The essence of the color purple, amethyst is beautiful enough for crown jewels yet affordable enough for class rings.
Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the gem for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.
Amethyst was as expensive as ruby and emerald until the 19th Century, when Brazil’s large deposits were discovered. It was believed to prevent intoxication—amethystos means “not drunk” in ancient Greek. Today, as the most valued quartz variety, amethyst is in demand for designer pieces and mass-market jewelry alike, and its purple to pastel hues retain wide consumer appeal.
WHY WE LOVE THIS GEMSTONE
The patron of romantic love wore an amethyst ring carved with the image of Cupid.
LEONARDO DA VINCI
The artist wrote that amethyst quickens intelligence and gets rid of evil thoughts.
Single amethyst crystals can be huge: the GIA Museum displayed a doubly terminated crystal that weighed 164 pounds.
In gem localities like Brazil, amethyst sometimes forms in hollow, crystal-lined geodes so big you can stand in them.
Even fine amethyst has a modest price tag. Large gems remain affordable as price per carat does not rise dramatically with larger size.
In Bolivia, amethyst and citrine occur in the same crystal. The unique gems, called ametrine, are half purple and half yellow.
Assessment of the following characteristics determines amethyst’s value.