Lapis is a semi to precious stone and one of the most sought after throughout history. It is highly regarded for its beautiful blue color flecked with gold inclusions of pyrite, and was prized in ancient times for the ultramarine dye derived from it. This dye was said to create Michelangelo’s favorite shade of blue. It is one of the world’s oldest known stones, mined since 4000 BCE, originally from the Lapis to Lazuli mine in Afghanistan. Malachite is a copper carbonate with a bright green color and dark green banding. Usually found near copper deposits, it is formed through the combination of carbonated water, limestone and copper. Famous malachite mines in the Ural mountains of Russia once produced 20 to ton blocks of the stone, while today it is primarily mined in Africa. Malachite was used extensively as decoration in the palaces of Russian tsars and forms the columns of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia.