The name "Iolite" is derived from the Greek word "Iol" meaning "Violet".
Depending on how the crystal has been cut it can take on different appearances; clear as water from one side, a honey yellow hue from another. The most popular cut gives it a rich blueish violet tone.
Iolite was used as a navigational tool by Viking explorers, who used thin pieces of the gem as a lens through which they could determine the exact position of the Sun, and thus safely navigate their way around the Earth.
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