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Home / Gem Library / Gemstones Varieties / Iolite September 20, 2018

Natural Iolite

Also known as dichroite, water sapphire, and cordierite, Iolite is a blue silicate mineral that occurs as crystals or grains in igneous rocks. When clean, blue iolite can be faceted to produce beautiful gemstones.


  • There are 1 Iolite gemstones available at Multicolour.com
  • Iolite(s) are organized in the following categories: Single,  gemstones.

Iolite Profile

Color information: violet, blue, dark blue,
Refractive Index: 1.53 - 1.55
Chemical Composition: MG2AL4SI5O18
Hardness: 7 - 7.5
Density: 2.57 - 2.66
Crystal Group: Orthorhombic
Ocurrence: Sri Lanka, Burma, India, Madagascar, Canada, Namibia, Tanzania, Norway, U.S.A., Brazil, Namibia
Sign of the Zodiac: N/A
Month of the year: N/A
Iolite
Iolite derives its name from the Greek word 'io', meaning violet flower. It is distinctive because of its strong pleochroism .. hence the name dichroite. Depending on the angle from which it is viewed, a stone can vary from bluish-purple to a wan grey-yellow. Sometimes iolite is also known as 'water sapphire' because a clear stone can resemble a slightly violet sapphire.

Iolite is somewhat brittle and is often cut into stepped rectangles. Its strong pleochroism makes orientation an important factor in determining the best way to cut the stone. Iolite is an inexpensive gemstone but as with almost every other gemstone, large clean sizes are rare and much more valuable. The best iolites come from Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Burma. Iolite has enjoyed a recent resurgence in popularity due to its affordability and similarity to tanzanite and sapphire at a much lower price.

The largest iolite crystal ever found weighed more than 24,000 carats, and was discovered in Wyoming, USA.

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