Iolite Information

Iolite is the name given to the gem variety with transparency of the Cordierite mineral family, its names was given by the french geology Pierre Louis Antoine Cordier, its name derives from the Greek word “ios” that means “violet”, in some countries of the world, like Indonesia, Iolite is still called “water sapphire”, duo to its blue color that resemble to sapphire, but it show a strong pleochroism so if viewed from a different angle you can see a colorless grey zone, like the color of the water, into the crystal.

Yes, this is a stone with a lot of names and can be called in different way, the principal name is Iolite, the most used and correct name, other nomenclature for this stone are: iolite cordierite, water sapphire, dichroite, the viking stone this last given by the legend that say Vikings in ancient times used this crystal like a polarized filter to help them find the sun on cloudy days and to orientate during navigation.

The blue color of this beautiful gemstone resemble Sapphire and Tanzanite, and make this gemstone really desirable and attractive.


iolite natural gemstone

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Iolite Healing Properties

This material is considered a powerfull stone also an excellent stone for meditation and astral travel, associated with the third eye and vision chackra stimulate clear psychic visions, enhance curiosity and help build relationships, Iolite can help recover lost memories, induce sleep for those who suffer from insomnia and protect from nightmares.

It can be really helpful with addictions, including alcoholism when used to assist in detoxification it can enhance digestion, and hair and nail growth.

It also helps with healing eyes, migraines and headaches.



This gemstone variety is usually untreated, so any popular treatment is applied to enhance color or clarity of the stone.


Origin and gemstone source

Cordierite is an abundant material, mined from different sources, but unfortunately is relative hard to find with large size.

The major deposit of this material are based on Africa (Madagascar, Namibia, Tanzania), Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), India and Brazil.

Other common sources of this gemstone are: Australia, Canada, United States.


Images and photos

round-faceted-iolite Iolite-cabochons iolite-gemstone

iolite-rough-crystal faceted-iolite iolite-gems

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Optical Effect

This stone show a strong pleochroism, an optical effect that means multicolor, in fact if viewed from different angles, it can show more than original violet blue color, from different angles it exhibits some dull grey zone near to colorless  or with some tint of yellow.



Usually found with transparency and good clarity without visible inclusions, it is often faceted and shaped into the most popular cut, like; oval, pear and emerald octagonal step cut, this last cut is often use to display in the best way the deeper violet blue color of the gemstone.

The included material or the translucent quality are often cut into cabochon or polished for other purpose instead of jewelry use.

Low grade material is also shaped into beads, chips, briolette, rondelle or carved into sculpture.

Iolite is a relative hard stone, but it can be used in jewelry without any kind of problem, is available at affordable price and have an excellent appearance resembling higher value gems like Sapphire or Tanzanite.


Care and Cleaning

This gemstone doesn’t need particular care, but like any other stone you must take some attention when clean it, so avoid aggressive chemical products like acid and similar, don’t use ultrasonic cleaner and steam machine and store it separately from harder stones that can scratch easily your stone.


Scam and Fraud

The appearance of this gemstone resemble Sapphire and Tanzanite, so sometimes it can be sold for natural Sapphire or Tanzanite by unscrupulous sellers.

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Typical Internal Inclusions

It is a type II stone in the GIA clarity grade system, usually present some visible inclusions in the crystal and if observed at microscope you can spot some typical inclusions, like: liquid feathers, hexagonal platellets and other hematite, biotite and pyrrothite inclusions.


Gemological Info

  • Mineral family: Cordierite
  • Crystal: Orthorhombic
  • Density: 2.58 – 2.74
  • Hardness: 7 – 7.5 on the Mohs scale
  • Refractive index: 1.542 – 1.578
  • Color: Blue (violet blue, grey, yellowish brown)
  • Optical effect: None (strong pleochroism)
  • Luster: Vitreous
  • Clarity: Transparent  (gem type II)
  • Fluorescent: None
  • Fracture: Sub Conchoidal
  • Cleavage: Distinct
  • Durability: Medium High

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