Iolite is a blue gemstone that comes from the mineral Cordierite. They originate in Africa, India, Brazil, and Norway. Their unique color is excellent for jewelry as it stands out. Iolites are also known as the Viking's stone. According to Norse legend, Vikings used iolites as a polarizing filter to help them locate the sun on cloudy days. Vikings found these stones throughout Norway and Greenland.
They are often confused with Tanzanites due to their blue-violet hue. Fine Iolites are naturally vibrant and do not need treatment. They are usually transparent and generally contain a few inclusions. The beautiful blue-violet shade is due to the presence of iron.
Although these gemstones are reasonably hard stones, extra care is essential, and preventing hard knocks is a must. Iolites are not tolerant to high temperatures. Avoid steamers and ultrasonics when cleaning. Use warm soapy water and a cloth to clean any jewelry with Iolites.