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Four Gorgeous, Genuine, Antique Handcrafted Semi-Precious Celanese Violet-Blue Iolite Semi-Precious Gemstones on Sterling Silver French Hooks.

CLASSIFICATION: Four coarsely shaped oval iolite gemstones measuring approximately 6mm in length; 4mm in width, and 2mm in thickness. Total gemstone weight approximately 2 carats. Contemporary high quality 14kt gold fill french hooks.

ORIGIN: Ceylon. 19th Century.


Approximate Length: 6 millimeters. Approximate Width: 4 millimeters.

Approximate Thickness: 2 millimeters.

Approximate Weight: 0.45 carats.

DETAIL: A set of four absolutely gorgeous, richly colored deep violet blue iolite gemstones from Ceylon. These exceptional gemstones were hand cut and polished in the 19th century into these ovals, and then hand drilled for use high-end domestic jewelry. Though the shaping of the gemstones was rather coarse, the gemstones themselves are exquisitely colored. High quality, transparent, eye clean or near 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.

These gorgeous iolite gemstones have been mounted onto contemporary sterling silver french hooks. These are not cheap silver plate earrings, they are high quality solid sterling silver. Upon request the gemstones could also be remounted onto kidney wires, lever backs, euroclicks, or ball studs if you would prefer; or remounted onto 14kt gold. It's a first-class piece of jewelry throughout, designed to provide a lifetime of wearing enjoyment. Keep in mind however that even casual examination will easily discern from the photo that the gemstones have been hand-finished. 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-crafted gemstones possess much greater character and appeal than today's mass-produced machine-cut gemstones. These gemstones have great lustre, vibrant color, and are more or less transparent; but they are not anywhere near flawless. True, the blemishes they possess are near invisible to the naked eye, and the gemstones could be characterized, to use trade jargon, as "near eye clean". However magnified six times over, as they are here, you can see minor imperfections (included material) both within the stones and occasional irregularities in the polish. However bear in mind that these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques prevalent did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so common today.

Two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of semi-precious gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible. So antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones mined from deep beneath the earth's surface were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. But for most, the unique nature and character of these antique gemstones more than makes up for included imperfections which by and large are only visible under 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".