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18thC Antique 3ct Iolite Ancient Medieval Viking Norse Solar Navigational Aid

CAD 251.25 Buy It Now Unsold, CAD 19.82 Shipping, 30-Day Returns

Seller: ancientgifts (4,186) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 381681146389 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish 0 document.write(''); document.write(' '); document.write(' '); document.write(' '); document.write(' '); document.write(' '); document.write(' '); document.write(' '); document.write(' '); document.write(' '); document.write(' '); } else { document.write(' '); document.write(' '); document.write(' This Vendio Gallery is best viewed with Macromedia Flash Player 6 or higher. '); document.write(' Click here to get the latest Macromedia Flash Player. '); document.write(' '); document.write(' '); document.write(' '); } //--> Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! Antique Genuine Natural Russian Three Carat Handcrafted Violet-Blue Iolite Semi-Precious Gemstone. CLASSIFICATION: Hand Polished Blue-Violet Iolite Oval Cabochon. ORIGIN: 18th Century Chelyabinsk, Russia. SIZE: Length: 11mm. Width: 9mm. Thickness: 4.5mm. WEIGHT: Approximately 3.05 carats. NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstones as a ring, pendant, or as earrings (click here for more information). DETAIL: Known as the gemstone of the Vikings, Iolite was used by Norse and Viking explorers as a navigational aid, as a properly oriented stone would change color in relation to the direction of sunlight, allowing for crude navigation in the fog-enshrouded northern Atlantic waters where the direction of the sun was otherwise impossible to discern. Mined from deposits in Norway and Greenland, it was called “water sapphire” by some as it is clear from one direction, light blue from another, and from the third direction, light yellow or gray. Its darkest blue-violet shade is seen when held 90 degrees from the sun. It is believed that the Vikings would use thin slices of iolite as polarizing filters, allowing them to look directly at the sun and determine its exact location in the sky. During the Middle Ages there exist accounts that Iolite was used by shamans, mystics, seers, witches and wizards to help achieve a deep trance state, stimulate visions, and stimulate astral travel. In some Medieval cultures Iolite was held sacred to the Mother Goddess, and in other Medieval cultures it was held to be sacred to the Father God or King of Gods (especially the Roman deity Jupiter). Here's an absolutely gorgeous, richly colored violet-blue iolite gemstone from Chelyabinsk, Russia (our home town). The gemstone was hand cut and polished by an 18th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia. This lustrous semi-precious gemstone possesses a rich, velvety violet-blue hue. It is an extremely attractive gemstone, of very special character and remarkable color and texture. Highly favored by the royal houses of Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, Iolite has recently become very "hot". Ignored for centuries by Europe and America, it is now recognized as a truly stunning and beautiful gemstone, possessing rich, exceptional blue to violet hues which made iolite one of the most valuable possessions in the ancient Viking world. We only have a handful of these gemstones, and they are truly fascinating – and much nicer in appearance than the images here would suggest. This is a nice quality iolite by 18th century standards. It is more or less transparent, though as one can easily discern, by no means flawless. By today’s standards it is not a high quality iolite – though of course it is generous in size, remarkable in color, and historically significant. But judged by 18th century standards, this was a nice, large, sumptuous, and not inexpensive gemstone. Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 18th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. But these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-tumbled gemstones. Unlike today’s computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. The gemstone has great luster and tone, wonderful color and texture, and to the eye is more or less transparent; but it is not flawless. It could not even be characterized as high quality. In fact, it is quite typical of an 18th century gemstone both in quality and finish. True, the blemishes it possesses are near invisible to the naked eye under casual scrutiny, and the gemstone could almost be characterized, to use trade jargon, as "near eye clean", or “slightly blemished”. However magnified as it is here in the accompanying photo enlargements, you can see lots minor imperfections within the gemstone and occasional irregularities in the finish. However these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even possible then, let alone in practice, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today. Two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. So antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for minute blemishes which by and large, are only visible under high magnification. IOLITE HISTORY: Known as the gemstone of the Vikings, Iolite is a blue-violet colored gemstone often mistaken for sapphire or tanzanite. Unknown to classical ancient Mediterranean cultures, it was used by Norse and Viking explorers to navigate. Mined from deposits in Norway and Greenland, this exceptional gemstone changes colors depending up the direction it is oriented, thus allowing crude navigator even without a fix on the sun or stars, vital in the fog-enshrouded northern Atlantic waters where the direction of the sun was otherwise impossible to discern. Iolite is usually a very richly textured purplish blue when cut properly. Called “water sapphire” by some as it is clear from one direction, light blue from another, and from the third direction, light yellow or gray. Its darkest blue-violet shade is seen when held 90 degrees from the sun. It is also believed that the Vikings would use thin slices of iolite as polarizing filters, allowing them to look directly at the sun and determine its exact location in the sky. During the Middle Ages there exist accounts that Iolite was used by shamans to help achieve a deep trance state, stimulate visions, and stimulate astral travel. In some Medieval cultures Iolite was held sacred to the Mother Goddess, and in other Medieval cultures it was held to be sacred to the Father God or King of Gods (especially the Roman deity Jupiter). The name iolite comes from the Greek ios, which means violet. In the 19th century it was known as "cordierite", after a French geologist, Pierre L. Cordier, who had “(re)discovered” the gemstone for the benefit of Western Europe. It was very popular during that century, but then drifted in obscurity. It is presently mined in Russia, India, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, and Brazil. The largest iolite ever discovered is a 1714 carat nodule discovered at Palmer Canyon, Wyoming, and is known as the “Palmer Canyon Blue Star”. However typically pieces of rough over 8 carats are quite uncommon, and gemstone quality faceted gemstones over 1 carat are likewise fairly uncommon. Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness, possessed of valuable metaphysical properties, and to provide protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. In these as well as other ancient cultures, it was believed that iolite would help balance the various aspects of the personality, especially those characteristics within an individual considered "female" and "male". As well iolite was believed to bring harmony to interpersonal relationships, to help determine the truth, and as well to energize athletes. Iolite was also held to help purify the body of wastes. Iolite was also been used by mystics as an aid in bringing visions. In the Victorian era it was believed that wearing iolite would enhance one’s ability to manage money and avoid debt. It was also used to relieve headaches, and it was believed to enhance liver function, eliminating systemic toxicity. Modern practitioners believe that iolite gives its wearers a better understanding of themselves and their special purpose, helping them find direction that has been missing in their lives. It’s also believed to help wearers "let go" of feelings of helplessness and victimization related to circumstances, gently nurturing growth and maturity. Iolite is also reputed to increase spiritual insight and help in seeing both sides of an issue more clearly. On a more practical level, iolite is presently used in the manufacture of catalytic converters. Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $8.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $8.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). We travel to Russia each year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. Our interest in the fabulous history of Russian gemstones and the fabulous jewelry of the Czar’s led to further education and contacts in India, Ceylon, and Siam, other ancient centers of gemstone production and finishing. We have a number of “helpers” (family members, friends, and colleagues) in Russia and in India who act as eyes and ears for us year-round, and in reciprocity we donate a portion of our revenues to support educational institutions in Russia and India. Occasionally while in Russia, India, Siam, and Ceylon we will also find such good buys on unique contemporary gemstones and jewelry that we will purchase a few pieces to offer to our customers here in America. These are always offered clearly labeled as contemporary, and not antiques – just to avoid confusion. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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