Here is the Iolite pricing guide for buyers and sellers. Feel free to use this as a point of reference when valuing Iolite.
As prices for Iolite change, I’ll update this page with the new prices I see at the local gem and mineral shows plus I’ll be going to the Tucson Gem and Mineral show to ensure the pricing is as accurate as possible.
There are three types of Iolite you’ll be purchasing if you choose to. The first type will be finished goods or small specimens. For the most part, this material is relatively inexpensive and sold by the piece.
The second type will be facet rough. Higher quality rough can be difficult to source because most of the material is lower quality or a cutting house is buying up the rough which makes it difficult to obtain. In general, most of this material is sold by the gram.
The third type will be faceted gemstones and this is where the value lies in Iolite. Large stones with a high clarity score will bring a premium to smaller stones but it won’t bring more than Tanzanite. Make sure you manage your expectations when buying this gemstone from a gem dealer.
How to determine Price and Cost
When determining the value of the gemstone you will be using GIA guidelines which means color, clarity, carat weight, and cut. You’ll want to look at each one of these individually and then circle back when finished to evaluate the stone as a whole.
Color is going to be the most important factor when determining the value of gemstones. Clarity and carat weight are tied for the second most important factor.
Before you go any further you need to ensure you have identified Iolite correctly.
Color – The more intense the color the more valuable the stone is. When dealing with warm colors, think of red and orange, you’ll want to determine if there are brown undertones. If you can’t see brown undertones then the color should be very vibrant. The more vibrant and saturated the color the more expensive the gemstone. If the gemstone has a unique “neon-like glow” then it will demand the highest price per carat.
Clarity – Buyers and collectors prefer stones with no internal inclusions visible to the eye. To determine the clarity ranking you’ll need at a minimum a 10x loop and a higher-powered microscope to confirm internally flawless and flawless designations.
If you can visibly see the inclusion while holding the gemstone then the highest designation would be SI1 and if the inclusion detracts from the overall beauty of the stone then the clarity designation would be I1 – I3.
Clarity designations – FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, I3
Carat – Iolite can be found in sizes ranging from below 1 carat to above 10 carat or more. Generally speaking, Iolite can be sourced in most carat weights. The larger crystals will not bring more money per carat unless they are deemed super rare.
Cut – It is sad to say but cut has the least impact on value and cost unless it affects the stone in an extreme way. For example, when you look at the stone you would be able to see through it which means light is not being reflected back to the eye. This is called a window in the stone and it would have to be quite large to impact the price. The other extreme would occur when you look at a stone and see a rough circle or oval shape inside the stone. This occurs when the stone is very shallow and it’s reflecting the rough girdle inside the stone. Note: the girdle is the edge/side of the stone where the pavilion and crown meet.
These are fairly stable and dependent upon the quality of the stone. Poorly cut stones with grey inclusions will always bring less money. The best stone will have a bright purplish-blue color with very little black, grey, or yellow flash.
Faceted Iolite price per carat $50.00 – $110.00
- High-quality material only
- Single stones or matched pairs
- Limited amount of quality like these
- Purplish-blue with no grey
Iolite price per gram $2.00 – $5.00
- Rough material only
- More than likely you will buy in bulk
- Mostly tumbled pieces or low-quality rough
Iolite Facet Rough Prices $5.00 – $10.00
- Priced in grams and dependent on size
- Sold by the piece
- VS1 clarity or better will bring higher prices.
How Valuable is Iolite?
Iolite is a lesser-known gemstone and doesn’t bring high prices. Due to its color and clarity, this gemstone will remain semi-precious. If I were looking to add Iolite to my collection then I would focus on the faceted material with a purplish-blue color and high clarity but there is no reason to overpay.
The cost of Iolite will not increase over time
Prices for high-quality faceted material will hold their value but I don’t see prices increasing anytime soon. If you’re looking for a gemstone to invest in then I would consider Tanzanite before I would spend money on Iolite.
If you’re not sure how to value a gemstone then you should consider a gemstone appraisal. Individuals acquiring gemstones through inheritance, estate sales, and auctions typically have the gemstone appraised to determine the value and to ensure the gem is what they think it is.