A member of the quartz mineral family,amethyst is one of the most valuable and popular stones on the market today. The official birthstone for February, the gem is often used in birthstone jewelry. Amethyst owes its vibrant purple color to traces of aluminum and iron. Without these impurities in its composition, the stone would be an ordinary transparent quartz. The gemstone belongs to the macrocrystalline quartz group. Like all other stones in this category, amethyst exhibits translucent clarity and strong luster. Below we explore this gemstone in more detail.
How to Identify Amethyst?
To the untrained eye, amethyst is most recognizable by its vibrant color. The stone has a purple-purple hue, which is best seen in daylight. Although the gem can still be identified under artificial light, its true color will show best under soft, warm natural light, ideally just after sunrise or before sunset. Higher quality amethyst is usually deep purple, with intense saturation and minimal color zoning. Specimens of this quality are valuable and highly sought after.
In general, amethyst can be correctly identified by its color alone. The purple-violet hue is quite unique, and few gemstones exhibit the same tone. Because of this, amethyst is rarely confused with other stones. Occasionally, amethyst specimens may resemble purple sapphire or purple spinel; however, both of these stones are very rare, so confusion is kept to a minimum.
Golden Citrine Quartz is the sister stone of Amethyst. The only difference between the two stones is the level of iron impurities in their composition. Fortunately, the different levels of iron make it possible to distinguish the stones by their color. When amethyst is heated at high temperature, iron impurities are reduced and the stone can become a golden citrine. Lower quality amethyst is often heat treated to produce golden citrine, as the latter is more valuable than lower quality amethyst.
The different colors and types of amethyst
As stated earlier, the color of amethyst is due to iron and aluminum impurities. For this reason, the color of amethyst specimens varies depending on the level of impurities in the composition of the stone. In general, the colors range from purple-violet to red-violet. Deep, intense colors are the most valuable, especially specimens of intense purple with red or blue flashes. A deep purple stone with red and blue highlights is often referred to as "Siberian amethyst". Stones of this nature usually fetch the highest prices.
Like most gemstones, amethyst can be heat treated to improve its appearance. In general, heating the stone to a high temperature deepens the purple hue. This makes the stone more valuable and sought after. As discussed above, further heating of the stone can turn amethyst into citrine quartz. Heat treatment of amethyst is most often used for this purpose. Below we take a look at some of the trade names used for natural and heat-treated amethysts.
where do you find amethyst?
Today, the most notable amethyst deposits are found in Brazil. The most important deposits are the "Palmeira" amethysts from Rio Grande do Sul and the "Maraba" amethysts from Para. Other deposits are found around the world including Bolivia, Canada, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka, USA, Uruguay and Zambia .
Healing properties of amethyst
Amethyst is considered a powerful and protective gemstone. In ancient times, the stone was used to overcome physical addiction and dependent relationships. For this reason, amethyst is known as the "stone of sobriety". Today the stone is used to transform negative energy into positive energy.
In crystal healing, amethyst is believed to open and purify the crown chakra. In addition to promoting access to the divine, opening the crown chakra can enhance spiritual awareness and wisdom. The gemstone can cleanse and repair the aura of the body, as well as encourage divine energy.
Physically, amethyst can be used to relieve discomfort associated with headaches; for this reason, the stone is ideal for those who suffer from tension and migraines. Ideal for those who have trouble sleeping, the gem is also said to reduce nightmares and relieve insomnia.
The beautiful amethyst is popular all over the world. Today, the most important deposits of this stone are found in Brazil. Prized for its violet-violet hue and translucent clarity, quality amethyst is often used in designer jewelry. Whether you want to use the stone for its benefits in crystal healing or are looking for a beautiful addition to your jewelry collection, buy a good quality piece of amethyst to reap the rewards.