For the gemstone layman, which is how we all start out. It's often hard to believe that this royal blue stone with gold flecks is actually not man made. Revered by the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt and most famously used in the solid gold death mask of Tutankhamen. It's from their obsession with the gemstones that the terminology "royal blue" derives. The gemstone is prolifically used all over India and Nepal, not just in the present, but also in antique jewellery, particularly in bead form.
The majority of gem quality lapis comes from Afghanistan. Lapis is a combination of minerals, primarily lazurite and calcite, with the gold flecks in the stone being caused by the occurrence "iron pyrite", more commonly known as "fools gold".
You may have seen a form of lapis which is blue with much more white or calcite, and no gold flecks at all. This type of lapis lazuli is from deposits found in Chile.
Lapis is known as the stone of awareness. It is believed the gem can help one expend their intellectual capacity, as well as facilitating organizational skills in ones day to day activities. It is also believed the gem can be used to develop insight into ones own dreams.