Iolite, or cordierite, is a stone that belongs to the silicate family. It contains high quantities of magnesium, silicate and aluminium. It is a photo-reactive rock that cannot be dissolved in water or acid and is fire-resistant. Although it appears to the naked eye to have a rather purple tint, a vitreous lustre with blue and yellow light can be seen with optical equipment. The largest natural cut crystal can be observed at the British Museum. It weighs 855 carats.
Iolite takes its name from the Greek ‘ios’ meaning purple in reference to its intense colour. It was first used by the Vikings. According to legend, famous explorer Ragnar Lodbrok used it as a filter to spot sunlight when the weather was overcast. Even today, some call it the ‘Rock of the Vikings’ or ‘rock compass’, in reference to this practice that was perhaps common among Scandinavian explorers. According to Greek oral tradition, this transparent crystal was considered sacred and was used by a cult devoted to Athena, the goddess of war and wisdom.
In 1809, renowned French geologist Louis Cordier gave it the name ‘dichroite’. This name is a direct reference to the pleochroism of this rock of great hardness (its photo-reactive ability to change hue according to the axis of observation), as it designates ‘two colours’. When it was described by the mineralogist Lucas in 1813, it was named cordierite, paying tribute to Louis Cordier.
Even today, iolite remains difficult to identify for gemologists and jewellers as it can easily be confused with other stones of the silicate family. In particular, it is often equated with amethyst, blue quartz, serpentine or tanzanite. This natural crystal is, for the most part, faceted or cut into cabochons. This cut highlights the rock’s ability to change hue depending on the axis of observation. As iolites over 5 carats are of great rarity, it is generally easier to find gems of 1 to 5 carats.
Like all mineral species that belong to the silicate group, the major component of this raw gem is silicate. The formula for this crystal without inclusions is Al3Mg2AlSi5O18. Traces of Manganese, Iron, Carbon, Sodium and Potassium can be observed in its composition. This rock’s crystals can reach up to 18 cm in size.
This scarce mineral can be seen in rocks of argillaceous material and in certain types of shale. It appears primarily in clay sediments that have undergone a transformation when heated. It is considered of chemical nature and is particularly rich in aluminium. Its presence can occur in iolite’s early stages of metamorphism (similarly to haematite) or at a later stage. Iolite can also be found in magmatic rocks, such as pegmatites or granitic rocks, as well as from high-level regional metamorphism.
Its fracture is subconchoidal to conchoidal. On thin layers, iolite stone has a rather low birefringence. When it is present in altered materials, it becomes pinite, turning into micro-crystalline aggregates of muscovite or clorite. To find cordierite, it is often preferable to look for the presence of pinite alteration near yellow pleochroic fractures or halos with haematite or zircon inclusions.
This rare mineral is often associated with other rocks of the same type as well as the following minerals: biotite, corindon, haematite, muscovite, sillimanite, potassium feldspars, andalousite, etc. Its primary deposits are on the Southern Hemisphere, including Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Myanmar.
This gem has many psychological virtues. The majority of them are related to sleep and spirituality. Indeed, it promotes deep and restful sleep, helps you to fall asleep more easily and affects dreams. Iolite stone’s effect is perfect for reducing nightmares and achieving spiritual elevation allowing you to reach higher planes without impatience. It is a clear crystal that promotes astral travel. It is the perfect rock to ease beginners into spirituality and meditation. In this regard, it ensures smooth transitions. As a person’s spirituality increases, the faceted crystal will guide the development of the individual, granting foresight and grounding during astral travel.
This transparent silicate also positively affects stress, anxiety and emotions. It helps to dispel overwhelming emotions such as fear or tension. Its vibrations inspire self-confidence and foster a feeling of security, powerfully warding off negative thoughts and certain types of anxiety. Anxieties related to death, loneliness or feelings of helplessness towards challenges will be easily removed by this rock. It is therefore a rare crystal that is perfect for reducing tension in couples and familial relationships.
It transforms stress, conflict and fear into love, peace and respect. It promotes intuition and therefore has a beneficial effect on decision-making. It is a rock of great hardness that also facilitates the expression of feelings. It is therefore particularly suited for those who suffer from communication problems or those who tend to think instead of feel. Thanks to iolite, thoughts are moved to the heart to allow decision-making based on feelings and respectful listening rather than on logic alone. Therapists use iolite to improve their ability to feel their patients’ emotions and to better understand their needs.
The psychological effects of this silicate from India, Brazil and Madagascar are well-known. However, its physical properties tend to be forgotten. But there are in fact numerous. For instance, liver disorders or infection disorders are alleviated. This crystal can therefore be used to combat alcohol’s harmful consequences. Those with a sensitive liver or cirrhosis will also make great use of this mineral’s detoxifying and regenerative properties. Indeed, liver regeneration can be optimised by this crystal. It facilitates all types of detoxification. It is therefore particularly valuable for those wishing to overcome their addictions. Those who are susceptible to viral or bacterial infections may also use it to strengthen their immune system. In Brazil, it is used in the treatment of certain tropical ailments that cause fever.
Iolites effects are also felt on the kidneys and heart. It is also recommended for supporting weight loss. It is able to stimulate the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Are you prone to sore throats, sinusitis or regular colds? Do you have regular asthma attacks? Iolite stone’s benefits are perfect for you! This crystal will help clear and open your airways.
It helps regulate blood pressure and also affects the digestive system. It can therefore be used to prevent the primary symptoms of poor digestion. It is, among others, useful for eliminating vomiting, bowel problems, heartburn, bloating, etc. Treatment of varicose veins, blisters linked to infections or burns as well as all types of rashes can also be treated.
Emotional wounds caused by money or love problems can be soothed with iolite. It is an excellent stone to help one to get out of desperate situations whether relational or financial. The energies it generates will guide you to financial independence. They will also help you to attract material abundance by helping you create better opportunities. On the love side, this sublime clear crystal can help you make new encounters that will allow you to achieve your goal: to start a family. It will assist you in all stages of the emotional comfort process. It will help you to heal old love wounds that have never been closed, allowing you to move forward and put yourself out there in a healthy way.
The powers of this raw purple crystal can be enhanced by its inclusions. Haematite inclusions can give it an attractive cat’s eye appearance while granting it additional physical and psychological properties.