Amethyst mines

Amethyst mines

by Madhubanti rudra

The place of origin is a valuable yardstick for determining the authenticity of a stone on the basis of its unique characteristic features. For a stone like amethyst, which occurs in several places of the world it is particularly important to know the special traits corresponding to a particular region, so that a collector can differentiate them and make their proper valuation.

Summary: The place of origin is a valuable yardstick for determining the authenticity of a stone on the basis of its unique characteristic features. For a stone like amethyst, which occurs in several places of the world it is particularly important to know the special traits corresponding to a particular region, so that a collector can differentiate them and make their proper valuation.Amethyst Mining

Many geological coincidences result into occurrence of large quantity of mineral deposits over a long stretch of area. These sites are of great interest to the gemstone collectors all over the world for a number of reasons. For an expert, origin of a gemstone is a major price determining factor. The quality and characteristics of the gemstone vary with the regions which they came from. So there are chances for the uninformed customers to cough up an exorbitant amount on a gemstone which is not at all worth of that much. So the study about a particular gemstone also involves rigorous research about their sources.

The stone with lustrous purple hues and handsome crystalline structure, amethyst is found in almost all parts of the world. The unparallel color scheme of this stone due to the presence of iron in varying proportions could have made it very expensive but due to its wide-spread global deposits, amethyst has never become very expensive.

But the stones mined in different parts of the world are not similar either in appearance or in color. They have their own distinguished features unique of their source region and sometime even a particular mine. Depending on such features as color and shape variation, presence of inclusion, association with other crystals and the background of formation the gemologists can easily decipher the source of a particular piece of amethyst .

Each piece of amethyst has different tales to narrate regarding their mining. As a mineral specimen, the clusters of amethyst vary from region to region. While American Amethysts are large in size, the Brazilian small amethysts will steal your heart with breathtaking hues. If you are not aware of these differences with regard to cut, color and clarity etc, you can not deduct what should be the real price of the stone. There are even chances that you bring home some imitation gemstone in the name of a pure or rare kind of amethyst. So here lies the importance of knowing the gemstone of your collection in terms of their source of origin.
The following is a list of the most important amethyst mines cluttered all over the globe and unique features of their produce.

It is truly amazing how nature has codified unique traits for the gemstones mined in different regions of the world. When we speak of amethyst the name of the exotic mines of Mexico automatically flashes in our mind. This is the region probably having the largest deposit of this Royal stone.
Two largest amethyst mines of Mexico are situated in Vera Cruz and Guerrero.

The mines of Vera Cruz are famous for producing the variety of amethyst that is typically phantomed, characterized by a transparent interior and darker outer part. Generally they come in forms of prismatic crystals in light purple shades with higher transparency. Another interesting feature is their double termination on both ends.

The amethysts mined from Guerrero on the other hand are more expensive variety with higher color saturation resulting in deeper and darker hues. The crystal has a single, termination point from which it radiates outwardly. Guerrero amethysts are phantomed just the opposite fashion the Vera Cruz varieties are; the Guerrero amethysts have a dark interior with a clear or white exterior. Some of the costliest amethysts of the world belong to these Guerrero phantom categories.

American Amethyst
Among the connoisseurs of gemstones, the American amethysts are an object of interest. American amethysts in general are distinguished by their medium to high color saturation and their smoky or translucent crystallization. The amethyst deposits can be found over a long stretch extended all over the United States. Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Montana and Colorado are the main source of amethyst in the USA. In the states like Georgia, Arizona, Rhode Island and Virginia, there are mines that produce amethyst in small quantity.

The Maine and the Carolinas both are famous for producing dark colored amethysts. The amethysts from North Carolina carry an extra bluish stint, which is typical of that region.

Over a large area of Colorado, amethysts are found to occur inside the cavities of sandstone. Sometimes they are also found on top crust of green fluorite. They are formed into dark colored crystals, but they are smoky in appearance and rather small.

In Pennsylvania however, large clusters of amethyst occur within the fractures of metamorphic rock. The Pennsylvanian amethysts generally display brownish purple hues but they have inconsistent patches of color.

Brazilian Amethysts
Amethysts of this country are renowned for their handsome crystal shapes. The mining belts comprising the mines of Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia and Maraba are the main supplier of amethysts in Brazil.
The Brazilian amethysts are composed mainly of volcanic materials like lava and magma and found within the cavities in a form of lined crystals. The amethyst crystals mined in Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul are full of inclusions like gas bubbles and cacoxenite which were created at the time of heat convection. In these regions large clusters occur along with gray, white and blue agate leaving a greenish tinge on the stones. Deposit of calcite on some of the clusters is not uncommon of these mines. They are in general characterized by pale to medium lilac color. The saturation of color takes peak in the tips of visible termination point in each crystal.
The Bahian variety amethyst comes with a reddish and smoky appearance.
In Maraba amethysts occur as large crystals. These pale colored amethysts have unattractive surfaces. These stones are ideal to be carved or cut into slices.

The Uruguay amethysts
The Uruguan amethysts are no less in prestige and value. Like its Brazilian counterpart amethysts here occur within large “vugs”, the volcanic rock pockets. The vugs in Uruguay have a gray or brownish exterior containing stalactites. On top of these vugs the formation of amethyst druses (crystalline crusts showing the pointed terminations) takes place. Unlike the Brazilian varieties, Uruguayan crystals are more or less uniformly colored. The crystals often bond with multicolored agate leaving sometimes a yellowish or reddish tinge on the stones.

Canadian Amethyst
Thunder Bay is one of the important contributors of amethyst in the international market. Better known as the gemstone of Ontario, the Canadian amethysts are reddish purple in color as a result of red hematite inclusion slightly under the surface of each crystal. The amethysts in this region occur as druses on the surface of metamorphic rocks.

African Amethyst
In African continent amethysts are produced mainly in two countries, Zambia and Namibia. Formed as druses, the amethyst crystals found in Africa are large in size with a paler exterior and a darker interior. They are particularly praised for their outstanding clarity.

The Italian amethysts occur as large parallel growth clusters. The crystals are large, pale in color but depict evenly distributed color saturation.

They are also pale in color and often occur bonded with other crystals like agate.

Ural Amethyst
They are very dark colored with a reddish hue. These extremely clear amethysts are rare and expensive. After being cut and polished these dazzling stones are used for the jewelleries.

Since the beginning of history, amethyst remained an inseparable part of the Royal glamour. Their availability and extensive mining has brought their prices within the affordable ranges of today’s common men. While rare pieces gathered from exotic remote mines ignite the collectors’ passion, the beautifully cut dazzling amethysts are wardrobe essential of every fashionable lady, thanks to the heavy mining of amethysts all over the world.