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Amethyst

The essence of the colour purple, amethyst is beautiful enough for crown jewels yet affordable enough for engagement rings.

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Royal Purple

This 13.44-ct. Zambian gem displays the rich royal purple colour typical of fine amethysts.

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Antique Cut

Amethyst is available in many shapes and sizes including antique cuts.

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Eye Clean

The finest amethysts are typically eye-clean.

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Six Sided

These crystals are typical six-sided columns with tapering faces that meet in a point.

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Zoning

Amethyst crystals often show purple and colourless zones.

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Distinctive Markings

Like many quartz varieties, amethyst might form radiating crystal clusters

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Tools

Overview

About Amethyst

Amethyst was as expensive as ruby and emerald until the 19th Century, when Brazil’s large deposits were discovered. It was believed to prevent intoxication—amethystos means “not drunk” in ancient Greek. Today, as the most valued quartz variety, amethyst is in demand for designer pieces and mass-market jewellery alike, and its purple to pastel hues retain wide consumer appeal.

Amethyst Description Amethyst History and Lore

Birthstones & Anniversaries

Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the gem for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.

St Valentine

The patron of romantic love wore an amethyst ring carved with the image of Cupid.


Camillo Leonardi

The astrologer wrote that amethyst quickens intelligence and gets rid of evil thoughts.


164 Pounds

Single amethyst crystals can be huge: the GIA Museum displayed a doubly terminated crystal that weighed 164 pounds.


Facts

  • Mineral: Quartz
    Chemistry

Where It's Found

map

Treatments

There are a number of processes used to alter the colour or apparent clarity, or to improve the durability of gems.

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Synthetics

Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.

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Imitations

Any gem can be imitated – sometimes by man-made materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.

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gem love

Why We Love This Gemstone

1
Geodes

In gem localities like Brazil, amethyst sometimes forms in hollow, crystal-lined geodes so big you can stand in them.

2
Affordable

Even fine amethyst has a modest price tag. Large gems remain affordable as price per carat does not rise dramatically with larger size.

3
Ametrine

In Bolivia, amethyst and citrine occur in the same crystal. The unique gems, called ametrine, are half purple and half yellow.

Quality Factors

Assessment of the following characteristics determines amethyst’s value.

Colour

quality factors

The finest amethyst colour is strong reddish purple to purple with no visible colour zoning.

Clarity

quality factors

Most amethyst doesn’t have inclusions you can see without magnification.

Cut

quality factors

Amethyst is cut into a variety of standard calibrated shapes, including rounds and ovals.

Carat Weight

quality factors

Amethyst is available in all size ranges for setting into a variety of jewellery styles.

Amethyst Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide

Research

Explore sources, gemmological research and the role of gems in history.

Infrared Spectroscopy of Natural vs. Synthetic Amethyst: An Update

Stefanos Karampelas, et. al Read more in English

Amethyst from Four Peaks, Arizona

Jack Lowell and John I. Koivula , Sep 1, 2004 Read more in English

Amethyst Mining in Brazil

David Stanley Epstein , Dec 1, 1988 Read more in English

A Simple Procedure to Separate Natural from Synthetic Amethyst on the Basis of Twinning

Robert Crowningshield, Cornelius Hurlbut and C. W. Fryer , Sep 1, 1986 Read more in English