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Iolite is an unusually beautiful mineral (synonymic names: water sapphire or dichroite), more commonly known in mineralogy as cordierite. It received this name in honor of the French geologist and mining engineer Pierre Cordier, who made an important discovery during the study of this stone - the effect of dichroism. This is the ability of some crystals to change color depending on the direction of the light rays.
Iolite stone description:
Color. The name "iolite", derived from the Greek word "ion", meaning "violet", indicates the basic and most prized color of this stone, although the color palette of crystals found in nature includes all shades of blue.
Places of mining. Iolites are mined in the deep layers of the earth's crust, among the rocks that have appeared as a result of strong compression and heating, like in Brazil, Britain, Finland, Canada, the USA, countries of Central and Northern Europe. Violet stones of the highest quality, characterized by extraordinary transparency and purity, come from Tanzania, Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Namibia, and Madagascar's island. Gem Lovers collaborates with the latter ones.
The first mentions of the violet gem, called the stone of the sailors, are found in the Scandinavian poetic legends about the brave Vikings who plowed the northern seas and swam into the distant southern waters.
Historians who studied these legends first suggested that the Vikings, who set off on a voyage, took this mysterious stone with them as a talisman. One later revealed that for sailors, it played the role of a compass.
Iolites, depending on their color, due to the significant content of one or another chemical element in the composition of crystals, are usually divided into the following types:
Cat's Eye. When it is cut to produce a cabochon, this iolite is distinguished by a vertical white stripe at the very center of the stone.
Water Sapphire. Gems of this type have a very light (most often deep or light-violet) color, bright glass glitter, and a high degree of purity.
Inkstone. Iolite that painted in a very dark color.
Bloodshot iolite. Stones of this variety have inclusions of hematite platelets that give it a reddish appearance.
Iolite is a semi-precious stone, which is often confused with precious sapphire due to its bright, glassy luster and similar color range. Iolite jewelry is most often set in white gold or silver, which together play brightly and beautifully under the sunrays. Gems are used both for making beads, earrings, hairpins, brooches, rings, souvenirs and for replenishing the collection of rare stones.
How to distinguish real iolite from fake one?
This beautiful stone is quite rare when it comes to its color, close to the most violet shades. This is used by scammers who are ready to sell you a fake for a high price. Therefore, it is important to have an idea of how to distinguish a real gem before purchasing it.
In order to distinguish natural iolite from synthetic rhodolite, it is necessary to check:
Dichroism. First of all, it is worth making sure that the studied mineral has the optical effect of dichroism. It must have the ability to change its color depending on the angle of view and at any time of the day.
Structure. In contrast to artificial specimens, many natural iolites have inclusions of zircon and apatite, which have the appearance of yellowish spots. The presence of delicate cleavage planes is another sign that iolite is natural.
If you want to purchase a rare Iolite specimen with approved quality and authenticity certification, then Gem Lovers will be happy to help you with this. Our employees are ready to send you detailed photos of each stone presented in the catalog. We are also able to find the missing gem for you, based on your wishes, and make jewelry for your personal order.
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