Blue, with gray and slight yellow
modifiers due to its trichroic
Care must be taken. Best for beads
and pendants. There is a cleavage
plane along which iolite breaks
Brazil, Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe,
The Vikings probably mined iolite from deposits in Norway
Magnesium Aluminum Silicate
Iolite (also known as the mineral cordierite), is a magnesium iron
alumino-silicate. The name Iolite was derived from the Greek
word for violet, "ios". It has also been called water sapphire because it looks very much like a
blue sapphire, and was originally and arguably claimed to
be used for nautical purposes. The story is told that when
Leif Eriksson and the other legendary Viking explorers ventured
far out into the Atlantic Ocean, away from any coastline
that could help them determine position, they used thin
pieces of iolite as the world's first polarizing filter.
Looking through an iolite lens, they could determine the
exact position of the sun, which allowed them to navigate
These assertions have never been empiracally proven to be
accurate or even possible. There are no archaelogical finds
of navigational tools which incorporate iolite. Therefore,
I view these tales of Vikings and their iolite with skeptism.
stone is extremely pleochroic, which means it appears different
colors depending upon which direction the stone is viewed.
Iolite has three pleochroic directions. In one direction,
it appears blue, in another bluish gray and in the other
grayish yellow. It is being used extensively in jewelry
today because it resembles tanzanite but is much less expensive because it is more plentiful.
Iolite was once thought to have the ability to increase
one's faith. It is the talisman for people named Irene.
Iolite is different colors in different directions in the
crystal. A cube cut from iolite will look a violetish blue
almost like sapphire from one side, clear as water from
the other, and a honey yellow from the top.