Iolite is a mineral of the cordierite variety. The name iolite comes from ios, the Greek name for the color for violet. Iolite is known as “water sapphire” considering it’s deep blue sapphire color. Like sapphire and tanzanite, its fellow blue gemstones, iolite transmits light differently when viewed from different directions.
By looking to the sky through iolites, the Viking navigators were able to locate the position of the sun on cloudy days. Iolite acts like Polaroid lens, it cancels out haze, mist, and clouds to make things appear clearer. officially named iolite in 1912, and it has been been used and admired for centuries. It became popular in jewelry in the 18th Century in Europe and still used today especially in vintage looking jewelry.
Iolite in the Metaphysical world
It’s not surprising, with iolite’s ability to help sailors navigate, that the gem became known as the gemstone of good vision. Iolite was believed to be able to help lost sailors in the sea to find their way home and was worn by sailor men. Legends say the gemstone can guide the lost home as well as the ability to open spiritual pathways that connect the living with the dead.
Iolite was used by shamans to grant them ability to have visions. Some legends even say iolite strengthens eyesight. Other beliefs hold that iolite promotes pure thoughts, intuition and self-acceptance. Iolite is associated with the zodiac signs Libra, Sagittarius and Taurus.
Proper care of Iolite stones
Though iolite is a fairly hard material , it is still good to be gentle with this beautiful gemstone. Iolite is susceptible to damage caused by heat and temperature changes, so it is not recommended to use boiling, ultrasonic or steam cleaning methods. The best way to clean iolite is so rinse with warm water and mild dish soap. Detergents, bleaches and other harsh cleaning chemicals are not recommended. Use a soft brush to remove remnants of makeup or other grime and gently, but thoroughly, pat dry before wearing or storing. It is a good idea to put on your jewelry, including iolite jewelry, after applying cosmetic products such as hairspray and perfume.
You can read more info about silver jewelry care in this article.