This is a semi-precious stone that is sometimes abbreviated to just “lapis.” It has been prized throughout the ages for its intense blue color. Lapis lazuli has actually been mined in the Badakhshan province in Afghanistan for well over 6,000 years, and traded widely by early cultures. It has been discovered as far away as Egypt to the west and Mauritania to the east. More recently, lapis deposits have been discovered in the Andes mountains in Chile, as well as in Russia, Angola, Burma, and even in the U.S. Despite its appearance, lapis lazuli is classified as a rock, not a mineral, because technically, it is formed from more than one mineral, with the main component being lazurite. It has been used as an inlay material in certain musical instruments for centuries, most recently on PRS guitars where it is used to form the company’s trademark bird inlays on some Private Stock instruments.