A family (Mom & Dad along with three grown kids in their 20's or so) came into the shop this morning. In conversation it came out that Dad had been stationed in Afghanistan and Son will be leaving to a year's tour next June. Immediately I'm thinking LAPIS LAZULI from Afghanistan - and 20% off all purchases for any person who has served our country!
Nice people! After they left (spent about 1.5 hours in the shop) with their new, beautiful lapis lazuli stone oil lamp, I said a prayer for Son. Dear Lord, protect him and bring him back safely to his family. Watch over and protect him.
Here's information about where lapis is mined... (This video was produced in 2007)
Years of war and exploitation have degraded many of Afghanistan's natural resources. But among the still highly prized assets is the lapis lazuli gemstone which has been mined in northern Afghanistan for 6,000 years. The only pure source of the stone lies in Sar-i-Sang in the Kocha valley of northern Afghanistan. James Bays makes the dangerous journey to the mines and finds men who risk their lives to get to these gems. To get to the world's largest lapis lazuli mine - you have to go on a gruelling journey. It takes more than 12 hours from the nearest town by road, although there are no real roads to speak of. These are mountain passes - some them are extremely treacherous - and they can only be navigated slowly and extremely carefully. Finally, you drop down into the Kocha valley - and the mines at Sari-i-Sang, where a village has been built to house the hundreds of men involved in the search for lapis lazuli.