flux that is heated at high temperature to make a glass.  The latter is one of the earliest known multicomponent synthetic pigments produced in ancient times.  The authors conclude that “lapis lazuli paste”, a term commonly reported in some archaeological studies and elsewhere, does not exist.  Museum objects labeled with this term were found to be Egyptian blue.

The Route of Lapis Lazuli: Lapis Lazuli Trade from Afghanistan to Egypt during the Mid-Late Bronze Age.  H. Huang, Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, Vol. 183, pp. 391-399, (2018).  The author discusses how the study of the lapis lazuli trade has great significance in understanding the trans-regional history of the Middle East and Central Asia in ancient times.

Identification of Blue Pigments Known as Lazurite in The Illumination of The Safavid Era.  S.M. Hosseini, H.R. Bakhshandehfar and H. Aslani, Journal of Color Science and Technology, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 293-304, (2018).  Blue pigments used on historical illuminated manuscripts from Persia were found to be artificial lazurite.

From Lapis Lazuli to Ultramarine Blue: Investigating Cennino Cennini’s Recipe using Sulfur K-edge XANES.  M. Ganio, E.S. Pouyet, S.M. Webb, C.M. Schmidt-Patterson and M.S. Walton, Pure and Applied Chemistry, Vol. 90, No. 3, pp. 463-475, (2018).  The authors describe how the traditional method of extracting the blue component, lazurite, from lapis lazuli, involves a lengthy purification process: (1) finely grinding the rock; (2) mixing with pine rosin, gum mastic, and beeswax; (3) massaging in water to collect the lazurite as the ultramarine pigment.  In this article, they investigate the sulfur environment within the aluminosilicate framework of the mineral during the extraction process. 

“Blue: The History of a Color”.  M. Pastereau, Princeton University Press, 216 pp., (2018).  The author traces the changing means of the color term “blue” throughout history.

Mineral Pigments in Archaeology: Their Analysis and the Range of Available Materials.  R. Siddall, Minerals, Vol. 8, No. 5, pp. 1-35, (2018).  The author reviews the history of artistic and cosmetic use of mineral pigments and their synthetic analogues.

Mineral Pigments: The Colourful Palette of Nature.  I. Reiche, EMU Notes in Mineralogy, Vol. 20, Chap. 7, pp. 283-322, European Mineralogical Union, (2019).  A review of the use of mineral pigments in art and archaeological objects, and the scientific techniques for their analysis.
Exchanges and Trade during the Bronze Age in Iran.  M. Casanova, in J.W. Meyer, E. Vila, M. Mashkour, M. Casanova and R. Vallet, “The Iranian Plateau during the Bronze Age”, MOM Éditions, Lyon, pp. 301-312, (2019).  The author discusses the ancient intercultural relations and trade in precious materials (including lapis lazuli) between Iran, Pakistan, India, Mesopotamia and Syria during the Second Millenia BC.

The Effect of Trading Lapis Lazuli on the Settlements in the East of Iran's Central Plateau (3rd–4th Millenia BC).  S. Farzin, M. Zohouriyan and M.A. Hajizadeh, Central Asian Journal, Vol. 62, No. 2, pp. 193-202, (2019).  A discussion of the trade in lapis lazuli between the mines in Badakhshan and manufacturing centers in Iran.

Medieval Women’s Early Involvement in Manuscript Production Suggested by Lapis Lazuli Identification in Dental Calculus.  A. Radini, M. Tromp, A. Beach, E. Tong, C. Speller, M. McCormick, J.V. Dudgeon, M.J. Collins, F. Rühli, R. Kröger and C. Warinner, Science Advances, Vol. 5, No. 1, Art. eaau7126, (2019).  The authors discuss how, during the Middle Ages, the opening of long-distance trade routes introduced exotic goods into Europe, including ultramarine pigment made from lazurite from Afghanistan. They report here the discovery of lazurite and phlogopite mica fragments (in a form consistent with a natural ultramarine pigment) in the dental calculus (calcified tooth tartar) taken from the remains of a middle-aged religious woman buried in Dalheim, Germany.  These remains were age dated between 997-1162 AD.  This discovery represents the earliest direct evidence of the use an ultramarine pigment in a religious monastery setting.  The authors express several possible scenarios for this situation – the woman was a scribe or book painter engaged in the production of illuminated manuscripts; she was involved with preparing artistic pigments; she consumed the material as part of lapidary medicine; or she was involved with devotional kissing of illuminated manuscripts as part of a religious practice.

Detecting the NIR Fingerprint of Colors: The Characteristic Response of Modern Blue Pigments.  R. Yivlialin, A. Galli, L. Raimondo, M. Martini and A. Sassella, Heritage, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 2255-2261, (2019).  A study of a range of blue pigments using several spectroscopy methods.

The Rarest Blue: An Exceptional Find of Lapis Lazuli in the Polychromy of a Funerary Portrait from Ancient Palmyra.  C. Brøns, S.B. Hedegaard, J. Bredal-Jørgensen, D. Buti and G. Pastorelli, Archaeometry, Vol. 62, No. 3, pp. 506-520, (2020).  A discussion of the discovery of lapis lazuli pigment on an ancient funerary portrait from Palmyra in Syria.

Natural or synthetic? Simultaneous Raman/Luminescence Hyperspectral Microimaging for the Fast Distinction of Ultramarine Pigments.  M. González-Cabrera, P. Arjonilla, A. Domínguez-Vidal and M.J. Ayora-Cañada, Dyes and Pigments, Vol. 178, Art. 108349, (2020).  The authors present a method for the rapid distinction of these pigments using several methods.

Sulfur K-edge Micro- and Full-field XANES Identify Marker for Preparation Method of Ultramarine Pigment from Lapis Lazuli in Historical Paints.  A.A. Gambardella, M. Cotte, W. de Nolf, K. Schnetz, R. Erdmann, R. von Elsas, V. Gonzalez, A. Wallert, P.D. Iedema, M. Eveno and K. Kenue, Science Advances, Vol. 6, No. 18, Art. eaay8782, (2020).  This study reveals changes in sulfur chemical signatures that can be related to the conditions of heat treatment of lazurite to produce ultramarine pigment.

Dr. James Shigley is a distinguished research fellow at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California.