- 2.51ct custom shield cut Iolite
- Measures 10.7 x 8.04 x 5.08mm
- Origin: Tanzania
- Cut by Jenna Sloane in California
Iolite's name comes from the Greek word "Ios" meaning "violet." According to legend, iolite is called the Viking Compass Stone. It’s said that thin slices of iolite served as glare-reducers and polarizing filters that helped ancient Viking navigators locate the sun on cloudy days. Iolite is strongly pleochroic, meaning it displays three different colors depending on the angle which you are viewing it at. It therefore requires skilled cutters who know how to orient it to get the best possible color out of each piece of rough. Iolite would make a great choice as an affordable blue sapphire alternative, although its Moh’s hardness rating is lower, so it would require more care if set in a ring.
When you shop with ANZA Gems, you're making a difference and giving back to East African mining communities. ANZA supports artisans at every level, beginning with purchasing directly in-country in Tanzania and Kenya, then using US and Kenyan artisanal cutters–a number of them women–to facet the gems into one-of-a by-kind creations. At least 10% of your purchase will directly benefit education, vocational training, community development and other initiatives supporting miners where they need it most through the nonprofit Gem Legacy.