Amethyst

Amethyst is a variety of quartz, which is defined by its purple or violet shade. This coloration results from the presence of ferric iron within the quartz structure.

The name is stemmed from the Greek words for “not intoxicated”, as it was as soon as thought that the stone could assist prevent intoxication from alcohol intake. Throughout the classical and medieval durations, the value of amethyst was really far higher than it was today. The high price of dyes had made purple the color of emperors and kings, and the stone itself was incredibly limited. However, the subsequent discovery of a practically unrestricted supply in South America pressed amethyst rates to the other extreme, and the gem is now among the most typically encountered and low-cost within the market.

Meaning of amethyst

Throughout history, the special virtue of Amethyst has been that of avoiding drunkenness and overindulgence. Ancient Greeks and Romans regularly studded their goblets with Amethyst believing red wine drunk from an amethyst cup was powerless to intoxicate, and a stone worn on the body, particularly at the navel, had a sobering impact, not only for inebriation but in over-zealousness in enthusiasm. Catholic bishops likewise used Amethyst in a ring to secure from magical intoxication. Kissing the ring kept others from comparable mystical intoxication and kept them grounded in a spiritual idea.
Amethyst was also reputed to control wicked thoughts, increase intelligence and render men shrewd in business matters. For travellers, it was used as a protection from treachery and surprise attacks, kept soldiers from harm and provided triumph over their opponents. It provided help to hunters in the capture of wild beast and fowl and was thought about to be a powerful psychic stone of protection against witchcraft and black magic. Like other royal stones, it protected its wearer from illness and contagion.

In the spiritual world, Amethyst provided a connection to the Divine. To the Hebrews, it was Ahlamah, the ninth stone in the breastplate of the High Priest, etched with the people of Dan, as well as the twelfth structure stone for the New Jerusalem. To the Egyptians, it was Hemag, listed in the Book of the Dead to be sculpted into heart-shaped amulets for burial. In Eastern cultures, it was listed in descriptions of sacred “gem-cities,” “trees of life,” and used in temple offerings for worship, and to align planetary and astrological influences. It was popular in rosaries and prayer beads, credited with developing an atmosphere of pious calm, imbuing a sense of mental peace and quietude.

In today’s world, Amethyst is still an exceptional stone of spirituality and contentment, known for its esoteric capabilities to still the mind and motivate a boosted meditative state. Its fundamental high frequency purifies the aura of any unfavorable energy or attachments, and develops a protective guard of Light around the body, permitting one to stay clear and focused while opening to spiritual direction. Amethyst promotes the Third Eye, Crown and Etheric Chakras improving cognitive perception in addition to speeding up the advancement of psychic and instinctive capability. It initiates knowledge and greater understanding and is a stone of comfort for those grieving the loss of a loved one.

Amethyst’s capability to broaden the higher mind also improves one’s creativity and enthusiasm. It reinforces creativity and intuition and fine-tunes the thinking procedures. It assists in the assimilation of new ideas, putting belief into action, and brings jobs to fruition. It is a talisman of focus and success.

Birthstone

Amethyst, the birthstone of February, is a variety of Quartz that carries a spectacular purple color that ranges from a blend of deep violet and red to a lighter lilac hue. Ancient Greeks believed that the stone protected the wearer from drunkenness and enabled them to keep a balanced mindset.

The February birthstone, amethyst, is said to strengthen relationships and give its wearer courage. At one time, only royalty could wear the gem. Ancient Greeks thought that the amethyst guarded against intoxication. In fact, “amethyst” comes from amethystos, a Greek word meaning “sober.”

How is amethyst formed?

Amethyst is a variety of quartz and its chemical makeup is composed of silicon dioxide. Quartz is formed in lava, specifically when gas bubbles become trapped, allowing crystals to form inside the cavities created by the bubbles. When the cavities are filled with a silica-rich liquid, crystals begin to form within volcanic rocks.

Moreover, these purple stones are unique in that they often grow in huge geodes, which are rocks that appear plain on the outside, but actually are filled with crystal gemstones. Amethyst geode formation is a trait that differentiates the stone from other gems such as white diamonds, which do not form geodes. The gems inside these geodes follow a six-sided pyramidal crystal structure.

Amethyst Characteristics

  • Hardness: 7
  • Transparency: Transparent to translucent
  • Chemical composition: SiO2
  • Crystal system: Hexagonal

Synthetic Amethyst

Even though amethyst is not an extremely costly material, synthetic amethyst has been manufactured at least as far back as 1970. Since then an enormous number of items have been produced from synthetic amethyst by faceting, cabbing and carving. These have entered all levels of the jewelry trade. This has disappointed many jewelry consumers and made them hesitant to purchase amethyst.

Experienced gemologists can identify some natural amethyst with a microscope if it exhibits color zoning and contains characteristic mineral inclusions. However, much of the natural amethyst is of a very high clarity grade, and finding identifying inclusions can be difficult or impossible.

In the early days of synthetic amethyst, most synthetic materials did not exhibit Brazil law twinning, which is almost always present in natural amethyst. This could be used to identify some synthetic material, but when synthetic amethyst manufacturers learned of this, they began using twinned amethyst slices as seed crystals. Now almost all synthetic amethyst is coming out of the lab with Brazil law twinning.

Source of Amethyst

The world’s most important amethyst deposits are usually found in the fractures and cavities of igneous rocks. In Brazil and Uruguay large amounts of amethyst are found in the cavities of basalt flows. Large cavities can contain hundreds of pounds to several tons of amethyst crystals.

Smaller cavities, known as geodes, are often opened in a way that displays the crystals inside and then fitted with a base that allows them to be used as home or office decor. They are popular sales items at rock shops and mineral shows.

Other productive amethyst deposits are located in Canada, France, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and the United States.

Amethyst has been produced at many locations in the United States. Much of it has been as a byproduct of other mining operations. Today, the only commercially run amethyst mine in the United States is the Four Peaks Mine in Arizona. The mine is well known for producing amethyst with a reddish-purple color. The deposit was also known by Native Americans because a few amethyst arrowheads have been found nearby. Some of the amethyst in the Spanish crown jewels may be from this deposit, brought back to Spain by Spanish explorers.

Care of Amethyst Jewelry

Amethyst is a durable gemstone, but some care is needed to maintain its polish and natural color. Amethyst has a Mohs hardness of 7, and that is generally considered hard enough for almost any jewelry use.

However, with a hardness of 7, it can come in contact with a variety of common objects that can produce a scratch on its surface. Accidental scrapes on hard objects or abrasion with other gems of equal or greater hardness in a jewelry box can cause damage. Amethyst is also a brittle material that can be chipped or scratched by impact. It is best not to wear amethyst jewelry during an activity or at a location where this might occur.

Long-term storage of amethyst and amethyst jewelry is best done in a jewelry box or other dark location. The color of some amethyst can be subject to fading by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or bright display lights.