Iolite is the name used for gem quality specimens of the mineral cordierite. Gem iolite is typically light to dark blue or violet blue in color, with excellent transparency and strong pleochroism. It is quite a hard material, about the same as tourmaline, so it is suitable for all kinds of jewelry. Iolite is also a fairly inexpensive stone, especially when compared to other violet-blue gems such as tanzanite.
Cordierite is a magnesium iron aluminum cyclosilicate that was first discovered in 1813 and was named after the French geologist Lousi Cordier (1777-1861). Cordier was professor of geology at the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle in Paris from 1819 to 1861 and developed the geological gallery in the museum.
Cordierite is typically found in metamorphic rocks along with sillimanite, spinel, plagioclase feldspar and garnet. Gem quality material is rare and clean stones with good color can be quite beautiful. The violet-blue color is considered ideal, but iolite may also occur in ilght yellow, green, gray or brown.
Iolite is strongly trichroic, meaning that it shows three colors when viewed from different angles. Iolite’s strong pleochroism earned it the nickname water sapphire, since from one direction iolite can appear sapphire-like blue and from another, it can appear as clear as water. From yet another angle it can appear a light golden color. The video below shows this pleochroism quite well.
Gemologically, iolite has a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale and forms in orthrhombic crystals. It has a refractive index of 1.542-1.578 (similar to quartz) and a density or specific gravity of 2.58-2.66 (in the same range as chalcedony). Its unique pleochroism is a key to identifying iolite.
Iolite is found in many locations around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Tanzania and the USA. We have this wonderful gemstones also coming out in good quality and quantity from NIGERIA
The colors of Kunzite are lilac, pink, green or yellow. It is a transparent stone of high luster.
Notable occurrences are in the USA, Brazil, Australia, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Madagascar.
Kunzite was first discovered in the mines of the Pala District of San Diego, California. It was named after the gemologist G. F. Kunz who first described the pink variation at the beginning of the 20th century.
This is a rather unusual, rare mineral with beautiful pale nuances that originate from the traces of manganese in its silicate structure. More precisely, it is a lithium aluminum silicate, and is one of the main ores of lithium. Especially powerful in the metaphysical sense are the long and flat specimens.
Kunzite is a variation of Spodumene. Usually, Kunzite is the pink or lilac colored Spodumene. It occurs in nature as a result of the process of irradiation or heat treatment of transparent specimens. Artificial irradiation or annealing is also possible to change or enhance the color of this material.
Pale pink kunzite was discovered in 1902 in the Pala District of San Diego County in California. Today, the prism-shaped crystals with their typical vertical striations are mainly found in Afghanistan, Madagascar, Brazil , USA and NIGERIA. The crystals, or fragments of crystals, often badly eaten away, can attain sizes of up to several kilogrammes.
As a variety of spodumen, kunzite belongs to the class of the chain silicates. It has minute traces of manganese to thank for its fine lilac colour. However, the colour can fade in direct sunlight. For that reason, jewellery with kunzite should never be worn while sunbathing or on the beach.
Its hardness is fairly good, between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale. To the chagrin of the cutters, however, this gem has perfect cleavage and is thus extremely difficult to cut. Having said that, once it has been given its final shape, it becomes uncomplicated. But it is very difficult to re-cut. Cut kunzite surprises even experts again and again with its brilliance. The silvery gloss on its facets forms a beautiful contrast to the fine violet-pink of the gemstone.
In the trade, kunzite is available in many beautiful cuts. It is one of the gems which are available in relatively large sizes at affordable prices. When making a purchase, however, you should remember that it is first the colour and then the clarity which determines its value. The more intense the colour, the more valuable the kunzite. The question of whether the colour should tend more or less strongly towards violet will depend on your personal preference and skin type.