With its shimmering violet-to-blue color and ability to change shades depending on the angle it is viewed from, iolite has captivated since Viking times. Coming from the Greek word "ios", meaning violet, the iolite gemstone is known as the Vikings' Compass. The legendary seamen used a thin piece of iolite as a polarizing filter. By looking through the iolite on overcast days, they could determine the position of the sun and navigate their way.
Iolite: no shrinking violet
Fall under the spell of iolite. Our designers use this unique gemstone to bring magical color to rings, necklaces, iolite bracelets and earrings. Browse the Ross-Simons' web site to see our entire selection of iolite jewelry, including new and estate pieces.
Ranging in shades from light blue to violet blue to deep rich blue, the iolite mesmerizes with its ability to change colors when viewed from different angles. Long ago, Vikings relied on this unique gemstone to help guide them at sea. More about colored gemstones.
There's just something magical about iolite. With watery shades of blue that shift to clear and even golden tones at different angles, iolite gemstones always attract attention. Our jewelry designers take care to choose settings that highlight iolite's unique properties, whether it is showcased in a ring, bracelet, necklace or iolite earrings. Iolite is a versatile stone, looking just as beautiful set in sterling silver as it does in white and yellow gold.
Today, most iolite comes from Sri Lanka, Burma, India, Madagascar, Brazil and the United States.
Iolite Jewelry Care & Handling
Iolite is one of the harder gemstones (7-7.5 on the Mohs scale) and is also one of the most challenging to cut. Iolite jewelry can be cleaned with warm, soapy water and care should be taken to avoid abrupt temperature changes. Store your iolite jewelry in your Ross-Simons presentation box for safekeeping.