Softly shimmering in moody shades of violet, blue and grey, iolite is a guiding stone believed to offer vision, perspective and self-assurance. Read on to learn more about this alternative birthstone for September and its mystical, light polarising properties!
How and where iolite is formed
A variety of the mineral cordierite, iolite is a magnesium aluminium silicate, typically formed in metamorphic and igneous rocks. Originally discovered in Wyoming USA it is now sourced from numerous locations all over the world. Often referred to as ‘water sapphire’, iolite’s name originates from the Greek word ‘ios’ meaning violet.
Like fellow blue/purple stones sapphire and tanzanite (both of which it is often mistaken for), iolite exhibits different colours when viewed from different angles. This dazzling effect is due to an optical phenomenon known as pleochroism, and is especially noticeable in polarised light.
Iolite throughout history
Legend has it that Vikings used iolite plates as polarising filters to help them to navigate the seas when the sun was hidden by clouds. As a result the stone became known as the ‘Vikings' Compass’, and has since been associated with vision, guidance and perspective.
Iolite meanings, properties and uses
A stone of vision, iolite is often used as a guide to assist in moving between both physical and spiritual realms. Said to offer perspective and self-assurance, it is believed to activate the third eye chakra to facilitate visualisation and stimulate a connection to your inner knowing and intuitive insight.
How to care for your iolite jewellery
Always store your iolite jewellery separately in the box that it came in to protect it from damage. Gently clean with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth.