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Two Antique Genuine Natural Celanese Violet-Blue Iolite Semi-Precious Gemstone Faceted Pears.

CLASSIFICATION: Faceted Blue-Violet Iolite Pears.

ORIGIN: Ceylon. 19th Century.

SIZE: Length: 5mm. Width: 3mm. Depth (Thickness): 2mm. All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT: Approximately 0.33 carats (the pair).

NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstones as a ring, pendant, or as earrings .

DETAIL: Two absolutely gorgeous, richly colored deep blue iolite gemstones from Ceylon. These two exceptional gemstones were hand faceted in the 19th century into these beautiful pears (also known as "teardrops"). High quality, transparent, at a minimum eye clean, these lustrous semi-precious gemstones possess a rich, velvety violet-blue hue. They are very attractive gemstones, of very special character and remarkable color and texture. Highly favored by the royal houses of Europe in the 19th century, Iolite has recently become very "hot". Ignored for centuries by Europe and America, it is now suddenly recognized as a truly stunning and beautiful gemstone, possessing rich, exceptional blue to violet hues which made them one of the most valuable possessions in the ancient Viking world. The trained eye will easily discern from the photo that the gemstones have been hand-faceted. The coarseness of the 19th century faceting is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment. Unlike today's computer controlled machine processes, the cut and finish of gemstones such as these is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. Such antique hand-faceted gemstones possess much greater character and appeal than today's mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones.

These gemstones have great luster and sparkle, and to the eye are completely transparent, but they are not absolutely flawless. True, the blemishes they possess are not visible to the naked eye, and the gemstones can be characterized at a minimum, to use trade jargon, as "eye clean". To the eye they are indeed flawless; however magnified 500%, as they are here, you might be able to pick out one or two slight imperfections (included material) within the gemstones, barely perceptible even at such high magnification, and as well occasional irregularities in the faceting and finish. But these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even theoretically possible, let alone commonly practiced, 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 included imperfections which by and large, are (if at all) only visible under high magnification.

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 - this allowing crude navigator even without a fix on the sun or stars. Called "water sapphire" by some as it is clear from one direction, its darkest blue shade is seen when held 90 degrees from the sun. 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 "discovered" the gemstone for the benefit of Western Europe. Iolite is usually a very richly textured purplish blue when cut properly.

SHIPPING OPTIONS: All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. Most of these antique gemstones were originally part of two collections, one originating in India principally composed of gemstones originally mined in India, Burma, Ceylon, and Siam, and then hand faceted in India. The addition of a second accumulation of antique gemstones originally mined in the Urals in the mid to late 19th century (including alexandrite) completed the collection. These gemstones as well were hand finished. The Urals have been one of the world's major sources of precious and semi-precious gemstones for many centuries. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and Asia. These antique gemstones are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery.

We ship inventory from the USA order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipping within 48 hours of payment. A certificate of authenticity is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE".