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Amethyst – A Fashionable Stone in the World

Updated on October 6, 2015
Amethyst Pendant
Amethyst Pendant

Amethyst is the most valuable variety of crystal quartz in the world. It is a popular choice for fashion jewelry, especially because of the pastel hues and purple coloring, ranging from light to dark. The most expensive amethyst gems are the ones with a transparent deep coloring. Carat prices of the loveliest deep purple gemstones can fetch more than a hundred Euros in the market.

Large deposits of amethyst were discovered in Brazil in the 19th century. Since then it has become more affordable. Amethyst stones may be widely available today, but it is still a coveted gemstone because of its coloring and stunning appearance. Amethyst gemstones can also change in color when heat is applied to them.

Amethyst & Peridot Necklace
Amethyst & Peridot Necklace

Physical properties of amethyst gemstone

The biggest known deposit of amethyst was found in the 1900s in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul. A representative specimen now sits at the Washington Museum—a gemstone that by itself weights 200 kilograms. Most of the world’s most important amethyst deposits are found in igneous rocks or together with agate diamonds. More recently, a significant druse was found in the state of Maine in the USA. Some of the crystals were 19 centimeters long. The find amounted to as much as a thousand kilograms of amethyst.

What are the physical properties of amethyst that distinguishes it from other gemstones, aside from its purple tinge? One of the most stunning physical features of amethyst gem is its unconventional crystal structure, which makes evenly colored large amethyst stones difficult to find. Amethyst has a stratified crystal structure which give rise to lamellae of different shades, which studies reveal to be due to the iron constituent of the mineral.

Sources of amethyst around the world

Amethyst is one of the gemstones that can be found in many different parts of the world. Brazil and Uruguay are two of the biggest sources of amethyst gemstones. The Brazilian gems are mostly light purple in color, although more valuable deep purple stones can also be found. Meanwhile, the deepest purples are found in Uruguay. However, the stones mined from this country, although intensely colored often have blemishes. Third in line is the island country of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Other big deposits are found in Europe and North America, specifically in Germany, the Russian Urals and in the vicinity of Lake Superior in Canada. In Asia, amethyst may be found in Sri Lanka and Tibet.

Amethyst Beads
Amethyst Beads

Symbolisms associated with amethyst gemstones

In terms of symbolism, amethyst is the gemstone associated with the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries. It is also the chosen birthstone for people born in the month of February. Because of its purple coloring, it has been coveted by royalty and members of the ecclesiastical community. The Greek word, “amethystos,” from which it was derived connotes “not drunk” or “not intoxicated” in English. Therefore, the stone is considered a protection from intoxication, delirium, and seduction.

Certain powers are also believed to be wielded by amethyst gemstones, based on the traditional beliefs of certain world cultures. For examples, the ancients believed that wearing the gemstone around the neck offers ample protection from snakebites, insect bites. The stone is also believed to drive out locusts, tempests, and evil spirits. Amethyst has a cleansing effect on the skin and the soul alike, while also capable of inspiring the intellect of the wearer. The gemstone is also associated with good luck during a hunt.

Furthermore, amethyst is tied to the ideals of piety, trust, and chastity. Because of these symbolisms, the purple gem figures repeatedly in the vestments and ornaments of the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church. Amethyst has also been established to be the stone that symbolizes friendship.

Amethyst Pendant
Amethyst Pendant

Tips on wearing and caring for amethyst gemstones

The attractive light lilac to deep violet amethyst gemstone requires tender loving care and attention, like other precious stones. Some of the amethyst stones that are used in jewelry become pale in color when exposed to sunlight. This is why any jewelry with precious amethysts gemstones must be hidden away from direct sunlight. Owners of valuable amethyst jewelry know how to prevent exposure to daylight, extreme changes in temperature, and exposure to black light, such as those found in discotheques. As such, avoid wearing jewelry with amethyst adornments on the beach while sunbathing, in hot tubs, and while exercising. Also, make sure to remove rings and bracelets when using household products such as cleansers and detergents.

It is also important to pay attention to the build-up of grime on amethyst jewelry by using warm water and a mild detergent to wash them away before it becomes too difficult to remove the grime using a brush with soft bristles. Gently scrub away, and dry the piece of jewelry using a soft cloth. With regard to storage, make sure that they piece is completely dry before placing it inside the jewelry box. Wrap the piece using a piece of soft cloth so that it is not mixed up and tossed around with the other contents of the box.

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    • Linnea Lewis profile image

      Linnea Lewis 

      2 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thank you for such an interesting article, I love amethyst a lot, and it was really wonderful to know more about it.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      2 years ago

      Thank you Rachel. Amethyst is one of my most favorite stones. It looks beautiful alone or in combination with other stones such as blue topaz.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      How beautiful are the amethyst stones. I didn't know that they came mostly from other countries. Thanks for sharing.

      Blessings to you.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      I didn't know about the special care and sunlight exposure, so thanks for that information! This is one of my favorites, especially because I really love purple.

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 

      3 years ago from Australia

      The amethyst is one of my favourite jewellery stones - thank you for all the background details!

    • Romanian profile image

      Nicu 

      3 years ago from Oradea, Romania

      Amethyst it's a very beautiful rock, thanks for sharing these beautiful images.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 years ago from london

      It was my popular choice too, and I do believe it's bravewarrior's colour. The dog is so cute! Bow wow! Hehe .. childhood memories.

      Not surprised that amethyst is plentiful in Brazil, and yes, I need some more work on my Soul. Sparklingly beautiful colours and great Hub.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Wonderful article. The amethyst is my favorite!

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      You're welcome Thelma. I hope you find your amethyst necklace.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      3 years ago from Germany

      I love amethyst. It is a beautiful gem. Now I wonder where my amethyst necklace is. Thanks for sharing this useful information. Well done.

    • Susan Guinn profile image

      Susan Guinn 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Oh cool, we share the way we keep our gems cleaned. You know my sister made me this purple ruffled scarf for Christmas. I am not sure if you have seen the new scarves, but they are stunning. Wearing the amethyst with it is a nice look. Look forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      Susan you are a luck lady! Amethyst are so beautiful. A sonic jewelry cleaner is the way I clean my jewelry too.

    • Susan Guinn profile image

      Susan Guinn 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Joyfulcrown This is an awesome post. My husband buys me gemstones all the times as gifts, and I adore them. In talking about cleaning them, wiping them down is good. Also he bought me a unit by Blitz. It is a sonic jewelry cleaner. It has two setting the low for delicate jewels and gemstones, and the higher setting for intense cleaning. Also the coloration varies depending on where they are mined. The dark spots you may see in some of the gems I was told was a plant had attatched itself to the gem during formation. I enjoy your posts, well put together.

    • Joyfulcrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      I am envious of you in there Australia. You have some many various gemstones that you can find.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      They're found in Australia, too. I think that gemstones have so much more meaning if I find them. I used to do the cabs while my husband did faceting. It was a great hobby and finding them was something the whole family could do, too.

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