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Lapis Lazuli

Artifact Details

A royal blue lapis lazuli gemstone in its raw form

CIA officers were instrumental in overthrowing Taliban strongholds following 9/11.

Royal blue lapis lazuli is a semiprecious gemstone that was highly prized by ancient Babylonian and Egyptian royalty. Today, miners recover the gem from only a few deposits around the world. A major site is in the rugged Kokcha Valley of northern Afghanistan; it dates back 6,000 years. The stone has many uses, including jewelry and pigment for ultramarine paints. Some believe lapis lazuli has mystical powers.

Lapis lazuli, in both raw and polished-gem forms, is a known element of al-Qa’ida’s financial network. This raw lapis came from a Taliban stronghold. In today’s market, the value of raw lapis ranges from $250 to $1,200 a kilogram, depending on quality.

Artifact Specs

6.5 cm x 12.5 cm x 6.2 cm

(L x W x H)