Amethyst Quick Facts
Mohs Hardness Scale: 7
Symbolism & Meaning: Peace, Clarity and Calm
Official Birthstone Month: February
Zodiac Signs: Aquarius and Pisces
Other Recognitions: Gemstone for the 6th wedding anniversary
What is Amethyst
Amethyst is a member of the common quartz family. It develops in large crystal geodes in rock cavities left by volcanic gas bubbles.
Amethyst Colors, Characteristics & Value
Amethyst can range in color from lilac to purple, reddish-purple and bluish-purple. Its color comes from small amounts of iron and aluminum in its crystal structure. If exposed to heat, amethyst can turn brown, yellow, or green. Very dark amethysts or amethysts that have faded due to prolonged exposure to sunlight may be heat-treated or irradiated to improve their color.
Amethyst is the most highly valued stone in the quartz group, although it’s very affordable due to its abundance. Color is the first thing to consider when selecting an amethyst, or any colored gemstone. Generally, stones with the deepest color are the most valuable.
Amethysts frequently have color banding within the gemstone, which looks like purple and clear stripes, and is treated as an inclusion. If the gemstone is darker in tone, the color banding may be somewhat masked.
Amethyst History & Meaning
A gemstone commonly associated with royalty thanks to its purple coloring, amethysts have been used to symbolize deep love, happiness, humility, sincerity, and wealth for centuries.
Amethyst was considered equal in value to the ruby, emerald and sapphire gemstones, but it lost much of its value when vast Brazilian deposits were discovered in the 1800s. Today, amethyst is found in Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Canada, Arizona, Namibia, Morocco, and Zambia. The most important sources of amethyst are in Africa, especially the Kariba mine in Zambia, and South America.
Amethyst Cleaning & Care
Amethysts are easily cleaned using mild soap, warm water and a toothbrush. Ultrasonic cleaners are typically safe for amethysts except in instances where the stone has been dyed or treated by fracture filling. Steam cleaning should be avoided and amethysts should not be subject to heat. It is important to have your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked three to four times a year. When not worn, amethyst jewelry should be stored in a jewelry box lined with soft fabric.
Amethyst Jewelry & Gift Ideas
Borsheims has a large selection of amethyst jewelry in various colors and styles, whether you are looking for a gift for someone else or yourself. Amethysts are a popular gift option for those celebrating February birthdays and those commemorating their 6th wedding anniversary.