Legend has it that when the initial Viking mariners ventured deep into the Atlantic Ocean they used a secret gem compass that helped them in determining their position. This gemstone, as it was later found out, was the natural iolite gemstone. Ancient mariners considered it as the worlds first polarizing filter. By using thin pieces of iolite gem and looking through it, navigators could determine the exact position of the sun and thereby navigate their way safely to the New World and back.
Another ancient Greek name associated with the iolite gem is ‘dichroite or two-colored rock. This name actually portrays the strong pleochroism quality that the gem has. Iolite was also known as water sapphire in the ancient days as a cube cut from natural iolite rough resembles a sapphire from one side - clear as water from the other end and honey yellow from the top. Closer to home in India, the gem is known as kakaneeli.
The chemical composition of iolite is magnesium aluminium silicate (Mg2 Al 4 Si5 O18). The specific gravity ranges from 2.57 to 2.66 and the refractive index range vary between 1.53-1.54 and 1.54-1.55. Iolites hardness on Mohs scale ranges between 7 and 7.5.
The most striking feature of iolite gemstones are the pleochroism property that it has. The property is caused by an optical phenomenon by which the grains of a stone appear to have different colors when observed at different angles. The iolite gemstone exhibits very strong pleochroism that can be seen with the naked eye. It shows yellow, light blue and dark violet-blue pleochroic colors when viewed from different angles. And therefore it leaves many people wondering what color is iolite.
Iolite is a a useful stone for use during meditation and to help induce third-eye visualizations. Other names for iolite are "violet stone" and "water sapphire." Iolite helps natural psychic abilities to surface. Helpful tool for the spiritual seeker. It also helps to balance feminine and masculine energies.
Iolite helps with money problems - whether it be managing money, getting out of debt, re-aligning finances and helping you to gain financial independence.
Iolite enhances intuition.
Iolite stimulates the 3rd eye chakra.
Iolite intensifies the thinking process and mental powers.
Iolite is one of the best stones to use in psychic, healing, and spiritual activities
Iolite is said to help build relationships.
Iolite is a good gemstone for meditation and astral travel.
Iolite is helpful when dealing with addictions, including alcoholism.
Iolite assists in detoxification as well as maintaining sobriety.
Iolite helps to awaken us to the inner knowledge that so patiently waits within each of us.
Iolite helps one to stay in the moment, therefore it is useful when trying to meditate.
Iolite helps eliminate and release discord in relationships.
Iolite enhances leadership abilities, power, inner strength, self confidence and executive ability.
Iolite is good for sobriety and alcoholism.
Iolite helps to heal throat.
Iolite is good for varicose veins.
Iolite is said to be useful for blisters.
Iolite helps with cholesterol.
Iolite aids the liver.
Iolite can help to eliminate toxins.
Iolite can help with malaria.
Iolite is good for fever producing disorders such as chronic infections.
Iolite can help with blisters.
Mohs Hardness of 7 with a orthorhombic crystal structure.
Violet-blue iolite (also called cordierite) can be recognized by its strong pleochroism, which gives the gem it's other name of dichroite. The best blue color is seen down the length of the prismatic crystals; they appear colorless when viewed across.
The name iolite comes from the Greek ios, which means violet. Iolite is usually a purplish blue when cut properly, with a softness to the color that can be quite attractive.
Iolite is readily available and surprisingly affordable. The better and richer the blue, the better. It is mined in India, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Brazil. The Vikings probably mined iolite from deposits in Norway and Greenland.
Iolite is relatively hard but should be protected from blows. With its attractive color and reasonable price, it may become a jewelry staple in the future.
Iolite (also called Dichroite or Cordierite) is a transparent, violet-blue, light blue, blue, rich blue-violet stone. It is a blue silicate mineral that occurs as crystals or grains in igneous rocks, only as a result of contamination of the magma by aluminous sediment. Its chemical composition is Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (Mg2Al3O).
Iolite has a rather extraordinary optical property. The gemstone changes colors depending upon which angle it is viewed from.
Chemical Formula Fe2O3 Hardness 7.00
Specific Gravity 2.63 Refractive Index 1.53 - 1.55