Unlike most gem materials, lapis is not a mineral, but a rock composed of multiple minerals. The intense celestial blue of lapis is derived from the presense of lazurite. Gold pyrite flecks and veining and white calcium veining is sometimes visible. Highly regarded for millennia, lapis has been polished as gems, carved into ornamental objects and ground into a valuable dye known as ultramarine. Afghanistan is the world’s leading producer of lapis and certain parts of the country have been actively mined for thousands of years. Lapis is designated for the 9th wedding anniversary.