Amethyst

amethystRanging from pale lilac to the more valuable deep purple, amethyst is the most prized member of the quartz family and the birthstone for the month of February. Early Greek legends and its wine-purple color associated amethyst with Bacchus, the god of wine. Other legends led to the beliefs that amethyst gems kept their wearers clear-headed and quick-witted in battle and in their business affairs.

Originally found in Russia and South America, amethyst is now found all over the world. Experts consider African amethyst’s royal purple with reddish overtones to be the gem’s finest color.

A closely related quartz variety called ametrine contains a striking mixture of two contrasting quartzes – purple amethyst and yellow citrine. Ametrine deposits are found in Brazil and Bolivia.

Amethyst - Color of Royalty

Amethyst holds a magical appeal that’s proven to be timeless and universal. Amethyst displays a majestic hue of purple, moving from very light to very dark. With purple being the chosen color of royalty, amethyst has enjoyed an unwavering popularity dating back thousands of years. The finest quality amethyst exhibits a high degree of transparency and a rich deep purple color enhanced by flashes of burgundy or rose.

Amethyst has been a popular gemstone for centuries, and with good reason. It is beautiful, durable and affordable. Amethyst is a variety of the mineral species quartz. It is a hard gemstone that is resistant to both scratching and breaking. Amethyst can be faceted or fashioned into cabochon cuts.

Origins

Amethyst is found all over the world. Major sources include Brazil and Uruguay. Other sources include Zambia, India, Sri Lanka and the United States. Small quantities of very fine amethyst are also mined in Russia.

Treatments

Almost all amethyst is heated to bring out its best color. Heat-treated amethyst is very stable and requires no special handling.

Care

The beautiful color in your amethyst, if properly taken care of, will last indefinitely. Amethyst should be protected from sharp blows and scratches but it otherwise quite resistant to normal wear. Amethyst can be cleaned with most any commercial jewelry cleaner or mild soap and lukewarm water using a soft brush. Be sure to rinse and dry your jewelry thoroughly after cleaning. Some amethyst, whether treated or not, may fade if exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. Because of this, you shouldn’t wear your amethyst jewelry while sunbathing or when using a tanning bed.

Content provided courtesy of GIA & AGS