Iolite is a gemstone which loves playing with the light. When viewed from different angles it can run the spectrum from a pale blue to a rich violet – the name actually comes from the Greek word for violet. The way iolite changes colour depending on the angle of the light means it was used by the Vikings as a way of determining the direction of the sun on cloudy days – they may well have been the first early civilisation to have discovered it.
The light changing qualities of iolite make it a beautiful stone to use in jewellery, as it enhances the look of any piece it is used in; it also goes with a wide range of other colours thanks to its tendency to adapt to differing light sources. Our most extravagant example is the Reverso iolite necklace which features a large oval shaped stone in a sinuous sterling silver mount, accentuated by a row of cubic zirconia along the top of the mount. We use the deeper shades of iolite for this pendant because they're so stunning in this hue that they really dazzle in the light. This is a sophisticated and elegant piece ideal for evening wear – even in low light the stone will sparkle and give that chameleon effect that makes iolite so desirable.
Our iolite Orbit earrings make the perfect partner to the Reverso necklace, and with a slightly lighter shade they complement each other beautifully. The earrings feature a round stone in a flush style mount which helps the light bounce around the inside of the stone – ideal for wearing at a night out at the theatre or a posh meal. These budget friendly earrings also make a great gift for people who love purples and navy blues; with a much darker shade than amethyst they're a real purple pleaser. If you like this more understated style, then you'll love matching the Orbit earrings with the Vivid Violet necklace. The design works well as a match to the Orbit style and the wider sterling silver mount gets the light at the stone from every angle, so it shines and dazzles. Iolite is said to enhance curiosity, and you'll certainly be asked where you got the necklace when you wear it.
Iolite also features in our Gwyneth collection. This pretty floral set is perfect for spring and summer and features cabochon lilac iolite, pink rhodolite garnet and lemon quartz, set in delicate flower shaped mounts. The ring and necklace feature all three, and the earrings are a choice of rhodolite garnet or iolite. We have used a lighter shade of iolite in this collection, as it goes so beautifully with the muted shades of the other gems for a more natural look – it brings to mind the delicate tones of campanulas.
The range of shades available makes iolite ideal for pairing with other stones, as in our Gwyneth collection and also our Cross My Heart ring. This ring combines two shades of blue topaz with a central iolite to create a run of colour across the band from pale to dark and back again. The modern design features kiss inspired settings to hold the stones and they look stunning in this mount.
Paler iolite also works well on its own, as seen in our Summer Shade earrings. These modern earrings are made from solid silver, not hollow metal as many cheaper hoop earrings are. This makes them very sturdy and lends itself to the bubble design of the hoops. A single rub-over set violet iolite sits at the front, ideally placed to catch the light and flatter the wearer. These are perfect for a smart casual look, perhaps at a garden party matched with some of the Gwyneth pieces which feature the same shade of stone.