Everything You Need to Know About Amethyst

| 4 min read

With its eye-clean clarity and abundant carat weights, Amethyst is one of the most sought-after gemstones on the market today. It's been admired by collectors for years, and is steeped in ancient myth and legend.

Here, we look at the history behind Amethyst and explore the magnificent properties that make it undoubtedly unique.

AMETHYST: GENERAL INFORMATION

Amethyst is the gemstone for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries and is strongly associated with St Valentine, which is why it is the birthstone for February. It hails from the Quartz family, alongside Citrine and Prasiolite, and can be traced back as far as 4,000 BC. It is one of the stones within the Breastplate of Aaron, and is even mentioned in the Old Testament!

Amethyst comes in various hues ranging from a light pink to a deep, rich purple. Its iconic colour comes from iron impurities that appear inside the stone; without them, it would be colourless. Also, Amethyst sits at 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, meaning that it is durable enough for daily wear if you choose to set it into jewellery.

CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF AMETHYST

Amethyst Infographic

Crystal System Trigonal

Specific Gravity 2.65

Refractive Index 1.532 - 1.554

Chemical Formula SiO2

Composition Silicon Dioxide

WHERE DOES THE NAME 'AMETHYST' COME FROM?

Amethyst is believed to come from the Greek word 'Amethustos' - 'a' meaning 'not', and 'methustos' meaning 'to intoxicate'. In ancient times, wealthy lords were said to have drinking goblets made from Amethyst to disguise the water inside as wine, so they could stay sober without arousing suspicion. Many also believed that Amethyst stones could prevent intoxication altogether, and would mix the gem into their alcohol as a precaution.

WHERE IS AMETHYST SOURCED?

One of the largest Amethyst mines in the world is Maissau in Austria, but the Amethyst mines in Brazil are widely considered the best in the world.

Mining for Amethyst

Amethyst can be found in:

  • Canada

  • USA

  • Mexico

  • Bolivia

  • Brazil

  • Austria

  • Morocco

  • Zambia

  • Madagascar

  • Kenya

  • Sri Lanka

  • India

  • China

  • Myanmar

VARIETIES OF AMETHYST

Zambian Amethyst

Zambian Amethyst

Mined just a short distance from Victoria Falls, Zambian Amethyst is so in demand that it is Zambia's second largest gemstone export behind Emerald. It has impeccable brilliance and lustre, and has a colour balance that's envied by other Amethyst varieties across the world.

Moroccan Amethyst

Moroccan Amethyst comes from the Tata Mine in south Morocco. Although all Amethyst gemstones are pleochroic (meaning they can display different colours when exposed to light), Moroccan Amethyst is particularly pleochroic. Sometimes, you can see flashes of purple, blue and even red when examining the stone.

EXPLORE OUR AMETHYST VARIETIES

LEGEND & FOLKLORE

Crystal healers widely use Amethyst to revert negative energy into positive energy, and it is thought to purify the mind, body, and spirit. Plus, due to the word's translation, the Ancient Greeks and Romans believed Amethyst had the power to keep drunkenness at bay and keep a person clear-headed.

When it comes to the metaphysical properties of gemstones, we must point out that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that they are authentic. However, it is an interesting concept that deserves further exploration.

CLEANING YOUR AMETHYST

Amethyst geode

Amethyst can be safely cleaned using warm, soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaners can also be used, provided your Amethyst stone has not been dyed or treated in any way. Amethyst should never be exposed to extreme heat.

CARING FOR YOUR AMETHYST

Like all gemstones, Amethyst should be stored separately to avoid it scratching other stones or being scratched itself. If you choose to have your Amethyst set into jewellery, always make sure you remove it before cleaning or engaging in heavy exercise.

With its rich history and glorious pleochroism, there is no doubt that Amethyst is something special.

Are you looking to add Amethyst to your gemstone collection? You can shop it right here on GemCollector.

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