Iolite, also known as “the viking compass,” the uncut stone changes color when viewed from different angles. Once faceted, the stone is a brilliant cornflower blue.
Its name come from the Greek words “ios” for violet and “lithos” for stone. The name “the viking compass” comes from its polarizing filter property.
When used with a sun shadow board and other navigation instruments the Norseman we able to travel great distances without getting lost. By rotating the stone, the vikings could determine the angle of the sun in the sky even when it was obscured by clouds and fog, information which allowed them to reinforce their reputation as expert navigators.