The essence of the color purple, amethyst is beautiful enough for crown jewels yet affordable enough for class rings.
Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz mineral species. It’s the gem that’s most commonly associated with the color purple, even though there are other purple gems such as sapphire and tanzanite. Its purple color can be cool and bluish, or a reddish purple that’s sometimes referred to as “raspberry.”
Amethyst’s purple color can range from a light lilac to a deep, intense royal purple, and from brownish to vivid. Amethyst also commonly shows what is called color zoning, which in the case of amethyst usually consists of angular zones of darker to lighter color.
Amethyst commonly shows zones of darker and lighter colors. Photo by Mike Havstad/GIA.
BIRTHSTONES & ANNIVERSARIES
Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the gem for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.
REFRACTIVE INDEX: 1.544 to 1.553
SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 2.66
MOHS HARDNESS: 7
WHY WE LOVE THIS GEMSTONE
In gem localities like Brazil, amethyst sometimes forms in hollow, crystal-lined geodes so big you can stand in them.
Even fine amethyst has a modest price tag. Large gems remain affordable as price per carat does not rise dramatically with larger size.
In Bolivia, amethyst and citrine occur in the same crystal. The unique gems, called ametrine, are half purple and half yellow.