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Iolite Jewelry

What Exactly is Iolite?

The mineral is called cordierite and it is physically a magnesium aluminum silicate. The stone is clear with shades of blue ranging from violet to a light blue. It exists in igneous rock which is formed from cooled magma. When aluminum sediments mix in with the magma before is cools, crystals of iolite are formed.

The name comes from the Greek word "ios," which means "violet." The most desirable shade is a velvety blue with violet overtones.

Where Iolite Comes From

Like many other beautiful gemstones, deposits can be found in parts of Asia and Africa. The most significant supplies come from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Madagascar and India. North and South America produce deposits in Brazil and in Wyoming from the Laramie Range. Because early uses of the gemstone were by the Vikings, there may also be depleted mines in Norway and Greenland as well.

Iolite: What is Pleochroism?

Pleochroism literally means that many colors are exhibited. In an iolite gemstone , as many as three colors are typically evident depending on the angle of the stone. A yellowish shade, a violet blue and a lighter shade of blue are common variances, but there may also be a clear side. It all depends on the cut and angle of the stone.

Now that you have a visual understanding of pleochroism, here is the scientific explanation of why this happens. Wavelengths are everywhere. As light passes through one side of the stone, not all wavelengths are absorbed. That particular side exhibits the color of the wavelength not absorbed. Now, flip the stone around and that side may absorb a totally different assortment of wavelengths. As a result, this side displays a different color. This property is beautifully showcased in jewelry like iolite chandelier earrings where the stones are in constant movement and catching light from all angles.

History and Magic of Iolite

The Vikings are known for their far-reaching ocean travels to new lands. One reason they may have been so successful in their conquests was their ability to navigate the oceans. They did this using a lens made of Iolite . They would look through the thin lens to determine the exact location of the sun. This worked because the lens served as a polarizing filter and reduced the glare of the sun off the water, the sky and the clouds. Knowing where the sun was allowed the Vikings to navigate without a coastline as their guide.

Metaphysical properties often attributed to the stone are heightened intuition and psychic abilities. This belief may possibly be as a result of the Vikings success using it as a compass. Perhaps many believed there were magical properties at play because of the great success the Vikings has finding and conquering land. They had the "vision" of the Iolite lens.

There is little else attributed to this multi-colored stone. But, aiding in the original discovery of the Americas is certainly more than a footnote in history.

Special Significance of the Iolite

It is not part of the official birthstone guide, so no particular month can claim this stone as its own. Another way to look at it is that it belongs to everyone. The violet blue hues of Iolite Jewelry are a great complement to your jewelry collection and at an affordable price.

It does hold significance for the couple celebrating their 21st wedding anniversary. Iolite earrings makes a great gift to commemorate this milestone. For a really dazzling gift, iolite and diamond jewelry makes a special occasion even more so.

Caring for Your Iolite and Peridot Jewelry

This stone has a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This means that it is pretty durable. However, the possibility of cleavage being present in the stone makes it prone to splitting if it is hit or knocked into something. Because of this you may want to limit your selections to Iolite earrings or pendants. Iolite Rings and bracelets need to be worn with more care because they usually experience more wear and tear.

To clean your Iolite Gemstone jewelry, simply soak the pieces in warm soapy water. A gentle detergent is best. A toothbrush can be used to remove the soap, lotion and other dirt that tends to collect under the stone and in the setting.

Iolite is a unique and affordable gemstone. The multi-colored sides give it an exotic appearance and allow is to complement a variety of wardrobe colors. Because of its affordability, you can find in less conventional pieces such as iolite belly button rings. It is also a beautiful centerpiece for less expensive silver settings. A silver iolite ring is as enticing as a platinum set sapphire which is very precious and quite expensive. If you want a dressier look with a little more dazzle, diamonds are a great complement to the various shades of blue.

However you wear it, the many colors of the iolite gemstone make for a unique and interesting piece of jewelry.