Amethyst is a semi-precious gemstone that comes in various shades of violet and is the traditional birthstone for the month of February. It is a popular variety of quartz and is very popular in a wide range of jewelry. The name Amethyst comes from the Ancient Greek phrase meaning ‘not intoxicated.’ They believed the stone would protect against drunkenness and intoxication, and so Amethyst pendants and drinking vessels were very common among the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Color and Purity
This colorful quartz gets the lovely violet color as a result of irradiation, iron impurities, and other trace elements that impact the color and hardness of the gemstone. The hardness of Amethyst makes it ideal for cutting and fashioning into a variety of jewelry pieces such as amethyst rings. Amethyst is most commonly seen in hues that range from a light pink to violet to a deep purple. This gemstone may also have traces of the two secondary hues that help make up the violet coloration- red and blue. Depending on the stone, the light, and the way the stone is viewed, more red or blue may be present or there can even be bands of colors running through the stone.
Where Natural Amethyst Comes From
The best quality and most brilliantly colored Amethysts are mostly found in Siberia, the far East, Sri Lanka, and Brazil. The ideal grade has the common name of “Deep Siberian” and is a strong purple hue of about 80% and then remainder being red or blue hues. Both light and dark hues make stunning pieces like this amethyst and diamond white gold ring. As an interesting side note, green quartz may at times be called green amethyst, which is a misnomer. It is not amethyst at all and the proper name for the stone is Prasiolite.
Man Made Amethyst
Synthetic amethyst can also be made so that the supply is not reliant completely on natural deposits- which are getting harder to find in good purity. Man made amethyst is not as valuable or expensive as natural gemstones but it can make brilliant and stunning pieces of amethyst jewelry!