SOS // Gem Stories: Iolite


Half the fun of designing our new collection, LAND, came from going on a hunt for gems to use. We went to a gem show in Tucson and searched the West for stones perfect for our pieces. Often, the stones themselves were the basis for the piece.

We’re featuring all of the gems used on the blog to give you the story and inspiration behind our pieces, accompanied by original drawings by Jessica. First up is iolite!


The name “iolite” comes from the Greek word for violet, which is fitting because iolite has a transparent, sapphire-esque color. And if you’re ever lost, have some iolite on you, and have Viking-esque directional skills, the gem can be used to determine direction because it polarizes light. The Vikings used it on overcast days to find the sun.

The stone consists of magnesium, iron and aluminium, and its color can vary from sapphire blue to blue violet to yellowish gray to light blue. Iolite can be found in Australia, Brazil, Burma, Canada (Yellowknife area of the Northwest Territories), India, Madagascar, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the United States (Connecticut). The largest iolite crystal found weighed more than 24,000 carats, and was discovered in Wyoming, US.


Above is our Col bracelet featuring iolite along with bright orange and cream Japanese glass beads.

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