Iolite Faceting Information


Iolite cut in my Six Spin design

Color: Blue/purple and yellow with violet and/or gray undertones
Moh’s Hardness: 7-7.5
Refractive Index: 1.53-1.55
Critical Angle: 40.81°
Specific Gravity: 2.58-2.66
Cleavage: Distinct in 3 directions
Fracture: Uneven, conchoidal, brittle
Dispersion: .017
Heat Sensitivity: Can be in my experience
Trichroic: Strong (yellow to dark blue-violet to pale-blue)
Birefringence (double refraction): Weak to medium (.008-.012)
Crystal Structure: Orthorhombic

Treatments: Generally none

What I prefer to polishing with: Cerium oxide on a Tin lap

Jeff’s Comments: Very difficult to find quality rough. Iolite has fairly strong cleavage in one direction and fractures along this plane are common. The other cleavage planes usually don’t create problems, but occasionally cause difficulties in polishing. Some material is light and some is very saturated, match the design to the saturation level.

Design Notes: About any Quartz designs will work well.

Design Links: Cornered – Nice for darker stones
Easy Emerald – Good for color

About the author
Jeff R. Graham
The late Jeff Graham was a prolific faceter, creator of many original faceting designs, and the author of several highly-regarded instructional faceting books such as Gram Faceting Designs.
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