- Product: Natural Amethyst
- Shape: Rectangle
- Color: Purple Violet
- Stone size: 15.80 x 11.80 x 16.12.00 mm
- Weight: 8.75–11.15 carats
- Stone clarity:
- No visible inclusions
- Treatment: Untreated
- Origin: Brazil
Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz (SiO2) and owes its violet colour to irradiation, impurities of iron and, in some cases, other transition metals and the presence of other trace elements, resulting in complex substitutions of the crystal lattice. The mineral's hardness is the same as that of quartz, making it suitable for use in jewellery.
Amethyst occurs in primary shades ranging from light lavender or light purple to deep purple. Amethyst can exhibit one or both secondary shades, red and blue. High-quality amethysts can be found in Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Uruguay and the Far East. The ideal grade, called "Deep Siberian," has a primary violet hue of about 75–80%, with 15-20% secondary shades of blue and (depending on the light source) red. 'Rose de France' is defined by its strong, light purple hue, reminiscent of a lavender or lilac shade. These pale colours were once considered undesirable but have recently become popular due to intense marketing
Amethysts frequently exhibit color zoning, with the most intense color usually found at the ends of the crystal. It is the most prized variety of quartz. One of the tasks of a gem cutter is to produce a finished product with a uniform color. Sometimes only a thin layer of natural, uncut amethyst is purple, or the color is very uneven. Uncut jewellery may have only a small part that is suitable for faceting.
Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was extensively used in antiquity for gemstones engraved in intalio.
The Greeks believed that amethyst gemstones could prevent poisoning, while medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets for protection in battle in the belief that amethysts healed people and kept them cool. Amethyst beads have been found in Anglo-Saxon tombs in England. Anglican bishops wear a bishop's ring often encrusted with an amethyst, an allusion to the apostles' description of "not drinking" at Pentecost in Acts 2:15.
The Greek word amethystos can be translated as "not drunk," from Greek a-, "not," + methustos, "intoxicated.". Amethyst was thought to be a powerful antidote to drunkenness.
The meaning of amethyst varies from time to time and from culture, which is why amethyst has different meanings in Feng Shui and focuses on increasing wealth. In ancient China, it was also used as a powerful tool to ward off negative energies and remove the dangers of everyday life.
Tibetans consider amethyst sacred to Buddha and make prayer beads from it. Amethyst is considered the birthstone of February. In the Middle Ages, it was considered a symbol of royalty and was used to decorate English royalty. In the Old World, amethyst was considered one of the cardinal stones in that it was one of the five gemstones considered precious above all others, until large deposits were found in Brazil.
Amethyst is found in many locations around the world. Between 2000 and 2010, the highest production was from Marabá and Pau d'Arco, Pará, and the Paraná Basin, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; Sandoval, Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Artigas, Uruguay; Kalomo, Zambia; and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Smaller quantities are found in many other locations in Africa, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Russia, Afghanistan, South Korea, Mexico and the United States.
Amethyst is also found and mined in South Korea. The large amethyst vein opened at Maissau, Lower Austria, was historically important but is no longer included among the major producers. Much-quality amethyst comes from Russia, especially near Mursinka in the Ekaterinburg district, where it occurs in drusy cavities in granitic rocks. Amethyst has historically been mined in many southern Indian localities, although they are no longer major producers. One of the world's largest producers of amethyst is Zambia, with an annual production of around 1000 metric tons.
Amethyst has good hardness, and handling it with proper care will prevent any damage to the stone. Amethyst is sensitive to high heat and can lose or change colour when exposed to prolonged heat or light. Polishing the stone or cleaning it with ultrasound or steam should be done with caution.