Amethyst Gemstone

Amethyst Cluster Specimen

Amethyst’s are members of the quartz family of gemstones; a silicon dioxide SiO2: which is one of the more abundant minerals on Earth, unlike conundrums, amethysts are known for their versatility and is employed in many spheres most notably in the fine jewellery industry. The February birthstone amethysts are recognised by their rich purple colour. Here we will outline the main features of the amethyst stone: a short history of the stone, the mining of amethyst, amethyst meaning, the key characteristics and properties of amethysts and a general guide on buying amethyst jewellery.

History of Amethyst Use

Amethyst gemstones have a long history of use that goes back thousands of years. The trademark purple gemstone found its home in the classical period of ancient Greece and Rome and later was recognised in the Christian traditions of old. Most notable here is the reference to amethyst stones in Scripture, where amethyst was among the twelve stones that represented each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Amethysts have been recognised for their beauty and then a rarity in many parts of the world, and have continued to hold their position as one of the top gemstones in the world. With the characteristic colour of purple, amethysts today are the choice purple gemstones in the market. A position that has been built on the historical rarity of natural purple gemstones, including the rarity of the purple version of the quartz crystal. Things started to change with the discovery of major quartz deposits of the gemstone variety in South America. Which led to the growing influx of the supply of the stone into the market.

Brazilian Leadership in Amethyst Use

The most notable country in the amethyst equation is Brazil, with the discoveries of deposits of quartz deposits, the family of which amethysts are a part. The state of Rio Grande do Sul in the south of Brazil is the most notable centre for this stone type, with the region in north Ametista, do Sul (a place which literally has the word amethyst in it). Following the discovery of these deposits in the early part of the 19th century the supply of the famous purple gemstone began to increase, considerably to a point where the supply grew to an extent that began to impact the prices of the stone. Further, in the world of precious stones, the demand for amethysts was not as significant as diamonds and to a lesser extent sapphires held the lead.

In time new amethyst deposits were discovered in other parts of the world, with countries like Russia and even India entering the mix. The real challenge however came from Africa, with South Africa leading the way, with the quartz variety of these gemstones being notable for their vividity, and tone. However, despite the rise in new competition from other parts of the world, Brazilian amethysts continue to hold the lead. Today amethysts hold their own as top precious stones, that follow the lead of the top four, notably purple sapphires as the more affordable purple gemstone option.

(Pics of Amethyst mining)

Amethyst Mining

Amethysts are mined in a number of countries, however the most notable is Brazil, where the mining of this stone has been well documented. To understand the nature of amethyst mining one must look at the stone’s origins. Amethysts crystals are found in hardened magma that resulted from volcanic activity that took place millions of years. The hardening and cooling of magma deep within the Earth’s surface that becomes basalt are where quartz crystal formations tend to concentrate. Amethyst crystals are found in geological formations known as geodes: These geodes are found in various parts of the rock formation and tend to be covered in various mineral forms. Amethysts are known to undergo a process of growth: where the specific mineral expands, accretions give volume to the mineral stone, becoming larger. The mining for these stones involves going deep underground into that potential quartz crystal sources. The areas which depending the size and extent of the external basalt may require heavy boring equipment, that may involve the blasting of external surface afterwards a general survey of the area is carried out for using basic tools. If the survey region is deemed a solid source, then the mining process begins, which may involve further blasting to get to the amethyst geodes. The geodes are the goal, which varies in length, with some even measuring 1000 cm. Once the amethyst has been mined

Main Characteristics of Amethyst

Amethysts are part of the quartz family of crystals and are distinguished by their colour, purple. Amethyst stones get their colour via the presence of trace minerals, most notably iron. As is often the case in natural gemstones, the element of colour is usually an external addition, that enters the gemstone during its growth. Amethyst have a degree of durability and are found in a variety of shades. Here is a breakdown of the key features of the amethyst stone:

Main Features of Amethyst

Chemical Character


Crystal System


Chemical Composition


Specific Gravity

2.6 to 2.7

Mohs Hardness




Dominant Colour


Main Country of Origin


(Image of Amethyst stones of varying colours- Links to actual stones preferable)

Amethyst Colour

The most distinguishing feature of the amethyst stone is its distinct purple colour. Amethysts are known as the characteristic purple colour and have come to be understood as a purple coloured stones. Whilst there are notable purple gemstone varieties, purple sapphire most notably, amethysts are the recognized popular gemstone variety in this group. Amethysts value and price correlates positively with the quality of their colour: with stones that have the richest colour being the most valuable, with stone that combines high vividity with clarity for a sizeable carat being the most valuable. With stones that are on the darker side, such as African amethysts being of a lesser value. Whilst Brazil is the top choice for amethyst stones, the richest purple stone in this category is the Siberian amethyst: which is known to be the highest grade gemstone in this category: with its rich purple colour, and rarity. If you are seeking a top class amethyst gemstone this is maybe the choice for you. However it may surprise you that purple is not the only colour in the Amethyst range, but there is also some confusion surrounding them.

Pink Amethysts

Pink amethysts are a unique variant in the quartz crystal family that are distinguished by their lighter hue. Whilst it is tempting to confuse pink amethyst for a weaker, less vivid version of the purple stone, this is not the case upon closer inspection. The hue in this variant of the quartz crystal contains a slight pink hue that is spread out through the gemstone, which is the result of the iron element in the stone: a very specific iron known as Hematite Fe₂O₃, which is interestingly related to corundum. Pink amethyst is a rare type in the amethyst family and is known to be sourced from only one part of South America, with the southernmost region of Patagonia, Argentina being the source of pink amethyst mines. Given their relative rarity pink amethyst crystals is one of the more valuable variants. Finally, it is important to distinguish pink amethysts from another related pink gemstone, and we are not talking about pink sapphires: The rose quartz, which despite being from the quartz family, it gets its colour predominantly from trace elements like manganese and titanium. The challenge when it comes to pink amethyst is the sourcing. Getting your hands on this particular quartz variant is not straightforward, and requires greater due diligence to ensure its authenticity.

Green Amethysts

Green amethyst or prasiolite is a green variety in the quartz family, so there is the association with the idea of it being an amethyst but in fact, it is not. Prasiolite, despite being a member of the quartz family of crystals is not a real amethyst stone. And many of the “green amethysts” in the market are the result of heat treatment or in some cases stones that have been irradiated. Since the colour green is not naturally present in the stone, green sapphires may not be considered authentic members of the family amethysts.

Amethyst Crystal Pendant

Amethyst Meaning

In the world of gemstones, amethysts are valued for qualities that go beyond the surface. The beauty of the purple coloured stone combines well with the mystical powers that are attributed to this variant of the crystal. In certain traditions amethysts have been known for their healing and protective powers. With ancient cultures as far apart as the Egyptians and Romans being known to use them for their abilities. In modern times the mystical powers associated with amethysts have been carried on by Vedic mystical tradition.

Amethyst Meaning in Relationships

The keyword that defines the character of amethyst is balance. Think of it as the stone that holds the middle ground between the extremes of red and blue hues: each of which is represented by dominant gemstones with the specific hues. So what happens when you blend the rich blue and luscious red: you get the blended purple. A soothing colour that can be viewed as an integrating force that brings two persons of different beliefs, ideas and maybe even character together, with the unifying character to balance your strengths and negate your weaknesses, and enhances your capacity to give. A good jewellery option in this regard is amethyst rings: which depending on the style, can be made to suit the style of any gender.

Breakdown of the Mystical Amethyst Properties

In cultures in parts of India, amethysts are known for their purifying and healing powers. Recognised as the stone that represents the crown chakra, which is the 7th and highest and one that embodies the plain which connects with the person with the divine or a higher self. To be in possession or to wear an amethyst jewel is believed to accentuate the connection of a person ability to transcend the limits of the self and the world. And since amethyst crystals are the February birthstone it is a great fit for those who are born under the Aquarius sign and is known to add balance to the mind of the person. For the meditative types, it is believed to aid deep thought and relaxation if an amethyst stone is placed on your head, or on your forehead when lying down. Here is a breakdown of the key mystical amethyst properties:

Amethyst Properties

Numerology Number


Associated Element


Birthstone -


Zodiac Star Sign



Crown Chakra

Connected Planet


In case the reader is thinking that amethyst is a stone whose mystical properties are limited to the eastern and oriental tradition, it may interest you to know that amethyst is mentioned in Scripture, and is one of the foundation stones that represent the New Jerusalem. In more recent times the Russian empress Catherine the Great greatly valued amethysts, for based on her amethyst jewellery collection and it was among her most favoured stones.

Factors to Consider when Buying Amethyst Gemstone Jewellery

Amethysts are not the top choice of gemstones when it comes to jewellery. Particularly if one gets into the world of fine jewellery, with jewels like top quality class necklaces, bracelets and engagement ring the use of amethysts is rarer, and the quality demands for the stone is generally higher. When it comes to buying amethyst the same principles that apply to buying gemstones for fine jewellery still apply. Here are the standards that apply to diamonds: the gemstone’s cut, clarity, colour and carat. With greater emphasis being played on the gemstone’s colour. For, unlike (colourless) diamonds, amethysts are coloured stones, which means other features of the stone-like its clarity and cut are affected. When it comes to buying amethyst gemstone jewellery the key variable is the cost in relation to gemstone quality: which comes down to the vividly of the stone’s colour, in relation to its size and the quality o the final cut. This is a balancing act, and the price of the stone will vary in accordance. It is important to note that there is no official standard when it comes to measuring amethyst quality: like the 4Cs of Diamond, notably, its colour. However, the colour vividity of stone can be analysed by a qualified gemologist in addition to its status as a heated or non-heated stone.

Close up view of an Amethyst Crystal

Amethyst Engagement Rings

No discussion of precious gemstones is complete without engaging the top fine jewellery in the market: the engagement ring. Amethyst engagement rings are an interesting but stylish choice, that comes without the high glitter and glow of diamond engagement rings or even sapphire engagement rings. The relatively greater affordability of amethyst and their availability makes them a solid choice. Whilst amethyst has long been popular in the mid-tier jewellery range, such as amethyst rings, in recent times amethyst engagement rings owing to the affordability of the stone, can be found in higher carat sizes. So those who wish for an engagement ring with a larger carat this is a great choice, and it goes without saying that for those whose favourite colour is purple, there is nothing better than an amethyst engagement ring.