Foxfire Jewelers
The Creative Custom Jewelry Studio since 1985

2250 North Coast Highway Newport Oregon 97365

(541) 265-RING    (541) 265-7464


The name for Iolite is taken from the root of the word violet. Appropriately enough, Iolite is a slightly purplish blue-really a dark violet color. Iolite is dichroic (it has also been called Dichroite), so from different directions it may also show light brown or even colorless. It is the blue to colorless shift which earned it the old misnomer 'water sapphire.'

Iolite is commonly cut in faceted shapes, while the more translucent stones are fashioned into cabochons or carvings for signet rings. This gem is primarily found in India, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka and is used to commemorate the 21st wedding anniversary. Friendliness and higher, purer thoughts were ascribed to Iolite's influences. It was thought to promote charity and helpfulness. Legends describe Iolite as strengthening eyesight.

In ancient times Viking mariners used a thin slice of Iolite to help in navigation. Because its strong dichroism makes it act like polarized sunglasses, its properties helped the Vikings locate the true position of the sun on cloudy or hazy days.
Hardness: 7-7.5
Toughness: Fair