Iolite is very attractive gemstone that has been known to man for thousands of years. While not as popular as the other types of gemstones, Iolite has become more popular in recent years, especially to those that are looking for a beautiful blue, violet or purple stone.
Iolite is made from magnesium, iron, aluminum and silicate. Besides these elements, beryl minerals can also be found associated with it. Iolite comes in crystal form and its main attribute is its attractive color. Iolite is known as a beautiful bluish violet or even purple stone. The name Iolite comes from Greek, meaning violet.
Iolite is common in many regions; however it is mined in a few regions around the world. For the most part, Iolite is found and mined in India, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Brazil and even Connecticut.
Usually the more blue, the more in demand the stone is. It is sometimes confused with blue sapphire. Iolite is distinctive for having two separate colors when looked through, this effect is called pleochroism. It is essentially a polarization filter. Sailors would use Iolite when staring at the sun to get a course direction. In fact, famous Vikings such as Leif Eriksson used Iolite on their trips from Norway to Newfoundland.
Iolite is generally a very affordable gemstone; it is easy to mine and can be shaped and polished very simply. This has made it the new darling of the jewelry industry and many industry insiders expect it to become much popular in the coming years.