#Amethyst #Gemstone #AmethystGemstone
The purple type of quartz is called amethyst. The stone’s name comes from Greek words that mean no intoxicate. So it was initially believed that if a person was around the stone, they wouldn’t get drunk. In ancient times, goblets and other drinking tools were carved of amethyst supposedly to keep alcohol drinkers from getting drunk.
The amethyst remains a favorite semi-precious gemstone that February’s birthstone. The violet color of the gem comes from iron and irradiation. Because the stone rates high on the Mohs gemstone scale, it remains a sturdy stone that jewelers and jewelry lovers both appreciate.
The Colors of Amethyst
Amethysts occur in a variety of colors from a dainty pinkish purple to deep purple. The gemstone also exhibits secondary colors such as red or blue. Rose de France remains the term for a light purple amethyst that appears lilac or lavender. Deep purple amethysts used to be preferred by jewelry buyers, but now the lighter colors are popular, as well. Deep Siberian amethysts remain considered the ideal shade of amethyst, however. This color of the gemstone has a saturation of about 75 percent purple and 15 percent red or blue.
Sometimes, in nature, the color of amethyst becomes laid out in a chevron or striped pattern. People who cut amethysts have a goal of cutting the stone so that the amethyst looks like it appears all one color. Chevron amethysts have also become popular for use in jewelry, too. Heated amethysts can change color to yellow or yellowish-brown. In some cases, naturally heated amethysts can look both purple and yellow. These bi-colored stones are called ametrines.
An amethyst’s color might fade if frequently exposed to sources of light.
Amethysts come from Brazil (Minas Gerais), where it appears in large geodes. Uruguay also has amethyst-filled geodes in its hollow agates. Artigas, Uruguay, and the Rio Grande do Sul both mine copious numbers of high-quality amethysts each year. Other important amethyst producing areas are found in Mato Grosso, Bahia, Espirito Santo, and Cera in Brazil.
South Korea also produces amethysts. A large, opencast vein of amethyst occurs in Lower Austria. Russia produces excellent deep purple amethysts, especially in Siberia. The gemstone remains frequently also found in India and Zambia. Zambia remains the largest producer of amethyst, mining about 1000 tons of the beautiful purple stone.
Several amethyst mines also exist and thrive in the United States. Some of these amethyst mines occur at:
The Mazatzal Mountains in Arizona’s Maricopa counties.
Red Feather Lakes by Ft. Collins, Colorado.
Amethyst Mountain in Texas.
Yellowstone National Park.
Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
Haywood County, North Carolina.
Deer Hill in Maine.
Around Lake Superior.
This stone also occurs in Nova Scotia and Ontario. Thunder Bay, Ontario, remains the home of the largest amethyst mine in North America. The amethyst is South Carolina’s state gemstone.
Ancient Egyptians frequently used amethysts for engraving intaglio gems. Greek soldiers preferred drinking using amethyst drinking containers and believed these containers would keep them from getting drunk. Medieval soldiers wore amethysts to protect them in battle. Amethysts were also worn to help people stay calm. Anglican bishops wear a unique amethyst ring that refers to the Apostles at Pentecost.
In one story, Dionysus was insulted by a human and swore to kill the next person he saw. He created fierce tigers to kill this person. The next human to cross his path was Amethystos. She was on her way to worship the god Artemis. Artemis turned Amethystos into a crystal quartz statue to protect her from Dionysus’s tigers. Dionysus cried tears of wine when he saw the beautiful statue, turning the crystal purple.
People in Tibet carve beads from the purple stone and use these beads to worship the Buddha. Medieval people considered the amethyst as a symbol of royalty, and decorated royal regalia with the stone.
Initially, the amethyst was considered a precious stone, equal in value to diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and rubies. The cost of the amethyst has gone down due to the abundant supply of the stones available now. The gem remains popular with jewelry lovers and collectors, too, due to the stone’s vibrant color.