Past blog hops and challenges

Thursday, April 10, 2014

It's the letter "I" today for the Blogging A-Z Challenge

Today’s topic starts with the letter “I”. 

A sapphire blue or maybe it’s a blue-violet or even a light blue gemstone is the choice for today.  Iolite is a see through gemstone variant of cordierite. 
Its name comes from the Greek word “ios” which means violet.  It has also been called water sapphire due to a similarity to the blue sapphire. 
Iolite has a strong pleochroism which means that the gem can appear to be different colors depending on the angles that it is being observed at especially with polarized light.  Because of this, Iolite is a difficult stone to cut because it must be cut in a certain direction to take advantage of the best color.  
It is commonly dyed to enhance its appearance.   
It can be found in Australia, Brazil, India, Canada, United States, and Sri Lanka with the largest crystal (24,000 carats) found in Wyoming. 
There is a Norse legend that says that the Vikings used thin slices of iolite as polarizing filters in order to view the sun and navigate when they were away from land.  It is supposed that the Vikings mined iolite in Greenland and Norway.
Iolite was popular in jewelry in the 1700s and is regaining its popularity.  It can be used as an inexpensive substitute for sapphires. 
Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to come back again tomorrow and see what the letter "J" will be.

Information was gathered from Wikepedia and other websites.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I don't believe I have ever seen this gem. I wonder....can it be ruined ( and not able to be used) if not cut right?
    Mary @ The View from my World