Iolite Gemstones

Iolite is typically purple or violet in colour, although colours can range from light grey-blue to brown. It is the intense violet-blue that is the most sought after, although most iolite available to buy is typically darker, blue-violet. Iolite can be used to create remarkably beautiful jewellery, but confusingly has been rather overlooked by jewellery makers and wearers. Hopefully this means there are some bargains to be had!

Iolite Gemstones available to buy on eBay

About Iolite

Iolite is one of the more delicate stones, or is a least thought to be due to its colour. An Iolite is quite unlike any other precious stone. It is a pretty and tantalising violet colour, the colour perhaps like a very light blue sapphire. Because of this common comparison, its nickname among gemologists is now "the water sapphire".

Iolite colours can in fact range from light grey-blue to brown. Of course it is the intense violet-blue that is the most sought after, although most iolite available to buy is typically darker, blue-violet. These colours are somewhat unusual in gemstones. Which makes it ideal for jewellery making, especially as it is still quite unusual to find jewellery pieces using iolite. Better still, iolite is what is referred to as "trichroic" meaning it shows 3 different colours when viewed from different angles.

Iolite Gemstones

Typical Iolite Uses

Iolite is typically cut in the step and mixed shapes, since the best colour is seen down the length of prismatic crystals. Lower grade iolite is usually cut as cabochons. The delicate purple, lilac and lavender colours of iolite make it a beautiful but subtle stone for jewellery making. Iolite is hard and durable, but chipping can occur since iolite does have a distinct cleavage.

Iolite is a surprisingly under-used gemstone. The beautiful violet colour seems to have been overlooked, yet is in fact extremely versatile and wonderfully flexible in creating a whole range of looks and styles in jewellery. The most desirable blue-violet colours are beautifully striking. It is likely that iolite will see a surge in popularity as more and more jewellery makers (and wearers) discover this somewhat (clears throat) "hidden gem".

Iolite Occurrences and Origins

Today iolite is found in Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Namibia, Madagascar and Tanzania.

Silver Ring with Iolite Gemstone