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Amethyst

Amethyst is a wonderful gemstone attributed virtues like love, fidelity and hope. It is considered a stone of godliness and dignity.

amethyst in different colours

Amethyst is the most beautiful and high quality form of quartz. It has mysterious color due to the iron content and can vary from blue purple to dark violet and purple. The color intensity is not properly allocated in the crystal. The most interesting thing is that the stone has the ability to change its shade depending on light and temperature. This makes it seem alive and its greatest beauty is revealed in bright sunlight - which unfortunately causes gradually fading of the stone. The stones of high quality are transparent, medium purple with a slightly saturated few inclusions.

amethyst crystal
amethyst druse

Amethyst usually passes through heat treatment to deepen the color or remove inclusions. This treatment is permanent and does not fade with time. Still it should be done very carefully because excessive heating to high temperatures can completely discolor amethyst or change it to deep yellow. It is difficult to predict what changes will occur and sometimes color can become brown or green. In fact in the jewelry business the color is of highest importance and lavender stones are less valuable than purple.

By the 18th century amethyst was not so common and has been considered a precious stone together with diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald. This changed after the discovery of large deposits in Brazil and elsewhere.

ametist heart faceted
amethyst round

Today amethyst is liked because of its beauty and accessibility. Compared to other gemstones it is not very expensive. One reason for that is that today there are many deposits of this mineral. The stones from different deposits differ by color – for example Russian amethysts are reddish, Canadian are violet and Brazilian are plum-colored.

Another reason for the relatively low price is the production of synthetic amethyst – so perfect that it is difficult even for the scientists using laboratory tests to distinguish natural from synthetic stone. Synthetic amethyst does not fade in the sun and it is possible to be given desired color. In fact today it is the only synthetic stone on the market which worth about as much as the natural one. It is relatively hard stone (7 by Mohs scale) but should be protected from scratches and sharp blows. Due to its fading at sunlight it is not recommendable to wear amethyst when you get suntan.

Ametrine

A very interesting variety of quartz with unusual colors mixed together is known as ametrine. It is natural combination of citrine and amethyst and is extremely beautiful. There are minerals with wine yellow, violet purple, yellow, orange and purple with lilac shades. Big deposits are found in Bolivia – that’s where its trade name bolivianite comes from.

Ametrine

Today it is produced synthetically and in most cases it is yellow citrine from the one end and the other is light purple (lilac) amethyst. Artificial ametrines are made also by heat treatment of amethyst. So if you wish to wear this stone be sure about its origin. It is quite possible to get synthetic or artificial- otherwise the natural ametrine is quite expensive.

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