Iolite History and Lore


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Iolite has a long history of use as an adornment and possibly as a navigation tool. – Robert Weldon
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. This allowed the Nordic mariners to pinpoint their own location on the seas.

Whether or not it ever served as a navigation tool, iolite can be very attractive. It has long been fashioned for use in jewelry. – Robert Weldon, courtesy New Era Gems, Steve Ulatowski
The name iolite comes from the Greek word ios, meaning “violet.” Some believe that the gem aids sleep and helps to unlock creativity. Iolite is often cited as the twenty-first wedding anniversary gemstone.