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 jewelry alike, and its purple to pastel hues retain wide consumer appeal.
Birthstones & Anniversaries
Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the gem for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.
The patron of romantic love wore an amethyst ring carved with the image of Cupid.
The astrologer wrote that amethyst quickens intelligence and gets rid of evil thoughts.
Single amethyst crystals can be huge: the GIA Museum displayed a doubly terminated crystal that weighed 164 pounds.
1.544 to 1.553
- Mohs Hardness: 7
There are a number of processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or improve the durability of gems.Learn More
Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.Learn More
Any gem can be imitated—sometimes by manmade materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.Learn More
Why We Love This Gemstone
In gem localities like Brazil, amethyst sometimes forms in hollow, crystal-lined geodes so big you can stand in them.
Even fine amethyst has a modest price tag. Large gems remain affordable as price per carat does not rise dramatically with larger size.
In Bolivia, amethyst and citrine occur in the same crystal. The unique gems, called ametrine, are half purple and half yellow.
Assessment of the following characteristics determines amethyst’s value.
The finest amethyst color is strong reddish purple to purple with no visible color zoning.
Most amethyst doesn’t have inclusions you can see without magnification.
Amethyst is cut into a variety of standard calibrated shapes, including rounds and ovals.
Amethyst is available in all size ranges for setting into a variety of jewelry styles.
Amethyst Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide
Explore sources, gemological research, and the role of gems in history.
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