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Article: Amethyst


Structure, Hue and Tone

  • Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz.
  • Its violet color is due to irradiation and impurities of iron.
  • The complex crystal lattice substitutions result in the color center.
  • Amethyst occurs in primary hues from light lavender to deep purple.
  • It can exhibit secondary hues of red and blue.
  • High-quality amethyst can be found in Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Uruguay, and the Far East.
  • Deep Siberian grade has a primary purple hue of around 75-80%.
  • Rose de France is a light shade of purple that has become popular.

Geographic Distribution

  • Amethyst is found in many locations around the world.
  • Major production areas include Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Zambia, and Canada.
  • Brazil is known for large geodes within volcanic rocks.
  • South Korea and Russia also have significant amethyst production.
  • Amethyst occurs in various locations in the United States.

History and Mythology

  • Amethyst was used as a gemstone by ancient Egyptians.
  • Greeks believed it could prevent intoxication.
  • Medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets for protection in battle.
  • Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves.
  • Amethyst has different meanings in different cultures and time periods.
  • The Greek word 'amethystos' means 'not drunken' and was believed to be an antidote against drunkenness.
  • In a French myth, Bacchus pursued a maiden named Amethyste, who was transformed into a white stone by the goddess Diana to protect her chastity.
  • Another variation of the myth involves Dionysus sparing the life of a mortal woman named Amethystos by turning her into a statue of quartz.
  • These myths are not found in classical sources, but historical texts mention the goddess Rhea presenting Dionysus with an amethyst stone.
  • Amethyst has been associated with sobriety, protection, and spiritual growth in various cultures.

Synthetic Amethyst

  • Synthetic amethyst is produced through hydrothermal growth.
  • Its properties are identical to natural amethyst.
  • Brazil law twinning can be used to identify most synthetic amethyst.
  • Treated amethyst can be produced through irradiation and heat exposure.
  • Burnt amethyst is often sold as citrine or yellow quartz.

Cultural Associations, Value, Handling and Care

  • Tibetans consider amethyst sacred to the Buddha and use it to make prayer beads.
  • Amethyst is the birthstone for February.
  • In the Middle Ages, it was a symbol of royalty and used to decorate English regalia.
  • Amethyst was one of the cardinal gems, along with diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald, until large deposits were found in Brazil.
  • It has been highly valued throughout history for its beauty and symbolism.
  • Amethyst was once considered one of the most valuable gemstones, but its value decreased after extensive deposits were found in Brazil.
  • It is now considered a semiprecious stone.
  • Collectors look for amethyst with deep color and possibly red flashes.
  • Carat weight is not the primary factor in determining the value of amethyst; color is more important.
  • The highest-grade amethyst, known as Deep Russian, is exceptionally rare and highly sought after by collectors.
  • The most suitable settings for gem amethyst are prong or bezel settings, while the channel method should be used with caution.
  • Amethyst has good hardness but is sensitive to strong heat and prolonged exposure to light, which can cause it to lose or change its color.
  • Polishing or cleaning the stone should be done with caution, using ultrasonic or steamer methods.
  • Proper care and handling will prevent damage to the stone and help maintain its beauty.
  • Amethyst should be protected from excessive heat and light to preserve its color and clarity.

Amethyst Data Sources

Reference URL
Knowledge Graph

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