Amethyst’s major attribute is its rich velvety purple or reddish purple hue. Gems that display this color evenly—with no visible color zoning when viewed from above—are highly prized.
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What To Look For
The finest amethyst color is a strong reddish purple or purple, with no brownish or bronze-colored tints, or any noticeable color zoning when you look at the stone from the top. If the stone becomes too dark in tone, it might look black under dim lighting.
Much of the faceted amethyst in the market is “eye clean,” meaning it lacks eye-visible inclusions. Gem professionals overlook minor inclusions when the gem is richly colored and otherwise high quality. Often this material is used for cabochons or carvings. Visible inclusions in pale pastel-colored gems reduce their value greatly.
Amethyst is available in a wide variety of fancy shapes, including custom cuts. Most cutting styles are calibrated in standard millimeter sizes for use in mass-market jewelry.
Amethyst in large sizes is not priced significantly more per carat than smaller sizes, making it a good choice for bold jewelry designs. Unlike some colored gems, small sizes can be strongly colored, making it easier to match sets of differently sized gems.
Amethyst Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide
Tips & Advice
1. Understand the difference that color makes.
Look at different colors of amethyst side by side to understand the range of qualities available. Pale colors are more affordable than strong reddish purple tones.
2. Don’t compromise on cut.
The quality of the cut can make a big difference in beauty and brilliance. Your amethyst should sparkle in a lively way, reflecting light back evenly across the entire gem. Poorly cut gems are much less marketable and sell at a discount.
3. Work with a jeweler you trust.
If it’s important to you that you are purchasing a natural amethyst, make sure you choose a jeweler who has gemological knowledge and is experienced with this gem.
4. When in doubt, get a lab report.
For a significant purchase an independent laboratory report can confirm that the amethyst you are buying is natural.