A derivative of Cordierite metamorphic rock, the transparent variety is called Iolite and used as a gemstone. The name Iolite literally means ‘violet’. A more unusual gemstone it is sometimes known as Vikings Compass, due to its usefulness in detecting the direction of the sun in its clear surface on overcast days.
Believed to help assist the development of an inner vision and heightened awareness, the stone is used in shamanic rituals for journeying to the inner self for discovery of the soul and its hidden secrets. It is also used in past life memory retrieval. When used in healing, Iolite is believed to assist with eye health, stimulating memories and correcting sleep imbalances.
Due to its colouration and abundance, Iolite is often used as a more inexpensive replacement for paler sapphires but is growing in popularity for jewellery as a unique gem in it’s own right due to the light-play for which it is famed and the subtlety of tints available.