A fairly common gemstone
, which is not too well known because it so often looks like something else. It has the nickname "water sapphire
" because it is usually bright blue, but unlike sapphire will appear lavender or gray when viewed from a different angle. (Usually the gem
s are cut so the brightest color is seen most easily.) Because of this pleochroic
property, it is hard to cut and facet
Gem-quality iolite is usually from Sri Lanka or Madagascar, and the stones are found in alluvial deposits. These water-worn stones are rarely very large, not more than one carat.