Highest Price Color of Amethyst photo credit to gia.edu
Colors of Amethyst photo credit to gia.edu
Left: Color Zoning; Right: Too Dark; photo credit: gia.edu
Born in February? Or maybe you just enjoy purple... In any case, here are some fun and useful facts about Amethyst. Fun facts: In the past, Amethyst was as expensive as ruby and emerald; in the 19th century large deposits were found in Brazil and the price dropped. In ancient Greek amethystos means "not drunk," which is where Amethyst gets its name- people used to believe that it prevented intoxication. Amethyst is the gem for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries. Some believe that the patron saint of romantic love, St. Valentine, wore an amethyst ring carved with the image of cupid. Localities: Amethyst can be found in the United States, as well as, Uruguay, Brazil, and Zambia. Mohs: 7 Color: The highest priced Amethyst color is a strong reddish purple to purple with no visible color zoning. However, Amethyst can be found in paler purples and darker purples with color zoning. Shapes: Amethyst is cut into a variety of shapes including: rounds, ovals, pears, emerald cuts (step-cuts), triangles, marquises, cushions, and fantasy cuts. Clarity: Much of the amethyst in the market today is eye-clean (it lacks visible inclusions). However, sometimes the color can make up for any inclusions you see- for example, much of the Zambian material is a strong raspberry color and tends to have more inclusions than gems from Brazil, but the color is so desired that the price doesn't drop due to the visible inclusions. Size: February's purple gem can be found in calibrated cuts (cut precisely to standard sizes) and larger cuts as well as larger free-form shapes. Amethyst can be very desirable as a larger center stone due to the fact that the price per carat doesn't rise dramatically as size increases. Treatments: On very rare occasions Amethyst undergoes fracture-filling to improve its apparent clarity.