Iolite The name iolite comes from the Greek ios, which means violet. The Vikings probably mined iolite from deposits in Norway and Greenland. Viking sailors allegedly used iolite as a polarizing filter to find the sun on cloudy days for a safe offshore navigation.
Iolite is usually a purplish blue when cut properly, with a softness to the color that can be quite attractive. The best color is a lovely violet blue that is unlike other gemstones. Pleochroism is very pronounced in iolite and is seen as three different color shades in the same stone. Depending on the viewing angle, iolite will display violet blue, yellow gray or a light blue.
When Leif Eriksson and the other legendary Viking explorers ventured far out into the Atlantic Ocean, away from any coastline that could help them determine position, they had a secret gem weapon: iolite. The Viking sailors allegedly used thin pieces of iolite as the world's first polarizing filter. Looking through an iolite lens, they could determine the exact position of the sun on cloudy days, and navigate safely to their new worlds and back.
Since those Vikings most probably found the American coastline long before Columbus, iolite achieved a practical importance that easily compensates for the fact, that it produces a blank page in the books of myth, wisdom, the zodiac scheme or the relation between planets and mankind.
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