Amethyst Description


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This amethyst crystal is from Namibia. It shows classic quartz crystal shape: a six-sided columnar crystal with a pyramid-shaped termination at the top. Courtesy Daniel Trinchillo, Fine Minerals International.
Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz mineral species. It’s the gem that’s most commonly associated with the color purple, even though there are other purple gems such as sapphire and tanzanite. Its purple color can be cool and bluish, or a reddish purple that’s sometimes referred to as “raspberry.”

Amethyst Description
Most people think of amethyst when they picture a beautiful purple gem. Courtesy Intimate Gems.
Amethyst’s purple color can range from a light lilac to a deep, intense royal purple, and from brownish to vivid. Amethyst also commonly shows what is called color zoning, which in the case of amethyst usually consists of angular zones of darker to lighter color.

Amethyst with Visible Color Zones
Amethyst commonly shows zones of darker and lighter colors. Photo by Mike Havstad/GIA.