Amethyst is a gemstone that is a common choice for jewelry lovers looking to add some violet tones to their outfits. Here’s some information about what you should be looking for when buying amethyst jewelry.
The Structure of an Amethyst Gemstone
Amethyst is a variety of quartz and is made up of silicon dioxide. The purple color of this gemstone is caused by impurities present in its crystal structure.
Amethyst’s hardness is rated 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale, so the stone is relatively hard, although harder gemstones such as diamond or sapphire can scratch it.
Evaluating the Color of Amethyst
Amethyst comes in variations of violet.
The primary color of amethyst is purple, but it can have red and blue as secondary colors, which can range from very pronounced to virtually invisible.
Lighter stones have a pinkish hue, whereas darker ones have a deep purple tone.
In general, deeper colors are more desirable and command higher prices.
There is an amethyst color called “Deep Siberian,” which has an intense purple hue and is considered the best grade for amethyst.
When evaluating the color of amethyst, make sure to look at the gemstone in daylight so that you can perceive the stone’s hue most accurately.
Under artificial light, amethyst’s color may look less saturated, especially if the light is too intense. Look at the gemstone in a variety of settings so that you can get a feel for how its color changes in different lighting conditions.
Is There Green Amethyst?
Many people are led to believe that amethyst also has a green variety, but this is incorrect. What passes for green amethyst is simply green quartz.
It is true that amethyst is also a variety of quartz, but the green variety of this mineral is not technically considered amethyst. However, it is possible to turn amethyst green through heat treatment, but natural amethyst does not occur in this color.
Evaluating the Clarity of Amethyst
When evaluating gemstone characteristics, clarity is understood as the lack of visible defects inside the stone as well as on its surface. The internal imperfections (inclusions) should be as few and small as possible.
Look at the amethyst in a well-lit setting, and see if the stone looks clean to the naked eye. It is best to buy amethyst that is as clean as possible.
Evaluating the Cut of Amethyst
Colored gemstones such as amethyst are usually cut to maximize their color. There are not pre-set ideal proportions as is the case with diamonds, which are cut to maximize brilliance and sparkle.
So, when buying an amethyst, you should evaluate its cut indirectly by looking at how intense the stone’s color is. If the amethyst’s tone is well saturated and the gemstone is cut in a shape that you like, then the stone should be a good choice for you.
Many amethyst stones are treated with heat to enhance the intensity of their color. Usually, the effects are permanent as long as the stone is not exposed to extreme heat.
However, when shopping, always ask whether the gemstone you are about to buy has been treated and how – it is always good to know such information.
It might be interesting for you to learn that although amethyst is purple in color, treatment with heat or irradiation can produce yellow, orange, and brown varieties.
This type of color-changing treatment is how amethyst can be turned into yellow citrine, which is also a variety of quarts.
Synthetic amethyst is created in a lab under controlled conditions. The process usually involves taking clear quartz and irradiating it until its color becomes purple.
Stones produced this way are very similar to natural amethysts in terms of looks and physical properties. In fact, it is very hard to tell the difference without using special equipment since both natural and synthetic amethyst are a variety of quartz.
Where to Buy Amethyst Jewelry?
If you are looking for amethyst jewelry, we highly recommend that you take a look at the great selection of amethyst pieces available at Amazon as well as Ross-Simons and Reeds Jewelers.