Iolite meaning: properties, uses and benefits

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What is iolite?

Iolite is a precious stone that is usually blue or purple in color. It has the color and luster of a sapphire and is much less expensive, hence the name “water sapphire”.

Iolite properties

The iolite stone is a silicate mineral, usually light blue or light purple, transparent to translucent with a glassy luster. Iolite hardness 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.

Iolite is also called Cordierite or Dichroite. The name “iolite” is derived from the Greek words for violet (ios) and stone (lithos).

To the ancient Vikings, it was known as the sunstone because its pleochroic, color-changing properties allowed them to use it as a compass on cloudy days.

By holding up thin slices toward the cloud-filled sky, they could determine where the hidden sun is by observing the mysteriously changing colors through the transparent gem.

Cordierite was named in honor of French geologist P. L. A. Coedier. And dichroite is from the Greek word for two-colored rock, referring to the strong pleochroism of the stone.

This characteristic of iolite, i.e., pleochroism (trichroism), means that it appears to take on two or three different colors at different angles. This strong trichroism distinguishes it from other gems like quartz, which has a similar refractive index (1.542 to 1.551).

For the iolite stone, the most common colors are blue, purple, and pale yellow (or colorless).

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Iolite has many different inclusions, such as hematite, acanthite, apatite, zircon or other gas-liquid two-phase inclusions.

Iolite from Sri Lanka is especially well known for their inclusions, as it contains a large number of thin hexagonal flakes of directionally arranged hematite and acanthite, which are red in color and resemble blood spots, hence the name Bloodshot Iolite.

Inclusions in iolite sometimes cause long, parallel, tubular inclusions that yield a cat’s-eye pattern when cut properly. These are especially popular with gem lovers and tend to be valued even higher.

Water sapphire

Since the color of the iolite stone is similar to that of sapphire, it is also called water sapphire. It is also known as the poor man’s sapphire because it has the color and luster of a sapphire and is much cheaper than the latter.

What color is iolite?

Iolite (Cordierite or Dichroite) is a magnesium-aluminum silicate that can be blue, purple, colorless, yellow, green, brown, gray, etc., but the most valuable and popular colors are blue and purple.

Even when compared to blue sapphires, the Iolite stone still has a very distinctive blue hue, which is why it is called Water Sapphire.

Blue iolite

Iolite meaning: properties, uses and benefits

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Blue iolites are the most abundant, most popular, and the least expensive. Similarly colored gems like sapphire, tanzanite and blue topaz are often treated to bring out their brilliant blues, but blue iolite is prized because its shining color is natural and untreated.

Purple iolite

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Purple iolites are rarer and therefore more expensive and valuable. All iolites are magnesium iron aluminum cyclosilicates; the darker shades in this violet variety come from slightly higher concentrations of iron.

The nobility and majesty associated with the color purple make the wearer of these iolites feel especially rich and regal.

Iolite sunstone

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Iolite sunstone is highly appreciated by people who want something with a good story behind it. This gem is responsible for the ancient legends about the “Viking Compass” described in the old Norse Sagas.

This crystal was used as a sundial because its color shifts depending on the angle that light passes through it, allowing the sailors to track the sun even on cloudy days.

Bloodshot Iolite

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Bloodshot Iolite is mainly from Sri Lanka and is characterized by the presence of a large number of thin hexagonal flakes of oriented hematite and acanthite, which are red in color and resemble blood spots, hence the name Bloodshot Iolite.

When it is processed into a curved shape, it can sometimes show a cat’s eye or star effect.

It is a rare, natural stone that cannot be synthesized. The more intense the color of the inclusions, the redder it is, the rarer it is.

Bloodshot Iolite represents steadfastness, courage, bravery, and devotion. This stone contains the energy of immortality and is very effective as a talisman against accidents and disasters.

Iolite meaning

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By holding up thin slices toward the cloud-filled sky, the ancient Vikings could determine where the hidden sun is by observing the mysteriously changing colors through the transparent gem.

These shifting shades came to represent our inner, psychological characteristics. Not only did it aid the Vikings to navigate in their ships, but also it could serve as an inward compass, guiding our emotional journeys of exploration and discovery.

Its dark violet hues represent twilight and the winter solstice. Iolite is a highly mystical stone with the ability to bring one’s spirit into clear focus.

Iolite healing properties

Iolite metaphysical properties

What are the iolite stone benefits? Because of its magical visual properties, some metaphysical practitioners believe that iolite can be used to enhance our imaginations and stimulate creativity.

This vision stone allows us to see things from various perspectives and can help us quickly see the big picture when making decisions. It is also said to bring mental harmony, support sound judgment, and boost intuitive powers.

Healers use iolite to bring emotional balance, release anger and fear, attract love and compassion, increase psychic gifts, create personal boundaries, and develop patience.

Iolite chakra

As a meditation stone, it can open up the third eye chakra, allowing for deeper meditation and improved intuition. Just above the third eye chakra is the crown chakra, and so iolite can also help us connect to our higher, spiritual selves.

Spiritual healing properties

As an embodiment of navigation, it allows us to find our way, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Iolite reminds us that no matter where we are or how lost we might feel, we can always find our way if we have faith in ourselves and believe we will succeed.

It guides us on our journeys, encouraging us to explore our inner depths, hone our intuition and gently teach us the lessons we need to learn.

Mental healing properties

By boosting our psychic abilities, iolite can help provide confidence and endurance in difficult situations. It enhances awareness while smoothing over disagreements and tension in relationships.

Iolite provides strength and courage for anyone finding it hard to cope with extreme mental or emotional pressures.

Its mental grounding properties can help those of us whose minds are in overdrive to slow down and get a handle on our thoughts.

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Physical healing properties

Its violet color reminds us of twilight, and this night-time, astral energy is thought to be helpful for anyone suffering from nightmares or other sleeping difficulties.

How to use iolite?

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Wear as jewelry

Although it doesn’t have many industrial uses, iolite’s beautiful blueish-purple color makes it a lovely gem to use in jewelry and other decorative items. It is unique, with slight variations from one crystal to another, making for exciting color combinations when using them together.

Some iolite crystals will have a pronounced cat’s-eye effect when appropriately cut, resulting in an elegant design that can be used as earrings, a pendant, or even as part of a ring.

Place the stone at home or in the office

As a symbol for water, it can be placed around our home to bring the energies of tranquility, purification and formless strength to our surroundings.

Place it in your creative space to promote creativity by boosting the flow of ideas to our conscious minds. Or place it by your bed to bring peaceful sleep and assist with dream interpretation.

In times of stress or danger, it can bring optimism, endurance, courage and inner strength. It encourages us to take a realistic approach to problems by helping us see them in their entirety so that we might find solutions that we would not have otherwise considered.

Where is iolite found?

The main sources of iolite are Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Madagascar.

What is iolite worth?

One of the things you need to know about iolite is its value. The price ranges from $60 to $150 a carat, depending on color, clarity, size and cut.

Most iolite gems are less than 5 carats; the ones that are larger than that are rarer and are therefore typically valued at over $100 per carat.

Ask around and find a price range that works for you.

Iolite vs tanzanite

Iolite and tanzanite are both purple stones, but they have different chemical compositions.

Iolite is generally more affordable than tanzanite. Although iolite’s colors are less vivid than tanzanite, some people are fascinated by the seemingly mystical effects of iolite’s pleochroism.

Tanzanite is softer and more delicate, and therefore must be carefully handled, while iolite is much more durable when worn as jewelry or carried around on its own.

Iolite vs amethyst

Amethyst is another purple stone, but its colors are much less nuanced and deep than iolite. Amethyst is a variety of quartz, and although it is semi-transparent, it does not show the incredible sunstone characteristics that iolite has.

How to cleanse and charge iolite?

Use clear water

Iolite and its energy come from nature, so we can also use natural methods to help cleanse and purify the stone. Place the stone in a flowing stream or river and rinse it with water for 20 minutes before drying it. If this is not possible, buy a bottle of mineral water and soak the crystal in it for 24 hours. This helps to remove the negative energy.

Place it on a crystal cluster

Cleansing and charging with a crystal cluster is the easiest and most convenient method. The crystal cluster itself has a very strong energy. It can not only purify the stone, but also charge it. All we need to do is to place the stone on the crystal cluster overnight.

Where to buy iolite stones and iolite jewelry?

If you want to buy iolite stones or iolite jewelry ranging from $20-$500, you can check Etsy. You can buy iolite jewelry like an iolite ring, an iolite necklace or iolite earrings that are affordable and of high quality and have them delivered to your house fast.

Alternatively, if you want to buy high end iolite jewelry ranging from $100-$2000, you can check FarfetchThey have luxury brands like Gucci, Prada, Boucheron, Cartier, Chopard, David Morris, De Beers and designer brands that are unique and less well-known. You can also have all the products delivered to your home.

Final Thoughts

If you find yourself lost, unsure of the next step in your life or career path, iolite can inspire you to make the difficult decision to change your habits so that you may begin anew.

If you feel in need of a sense of purpose and direction, iolite can guide you to where you need to be.

Iolite can give us the courage to embrace new beginnings whenever they arrive, whatever form they might take, and the wisdom to know that new beginnings are always just one step away.

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