Amethyst Facts

by Sheweta Dhanuka

This good-looking gemstone has to be purple in colour. However, different shades of purple are found as it is procured from diverse parts of the universe that have different climatic conditions, nature of the chemical composition and temperature levels etc. With the shade of purple colour of the stone, the country could be identified from where the respective stone is acquired.

Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz. Its name is derived from the Greek word 'amethystos' that means 'not intoxicated'. It possesses wine colour thus name implies that it protects the wearer from alcohol. It is perfect for those born in the 2nd month of the year that is February and those celebrating their 4th & 6th year of marriage.

Royal families adore this fascinating gemstone as it embellishes their power and lushness. It is even very popular amongst other groups of the society due to its lovely colour, affordable price, versatile shapes and durability. Altogether it is a simple gem but it is not simple to get hold of a genuine gemstone. In order to make the purchase of a real amethyst buyer needs to be familiar with the facts and other details about the stone. This content is presented with the aim of providing all-purpose information that would assist the buyer in knowing the gemstone fully. We would first start with the four important Cs and then other characteristics.

Colour - This good-looking gemstone has to be purple in colour. However, different shades of purple are found as it is procured from diverse parts of the universe that have different climatic conditions, nature of the chemical composition and temperature levels etc. With the shade of purple colour of the stone, the country could be identified from where the respective stone is acquired. Sometimes, in the chemical composition of the stone few traces of iron are found due to which the colour of the stone turns violet. Blue and gray are other colour possibilities. Colour other than shades of purple is considered below quality standard therefore is valued less.
Few dark purple colored stone produce red flash effect when swiveled under any direct light source. With decrease in the depth of the purple colour the value of the stone in terms of money also decreases. While buying the gemstone, one should always opt stones having saturated distribution of colour all over the surface.

Clarity - It is the gemstone with crystal clear appearance. It gains an edge over other affordable semi precious gemstones due to its transparency. By and large it is free from inclusions and flaws but there always exists the prospect that few stones might have some defects. If the stone is bright purple in colour then few minor inclusions can be neglected and should be neglected as such defects seldom harms the beauty of the stone. Overall it is a clean and clear stone.

Cut - Cutting is not very difficult for this stone, it can be given varied shapes and sizes. These days many innovative shapes are seen like that of a leaf, star and new moon etc. Some common cuts are pear, oval, emerald, square, round and triangle etc. When the colour is spread evenly throughout the stone the cutter could give any desired cut as demanded by the jewelry designers and buyers. In case of uneven colour distribution round cuts are the best to maximize the beauty and minimize the colour defects. No matter what cut is given to the rough, the final stone must have even facets and finely polished.

Carat Weight - This is an important price determinant. With the increase in carat weight the price of the stone also increases. As this stone is moderately priced, high carat weight stone can be selected. With the larger stone the look of the jewelry items gets blown up that makes the wearer center of attraction. The ideal weight for all the ornaments is more than 2 carat. Moreover, almost all the designs cater to every size stones. Stones with less than one ctw are not that effective in looks thus should be preferred less.

Price - This startling semi precious gemstone is easily affordable for the people having reasonable budgets. Price is ascertained on the basis of all the four Cs that is colour, clarity, cut and carat weight. Bright deep purple colour, crystal clear transparency, innovative cuts and high carat weight are the zenith of all these four characteristics that fetches high price. When the quality reduces from the zenith the cost also comes down. One more important factor is rarity. Dark colored stone producing red flash effect are very rare thus priced more.

Occurrence - It occurs as long prismatic crystals in the metamorphic and igneous rocks consisting of coarse-grained silicon minerals. Sometimes the composition might contain certain impurities that are responsible for the colour change from purple to violet. The impurities are nothing but the iron mineral present in the composition.

Source - It is found throughout the world hence is quite affordable. Few countries to name are Brazil, Canada, India, Madagascar, Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Russia and Sri Lanka. Large stones consisting of saturated colour all over the facade are obtained from different states of United States of America like Colorado, Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia. Few African countries also produce fair amount of this versatile gem that are Namibia, Uruguay and Zambia.
Enhancements - Dark shades are preferred over the lighter shades thus stone with pale colours are heat treated or stained to improve the colour. The treatments do not proffer the look as created by nature but it is satisfactory and last for quite long. Enhanced stones are priced less over the natural colours.

Imitations - It is easily created in laboratories through modern methods and techniques. These synthetic stones are widely spread in the gemstone market and sold under the fancy names like Japanese Amethyst, Desert amethyst, False amethyst and Lithia amethyst. Poor quality purple sapphire is treated and sold as Bengal amethyst. These imitations are very much identical to the real gems therefore buyers should ensure the reputations and truthfulness of the dealer before making the final purchase.

Use - It is widely used for making heart breaking jewelry item viz. rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings, broaches and bracelets. This gemstone jewelry could be worn for daily use. It gets very well paired with diamonds and pearls. Sterling silver, 18K yellow gold and 14K or 18K white gold are different metals used for jewelry making but for amethyst, yellow gold is much better as it compliments the look of the stone. Females as well as males love wearing rings holding this fine-looking gemstone. It makes spectacular jewelries that are in demand in every corner of the globe.
Precautions - This astounding gem is rated 6.5 - 7.5 Mohs on the hardness scale. The hardness rate implies it as a sturdy and firm stone. It does not require any special care but too much exposure to the scorching sunlight would ruin its beautiful colour. Sharp blows, scratches and hard hits certainly splits the stone into two thus the wearer ought to be careful while using it. Being slightly sensitive towards the heat it is prone to damage under high temperature changes and excessive heat. It is recommended to prevent the stone from such conditions.

It can be cleaned in home ultrasonic cleaner but still this method should be avoided, as it is wiser to clean it with warm soapy water and soft bristle toothbrush. Cleaning should be done only once in a while as regular cleaning deteriorates the natural shine of the stone and its jewelry. It should be stored in a fabric-lined jewelry box wrapped in cotton. These few precautions offer longer life for this captivating gem.

Beliefs - In ancient time, many kings and emperors had this marvelous gemstone mounted in their crowns and other jewelry pieces. It also possesses religious associations such as-at the time of middle age it was an important part of the ornamentation of Catholic Church and is mentioned in bible too. Many bishops still continue the traditions and regularly wear amethyst rings. It symbolizes sincerity and sobriety. Few people believed that wearing this stunning gem in rings would protect death from any sort of poison.

Astrologers suggest this stone for those suffering from the negative feelings like insecurity, anxiety etc. Wearing this stone in any of the jewelry piece on the body helps the wearer to attain peace of mind by overcoming the odds he/she possesses. It facilitates in curing common health related problems such as headaches, blood sugar imbalance and mental disorders. It also aids in growth in the path of meditation and spirituality. As the name suggest it lends a hand in protecting the wearer from all sort of intoxication and fights off the effects of alcohol from the body. It stimulates positive thinking and inspires one to be creative, courageous and brave.

Craze for this awe-inspiring gemstone is continuing from past to present and mostly the same or more enthusiasm shall move from present to future as well. This purple beauty from the treasure of Mother Nature surely would beautify you with elegance and modish. Get your hands on amethyst soon and look gorgeous!!

Amethyst Facts  

Chemical Composition

It is silicon dioxide and the chemical formula is SiO2.

Colours

All shades of purple. Sometimes found in violet, blue and gray.

Hardness

6.5-7.5 Mohs.

Refractive Index

1.544-1.553

Specific Gravity

2.65 - 2.91

Luster

Vitreous.

Solid State

Transparent.

Crystal System

Trigonal crystal system.

Heat Sensitive

Yes.

Cleavage

None.

Fractures

Conchoidal.

Luminescence

None.

Birefringence

0.009

Enhancement

Enhanced sometimes to improve the colour.

Source

Brazil, Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Zambia, Canada, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka and USA.

Precautions

Protect from excessive heat, sunlight and sharp blows, scratches and hits.

 
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