Featured - Iolite
Iolite, previously known as Cordierite, was discovered hundreds of years ago, but it is a lesser-known crystal and considered newer. Cordierite, named after French Geologist Pierre Cordier in 1813, is a relatively inexpensive stone and is a great alternative to Sapphire or Tanzanite gemstones which are quite pricey. The violet-blue color rivals Tanzanite.
A good quality crystal shows off colors of light to dark blue, violet-blue, blue-green or yellowish-gray. This pleochroic stone is trichroic which means that three different colors can be seen in the same stone depending on the angle from which it is viewed. Inclusions of Hematite and Goethite are most common and cause a reddish color in the stone. Low-quality Iolite stones will have a white or blackish color to them. Most high-quality Iolite gemstones are three carats or less.
The first discovery of large deposits of gem-quality Iolite was found in 1996 in Palmer Creek, Wyoming. They were found by American geologist W. Dan Hausal. The largest natural crystal discovered in Grizzly Creek, Wyoming weighs over 24,000 carats.
There are no known treatments or enhancements for Iolite. There is a synthetic version, but it is used for ceramics and other industrial purposes. Any false Iolite sold is usually made of colored glass which is soft, scratches easily, and improperly reflects light. True Iolite has a hardness of 7 – 7.5 on the Mohs scale so it is relatively hard, but it is brittle. It may fracture if hit in the wrong way.
Since the crystals are brittle, it requires a skilled cutter to avoid damaging the stone. Polished stones are often step cut in a shallow design to enhance the color of the stone. It is an interesting stone with an interesting history.
The Vikings used Iolite to determine their location for navigation purposes because of how the sun reflected on the stone. They also used it as a polarizing filter to help them find the sun on cloudy days. Deposits were found by the Vikings in Norway and Greenland. Iolite is a stone of guidance for sailors as well as metaphysically to bring clarity to the wearer.
Iolite is found in Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greenland, India, Madagascar, Myanmar, Namibia, Norway, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, the United States of America (Connecticut and Wyoming), and Zimbabwe.
Metaphysical Properties: Iolite steers a person in the direction of their life purpose and helps them with their inner quest. Through activation of the third eye, Iolite helps one work with intuitive insight, clairvoyance, dreams, and astral travel. By helping to release the past and any unhappiness, it creates avenues of positive progression in one’s life allowing a person to be present and enjoy the moment no matter where they are at in their life. Iolite helps to balance chakras as well as male and female energy. It also helps a person take responsibility for their actions and to base their actions on inner guidance and wisdom to align their intentions to the highest good of any situation. Iolite is helpful for overcoming codependent partnerships, increasing spirituality, and in artistic endeavors such as writing, speaking, and songwriting. If an area of the earth has been disturbed, placing Iolite in that area will help it to heal.
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