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Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {1}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {2}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {3}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {4}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {5}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {6}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {7}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {1}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {2}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {3}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {4}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {5}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {6}
Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid {7}

Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid

$99 $141.49

Ancient Medieval Viking Iolite Ring Antique Gem Norse Solar Navigational Aid

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Antique Genuine Natural Russian Half Carat Violet-Blue Iolite Semi-Precious Faceted Oval Gemstone. Contemporary High Quality Sterling Silver Ring (Size 7 – Resizing Available).
CLASSIFICATION: Faceted Blue-Violet Iolite Oval.
ORIGIN: Chelyabinsk, Russia. 19th Century.
SIZE: Length: 7mm. Width: 5mm. Thickness: 3mm.
WEIGHT: Approximately 0.51 carats.
NOTE:  Resizing is available.  14kt solid gold setting is also available.
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. This stunning gemstone was hand cut into this sparkling faceted oval in the late 19th century. High quality, transparent, at a minimum eye clean, 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 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 iolite one of the most valuable possessions in the ancient Viking world. The setting is of contemporary origin.  It is a high quality setting manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers.  It is constructed of solid sterling silver.  We do have the ability to have the ring sent out for resizing if requested.  Additionally, if preferred, the mounting is also available in 14kt solid gold.
Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted.  The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone.  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-faceted gemstones.  Unlike today’s computer controlled machine produced gemstones that approach flawlessness in a perfect finish, the cut and finish of a handcrafted gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago.
This gemstone possesses superb luster and sparkle, and to the eye is completely transparent, but one cannot say with absolute certainty that it is unconditionally flawless.  True, the blemishes it possesses are not visible to the naked eye, and the gemstone can be characterized at a minimum, to use trade jargon, as "eye clean".  To the eye it is indeed flawless; however were one to examine it in a 10x jeweler’s loupe, it’s almost certain that a few minute blemishes could be detected.  Of course the same may said about almost any natural gemstone.  An absolutely flawless gemstone simply is not the rule in nature.  Most absolutely flawless gemstones will upon close examination be revealed to be synthetic.   You might also notice under magnification occasional irregularities in the cut and finish.  Naturally 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. 
Keep in mind that 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.  For these reasons 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 minor blemishes both within the gemstone as well as in the finish, which by and large of course, are (if at all) 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.
SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: 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. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost.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.
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. Please note for international purchasers we will do everything we can to minimize your liability for VAT and/or duties. But we cannot assume any responsibility or liability for whatever taxes or duties may be levied on your purchase by the country of your residence. If you don’t like the tax and duty schemes your government imposes, please complain to them. We have no ability to influence or moderate your country’s tax/duty schemes.
If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable eBay payment processing fees. Please note that eBay does NOT refund payment processing fees. Even if you
accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, eBay will not refund their processing fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include eBay payment processing fees
typically between 5% and 15%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive eBay policies.
ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Europe and Central Asia several times a year. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient jewelry and gemstones. Prior to our retirement we traveled to Russia every 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. 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 us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write.
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