This week's beautiful gemstone is again, a lesser known one. It is lesser known due to the fact that it is so hard to find!
Typically a soft violet-blue colour, Iolite has pleochroic properties. This means that it shows different colours when viewed at different angles - light blues and yellow-greys. These properties were known to mariners including the Vikings who used it in practical ways, ie it was used as a polarizing lens to locate the sun on overcast days to aid navigation.
The name Iolite comes from the Greek word "ios" meaning violet. Iolite is completely natural as there is no treatment that enhances the clarity or colour.
So be unique and pick Iolite for your next piece.