Iolite has a pleasing colour of blue, a blue that emanates an alluring charm and instills in us the spirit of an unrestrained energy. Its appeal is further enhanced through its pleochroic nature which implies that it reflect different colours depending on the angle from which it is being viewed. In fact, it is said to be the most pleochroic of all the gemstones available. Highly revered in the 18th-century Europe, this enchanting blue gemstone is now regaining its lost glory. It is not just a fascinating stone, but has an interesting history that throws much light on the beauty of this hidden treasure.
Geologists usually use the term ‘Cordierite’ however, when the mineral is of gem quality, dealers and traders refer to it as ‘iolite’. The term ‘Iolite’ comes from the Greek word ‘ios’ which means violet. This gemstone was once referred to as a ‘water sapphire’ owing to its strong pleochroism nature. Another term used was ‘dichroite’, a Greek word which means ‘two-colored rock’ highlighting the pleochroic ability. It is also synonymous with ‘the Viking stone’ as they were used by Viking mariners as polarizing filter to determine the location of the sun. It was the pleochroism feature which made iolite so popular to the Vikings. The beauty of the stone is augmented, especially when faceted and hence, its appearance on rings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, engagement rings, eternity rings and bridal set rings is only too obvious.
Over the years, ‘AG & Sons’ has earned a reputation of the most comprehensive jewellery store which deals with all types of gemstones and jewelleries. We take pride in our extensive collection of rings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, earrings, engagement rings, eternity rings and bridal set rings which are not just tastefully designed but also conform to the contemporary trends.
History and Lore of Iolite
Iolite has very little history or lore associated with it. However, its association with the Viking’s Compass is perhaps the most interesting history one can ever come across. When Leif Eriksson and other Viking explorers went to the sea, they used iolite as a navigational aid. Cut into thin slices, the strong pleochroism feature of the stone was used as a polarising filters and glare-reducers and helped the ancient Viking navigators to determine the exact position of the sun especially on cloudy days. The stone works in a similar manner as a Polaroid. It eliminates the mist, haze, clouds and make things more visibly clearer. This stone is known to polarise light at 90 degrees in the direction of the sun. Through this method the mariners were able to conclude their own location on the seas.
Apart from its popularity as a ‘Viking’s Compass’, iolite enjoyed immense popularity in 18th Century Europe, where it was extensively used in jewelleries like rings, pendants, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, engagement rings, eternity rings and bridal set rings. According to legends, iolite could be used to strengthen one’s eyesight-to clear the third eye chakra and to guide one through the path of spiritual growth. It has a lot of mental and physical benefits and is known to bless the wearer abundantly.
Formation of Iolite
Iolite is basically a magnesium-iron-aluminium silicate where the iron is present in solid combination with magnesium so that both magnesium-rich cordierite and iron- cordierite exists together. They are thus formed from a combination of minerals like magnesium, aluminum, iron and silicate though traces of other elements like beryl may also be present. The mineral has a history that goes back hundreds of years, however, iolite is a relatively new gemstone.
Iolites are found in scattered conditions in silica and alumina-rich igneous rocks. In large crystals, iolite is found in schists and in regions of metamorphism. The stone also occurs in alluvial deposits where it exists as small, waterworn and transparent pebbles. Owing to its growing popularity, iolite is being largely used in jewelleries like rings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, earrings, engagement rings, eternity rings and bridal set rings.
Sources of Iolite
Iolite deposits exist along the length and breadth of the world. The most significant source of iolite is India, but other sources like Brazil, Canada, Australia, Namibia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, United States, Connecticut, Tanzania, Wyoming, Germany, Zimbabwe are equally important. The largest crystal was found in Wyoming and it weigh more than 24, 000 carats. Iolite is thus easily available and surprisingly it is also affordable. Its availability and affordability makes it an apt gemstone for use in jewelleries like rings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, earrings, engagement rings, eternity rings and bridal set rings.
Iolite Colour and Properties
Iolite’s colour range varies from light to dark blue and violet. However, it can be found in various other shades like gray, brown, yellow, or green. The intense violet blue colour iolite is the most desirable. Iolite’s most fascinating feature is its extreme pleochroic effect which means it exhibits different colours when viewed from different angles/direction. This phenomenon occurs in two ways; dichroic and trichroic-the latter shows two different shades whereas the former exhibit three different shades. This variety of colours are due to the different wavelengths that are absorbed in different quantity based on the direction of the light traversing through these gemstones.
A cube cut iolite will appear less violet blue from one angle, clear as water from another angle and a honey yellow when viewed from the top. Similarly a blue or violet-blue iolite gemstone will appear a dull gray or grayish-yellow viewed from different directions. Sometimes, a simple turning of the stone can make it turn colourless from deep blue. Though the different colours can be seen with the naked eye, a polarising filter is sometimes used to determine the different colours.
On the Moh’s scale of hardness, iolite measures 7 to 7.5. Iolite is basically opaque, though the good gem-quality iolite are translucent and transparent in clarity. The clarity of the stone depends on the cut of the gem. Deeply cut stones may turn out to be opaque. Iolite do exhibit visible inclusions which is especially apparent in larger stones. Polished iolite exhibit oily to vitreous lustre. Iolite needs to be cut by a skilled cutter. It can be step cut, in order to enhance the colour or ‘windowed’ or shallow cut to make the tone lighter.
The rough stone must be properly oriented by taking into account iolite’s pleochroic nature. For the purpose of jewelleries like rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, engagement rings, eternity rings and bridal set rings the stone can be cut into ovals, rounds, pear etc.
Healing Properties of Iolite
Iolite has a number of healing properties. As mentioned, it is known to strengthen one’s eyesight. The stone is believed to increase one’s curiosity and aid them in their spiritual growth. It also helps the wearer to lead a successful life and do away with dependency. It helps in developing pure thoughts and helpfulness towards others. The stone is known to introduce love into our life and helps one in accepting their true self. It helps in increasing one’s understanding level and releases the causes of addiction. The stone is also effective in enhancing one’s creative expression. Lost memories can be recovered with the aid of this stone.
For physical health, iolite helps in getting rid of body fat. It helps one in removing the effect of alcohol. It regenerates the liver, kills bacteria, treats fever and malaria and also aids with migraines. It also helps in treating problems of sinuses, respiratory system and pituitary. Above all it is believed to help those suffering from vision and eye disorders. Iolite gemstone can be worn as rings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, earrings, engagement rings, eternity rings and bridal set rings.
The Collection of Iolite at AG & Sons
Iolite’s hardness makes it a suitable gemstone for use in jewellery. It is hard enough for everyday wear in the form of rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, earrings, engagement rings, eternity ring and bridal set rings. So if you are looking for this beautiful gemstone visit AG & Sons- well renowned for their huge and unique collection of gemstones. We are expert in dealing with customisation too, so if you have any design or pattern in mind you can freely come up to us. We will deliver our best to cater to your needs as in your happiness lies our happiness.