IOLITE
Far away in the deep blue ocean, the ancient explorer’s nautical savior was the beautiful blue gem, iolite. Diminutive slivers of the gem were used by navigators as beam condensers to locate the sun on cloudy days, giving iolite its pet name the “Viking’s Stone”.
The mineral was named Cordierite after the early 19th century geologist Pierre Cordier, and over the years, the gem variety acquired its trade name iolite derived from the Greek “ios”signifying “violet”. It is its color – or rather its amalgam of colors providing a diagnostic dichroism – that makes iolite unique.It forms a metamorphic bridge silhouetting the violet hues to a golden yellow with terrestrial global deposits.
Today, the Laramie Mountains in Wyoming are home to the world’s biggest iolite crystal weighing over24,000 carats.
(Chapter from the Book “Gemstones. Terra Connoisseur” by Vladyslav Yavorskyy)
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