Amethyst: A Geological Marvel
This information packed article is sure to answer some of your most burning questions about Amethyst. Learn all you need to know about the history and origins of the Amethyst gemstone.
Amethyst is a high-quality form of quartz crystal, naturally found as clusters in a nodular stone. They are found sometimes in volcanic vugs or small cavities in rocks. The chemical name for Amethyst is Silicon Dioxide. Amethyst obtains its color through a combination of manganese impurities and iron.
The purple color comes from the presence of manganese, while the existence of iron in certain quantities controls the intensity of the color. Artificial heating treatments have been used on Amethyst to produce popular gems known as Citrine and Ametrine (400 and 500 degrees Celsius). Amethyst measures 7 on Mohs' hardness scale.
Amethyst is the traditional gem for the 4th, 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries. It is used as faceted stones and is carved in various shapes. Amethyst gemstones are used in necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, brooches, and pendants. This highly praised stone is also shaped and used other items such as hair accessories, key rings and watches.
Purple color has long been associated with royalty. Because of its purple color and beauty, amethyst was favored by the royals for centuries. Amethyst necklaces and jewelry were found buried in the tombs of Ancient Egyptians, and was a personal favorite of Queen Catherine the Great.
It is still being used today, with the rare ones decorating the British Crown Jewels. Amethyst is mentioned in the Old Testament and the Bible, and is thought to encourage celibacy and symbolize holiness. Cardinals and Bishops in the Catholic Church wear rings with a large amethyst as a part of their office. In Tibet, amethyst is a sacred gem to Buddha.
In jewelry, the deepest shades of Amethyst, which maintain their transparency, are considered the most precious. A unique Brazilian amethyst in pastel shade of lilac with pinkish tones is known as Rose de France Amethyst. It is a very clean gemstone and was very popular during the Victorian age. Though it is frequently found in antique jewelry, Rose de France Amethyst is becoming popular again nowadays. Geographical Information Amethyst is found globally, at very affordable prices, in countries like Canada, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, United States, Zambia, Namibia and other African countries. Amethyst has been named the state gemstone of South Carolina. Amethyst deposits can also be found in other countries such as: Germany, Italy, Bolivia, Madagascar, India and Sri Lanka. However, the quality of amethyst differs by region and source. Amethyst coming from South America is likely larger than the African amethyst. However, Amethyst from Africa is known for better and deeper color.