Deep purple stone

Deep purple stone DEFAULT

On its own, gemstones are minerals or rocks. But everyone recognizes gemstones after they’re faceted and polished, when they’re worn as jewelry. Gemstones have an amazing history and have intrigued us since the dawn of time.⏳

There are a variety of gemstones in all different colors, including the color purple.

Purple is the perfect gemstone color because it symbolizes luxury and creativity. It’s also a beautiful color and many people wear purple gemstones for aesthetic reasons. Amethyst is the most popular purple gemstone, but there are even more purple gemstones out there.

Are you interested in learning more about purple gemstones? Continue reading and see why purple gems are so amazing.

Pear-Shaped Purple Gemstones on a Purple Cloth

Why people love purple gemstones

Purple is a combination of the colors blue and red. These two unique colors give purple a distinguished identity; like blue, purple is a relaxing color but it still holds the intensity of red.

Purple often symbolizes:

  • Power
  • Luxury
  • Creativity
  • Wisdom
  • Magic

This symbolism also depends on the shade of purple. There are many forms of the color purple, such as:

  • Light purple
  • Violet
  • Mauve
  • Plum
  • Lavender
  • Bright/neon purple
  • Lilac
  • Magenta
  • Orchid
  • Dark purple

Lighter shades of purple, such as lilac and lavender, are more feminine. Brighter purple shades, such as orchid or even magenta, correspond with wealth. While many say darker shades of purple, such as eggplant, convey sadness, dark purple also represents spirituality.

Purple is a powerful color, which means purple gemstones can impact your life.🚴🏻‍♀️

Many people wear purple gemstones for spiritual reasons; for example, purple represents the Crown Chakra. This is why many say purple gemstones improve concentration, strengthen the brain, and promote mindfulness.

Purple gemstones are also ideal for those who suffer from anxiety; purple is a calming color and wearing purple gemstones can aid in stress management.

Top 10 purple gemstones to represent your purple passion🔮

Purple gemstones are not only lovely but they’re powerful and unique. If you want to implement more purple gemstones in your jewelry wardrobe, read our recommended purple gemstones list.


Amethyst is the most recognizable purple gemstone for a reason. Very few gemstones are naturally purple. Not only that, but amethyst is easy to find and this stone is affordable. Amethyst also has good hardness so your amethyst gems and jewelry will last for years.

Amethyst is recognized all over the world. In Greek mythology, amethyst is the symbol of the god Frey, who represents kingship.

Amethyst also has an extensive history; the ancient Romans used amethyst in their rituals to cleanse their sins and pray for the undead. They would perform these rituals in February, which is why amethyst is February's birthstone.

Today, amethyst is a popular meditating stone because of its powerful spiritual properties. It’s said to bring safety, tranquility, wisdom, and inspiration—whether you’re meditating with amethyst or wearing it.

Teardrop Shape Amethyst Purple Gemstone on a Rock
James Allen Amethyst and Diamond Ring: 14K Gold

You can find amethyst in all shades of purple, but deep and vivid purple is the standard. While deep purple amethyst is the most desired, you can find light purple amethyst and even amethyst that looks pinker.

Purple Diamonds

Diamonds are one of the rarest gemstones and are synonymous with luxury. While diamonds are typically clear, colored diamonds can form naturally.

Purple diamonds are made when there’s more hydrogen in the diamond’s formation. The hydrogen also hardens the stone, making purple diamonds more durable than traditional diamonds.

The more vivid the purple diamond, the rarer and more expensive it is. Purple diamonds have a higher carat value than clear diamonds. This makes purple diamonds extremely expensive.

The shade of purple in the diamond also impacts its quality—deep purple diamonds are higher quality than a light orchid diamond.

Purple diamonds can also be treated and colored synthetically. This produces an attractive gemstone at a lower cost.💵

Brilliant Earth 0.3 Carat Pink-Purple Diamond

A color-treated diamond is still very unique. Take this pink-purple diamond from Brilliant Earth as an example. It’s a high-quality diamond and the slight pink-purple hue makes the diamond stand out.

Purple Spinel

Purple spinel is one of the rarest gemstones, even though it’s affordable. It’s a brilliant gemstone available in all shades of purple, though lilac and mauve shades are the most popular.

Spinel is available in many colors, but the purple spinel is one of the most popular variations. Take a look at this purple spinel gemstone from JTV. The stone is a unique lilac shade and the faceted cut shows off different colors.

Spinel is rarely treated, meaning the purple hue is completely natural. Beryllium forms the purple color; because of this, the color cannot be synthesized. Purple spinel is very durable, ideal for daily wear.

2.9ct Royal Purple Spinel 14K Yellow Gold Engagement Ring
Purple Gemstone Jewelry: Purple Spinel 14K Yellow Gold Engagement Ring

See the purple spinel HERE

Purple Chalcedony

Purple chalcedony is one of the most unique gemstones. You can find this gem in different shades of purple. In addition, the gemstone can also look both translucent or opaque. This stone is very affordable and is also durable, perfect for daily wear.

You can find purple chalcedony in different jewelry styles and is also popular for engravings. It’s also one of the most versatile gems; it’s not only used in fine jewelry but is also ideal for ethnic and bohemian jewelry.

Purple chalcedony also has spiritual properties. Wearing this stone daily keeps the wearer safe from negative energy.

Chalcedony is a symbol of the moon and also has a close connection with water. Wearing purple chalcedony when close to the water will provide protection against water-related accidents.

Purple Jade

Jade are typically green gemstones, but you can also find purple jade. Both nephrite and jadeite can be purple—these two forms of jade vary in quality and price. Purple jade is often cut into cabochons and features smooth cuts.


Even though iolite is abundant and affordable, it has the appearance of a fine gemstone. Iolite is a brilliant stone that sparkles when cut and shaped. This is why iolite is ideal for those who want an exquisite purple gem but are working with a limited budget.

Iolite is available in both blue and purple shades, though its violet purple color is the most popular. The name “iolite” is taken from “ios,” the Greek word for “violet.”

This is also one of the strongest gemstones (7 to 7.5 Mohs) you can find—it’s even powerful against chipping and cracking. You can find iolite in just about all types of jewelry.

Purple Fluorite

Fluorite comes in many colors, but its brilliant purple is by far the most recognizable shade. It’s also unique because it has good transparency.

Fluorite is a popular gemstone but is not often used in jewelry. That’s because fluorite is very weak. If you want to wear fluorite, it’s recommended you wear it as earrings😊 or any other low-impact option.

Purple Fluorite With Reflection on Black Surface Background

Purple Sapphire

Sapphire is a fine gem that’s one of the most popular blue gemstones. But you can find sapphire in a variety of different colors, including purple.

Purple sapphire is one of the rarest purple gemstones, making it even more luxurious than blue sapphire.🤩 Since the purple hue is naturally brilliant, these stones usually don’t undergo any treatment.

The color can also change when the sapphire is exposed to heat and radiance. If you overheat light purple sapphire, the color fades. But if you overheat a dark purple sapphire, the stone turns to a rose color.

On the contrary, exposing a light purple sapphire to radiation will darken the purple hue.

Purple sapphire forms when more chromium is present during the gem’s formation. Purple sapphire’s beauty and strength make this stone perfect for colored engagement rings.

Purple Gemstone Used in Jewelry: Oval Lavender Purple Sapphire Ring

Purple sapphire also ranges from a rich purple hue to bright pink gemstones. You can see the different color options in this collection that James Allen offers.

Purple Tourmaline

Tourmaline is one of the most common gemstones and comes in a variety of different colors, including purple. Purple tourmaline varies in purple shades, from bright magenta all the way to dark purple gemstones.

Tourmaline usually goes under extreme treatment and is heavily faceted to enhance its brilliance, which makes tourmaline an exquisite yet popular gemstone.

Another reason why tourmaline goes through heat treatment is to strengthen the stone. Compared to other purple gemstones, tourmaline is relatively weak. The heat treatment will harden the stone’s structure so you can wear it every day.

✍🏻To determine its quality, it’s still recommended you ask your jeweler what treatment the tourmaline has been through.

If you prefer to not wear tourmaline, you can always meditate with it. Purple tourmaline has many spiritual qualities. It can inspire creativity and inspiration, making it a popular stone for artists.

Purple Kunzite

Kunzite is one of the most exquisite gemstones but doesn’t receive a lot of attention.

You’ll mainly find kunzite in both purple and pink shades. Kunzite is famous because it exhibits pleochroism (meaning one stone has two different colors). Kunzite is also unique because it emits a diamond-like phosphorescence.

Compared to other gemstones, kunzite is relatively new. It was only discovered in 1902 by Tiffany & Co. gemologist George Frederick Kunz.🕵🏻 The stone was named after him.

Purple Kunzite Mineral Sample on a White Background

Purple kunzite is typically very light, though there are bright and vivid purple kunzite shades available. The best kunzite has good transparency, no inclusions, and no treatments should be done.

Kunzite isn’t the most durable stone but is still a popular jewelry pendant, specifically for costume jewelry.

Lesser-known purple gemstones

While the previous 10 purple gemstones are some of the most cherished gemstones, there are many unique purple gemstones you may not know about. Consider buying these purple gems!

Purple Jasper

Jasper is one of the most popular red gemstones, but purple jasper is also available.

Jasper is one of the most unique-looking stones out there; each jasper stone has a natural pattern and no two jasper stones are alike. In addition, purple jasper is slightly more opaque than its counterparts.

Jasper is also rarely faceted so you’re wearing the stone in its natural form.

Jasper is very durable. If maintained well, purple jasper can last for a very long time. Its individualistic look is perfect for costume jewelry and other statement pieces.


Sugilite is one of the rarest gemstones. This stone is renowned for its unique mix of colors, ranging from a light pink-purple to deep blue-purple. The highest quality sugilite is a very vivid shade of purple and is even-toned.

Sugilite is also not commonly worn as jewelry because it’s a weak stone. If you find sugilite jewelry, only wear it during special occasions.

Like jasper, sugilite has interesting patterns so no two stones look alike. Sugilite can be found in its natural form and faceted for style. It’s rarely enhanced, so you’re receiving your sugilite in its natural form.


Charoite is another rare gemstone that’s only found in Siberia. This gemstone is also soft, so it’s not ideal for everyday wear. Charoite varies in color, like light purple gemstones to dark purple.

How to choose purple gemstones in jewelry

Now that you know the best purple gemstones, you’ll need to know how to choose the best jewelry featuring purple gemstones. Here’s some buying advice.

Basic quality indicators

Like diamonds, there are many quality indicators that determine a purple gemstone’s value. This includes:

Carat size is the most popular indicator of quality. Carat is a unit of weight specifically given to gemstones. While bigger carats don’t determine quality on its own, it’s important to know the carat size as well as identifying any flaws or inclusions.

As stated previously, every purple gemstone has a different hardness scale. Softer stones, such as charoite, are more prone to breakage and should only be worn sparingly. A strong stone such as iolite is ideal for daily wear.

While many buyers may not consider the gemstone shape as a quality indicator, the way the stone is cut can determine its brilliance. The light hits the stone in different ways, depending on the shape.

Different Cuts and Shapes of Purple Gemstones

Some shapes are also more common than others. You’ll likely find more oval cuts than other shapes, whether they’re cabochon or faceted. That’s because the oval shape evenly distributes the karat weight while still retaining the gem’s brilliance and aesthetics.

In addition, gemstone shape is also a matter of preference. For example, pear-shaped gemstones aren’t better quality than other gemstone shapes but they look larger and more extravagant than other shapes.


You can find purple gemstones in a variety of different shades of purple. But the hue determines quality in some gemstones. For example, deep purple amethyst is the most popular variety. Other gemstones are renowned for their pleochroic properties, such as iolite.

Patterns and texture

While many purple gemstones are faceted, shaped, and treated, many gemstones are left in their natural form. This is to show the unique patterns and textures the stone naturally holds.

Take jasper, as an example. Purple jasper has a distinguished vein design that looks lovely in jewelry.

Textures of Purple Gemstones: Dark Purple Jasper Isolated on White Background

Texture is also another important factor to consider. Some stones, such as purple jade, are polished so the stone is smooth. Texture also defines purple jade’s quality, specifically when buying a purple jadeite variety.

The jewelry material

The gemstone isn’t the only important factor when choosing purple gemstone jewelry. The metal or material will also impact the jewelry piece’s quality and how the gemstone looks.

You’ll find purple gemstones matched with white or silver metals. That’s because lighter-colored metals make the purple hues more brilliant.🌟 Common metal examples include:

It’s also important to ask your jeweler about the grade of metal. For example, you want to choose 925 sterling silver metals to ensure the piece is strong.

You’ll also want to pay attention to the purple shade and how it corresponds with the metal color. While silver and white metals are the safest choice, yellow gold looks stunning with lighter purple gemstones.

Tips to choose an outfit with purple gemstone jewelry

You can find purple gemstones in all types of jewelry, such as necklaces and rings. If you plan on wearing purple gemstones, you’ll want to wear the right outfit to match with the gems. Here’s some style advice.

Types of purple gemstone jewelry

Purple gemstone jewelry is available in many different types, including:

  • Necklaces
  • Rings
  • Earrings
  • Bracelets
  • And more!

👉🏻The outfit you wear with your purple gemstone jewelry depends on the type of jewelry you’re wearing.

Take necklaces as an example. Different necklaces lengths and pendant types match with certain necklines better.

Shorter choker-style necklaces look better with high-neckline blouses and dresses while long necklaces with long pendants look better with v-neck necklines. You can also customize your necklace, such as adding a purple birthstone to your name necklace.

Some jewelry types are also meant for certain occasions versus daily wear. While you can wear small amethyst stud earrings every day, you’ll want to save exquisite amethyst and diamond dangle earrings for fine occasions.

Outfit color

There are many considerations when matching purple, and this causes us to turn to the color wheel.🎨

There are two different types of color that match with purple:

  • Monochromatic
  • Contrasting color

Monochromatic colors are closer to purple on the color wheel. These colors are blue and pink.

Contrasting colors are opposite on the color wheel. These colors are orange, yellow, and green. They give an interesting effect when paired with purple and don’t take away from the gemstone’s brilliance.

You can also choose neutral shades of clothing. These colors include silver, gray, black, beige, and white. They match with purple while not taking away from the gemstone’s extravagance.

Woman in Natural-Color Gown Matching Purple Gemstones

How do you wear these colors with your purple gemstone? You’ll want to pay close attention when choosing a gown for an exquisite event. The color of your gown will impact the way the gemstone looks.

The way you wear the gemstone also matters. While choosing an outfit color may not matter as much when wearing a small amethyst ring, you may want to choose a neutral-colored outfit when wearing a large purple jasper statement necklace.


There are many different purple gemstone styles and your outfit of choice should match the style and occasion. For example, purple diamonds and purple sapphire are extremely rare. 💃🏻That’s why you should save these gems for your best outfit and for the most luxurious occasion.

On the other hand, purple tourmaline is a more common stone. It’s also extremely durable and perfect for all types of jewelry. Purple tourmaline is also affordable, perfect for special occasions and daily wear.


More valuable stones, such as sugilite, should only be worn for special occasions. If you want to wear your purple gemstone everyday, opt for common and affordable gems such as purple chalcedony.

Outfit ideas

Still not sure what outfit to wear with your purple gemstone jewelry? Here are a few recommendations with jewelry ideas.

  • White or beige blouse with small amethyst pendant necklace
  • Black gown with purple diamond stud earrings
  • Navy blue gown with a purple spinel stud bracelet
  • Silver blouse with a purple chalcedony statement ring
Lady Wearing Yellow Top to Match With Casual Purple Gemstones

You have more room for creativity when wearing casual purple gemstones. If you’re wearing a simple purple jade nephrite, match it with an intense green outfit. You can do the same with purple jasper; match a purple jasper statement necklace with a yellow or gold blouse.

You should also consider stones that are available in different shades of purple, such as iolite. If you find an iolite stone in a blue/purple color or a magenta tourmaline stone, match it with a brilliant purple outfit for a unique monochromatic look.

Buy purple gemstones today

There are many colored gemstones and purple gemstones are some of the most popular. The color purple is unique because it represents power while also conveying relaxation.

From amethyst to purple jasper, there are many lovely purple gemstones available. 👏🏻You should also know how to buy a gemstone and know how to match your purple gem with your outfit for the best measures.

There are many purple birthstones out there. Do you know your birthstone? Read about all of the different birthstones and the best way to style them.

Recommended Posts:


Wondering about purple gemstones and the various types that exist in jewelry? 

Perfect, you're in the right place!

In this guide we cover:

  • What purple gemstones are (and why they're purple)
  • The different types of purple gemstones available
  • And my unique analysis on each gem 

All of that is covered and more. Let's jump in!

top 8 best purple gemstones listed

Bottom Line Up Front:James Allen has some of the best selection of purple gemstone jewelry such as gorgeous amethyst bracelets and necklaces. James Allen is also a fantastic online retailer of jewelry in general. 

They offer a more seamless, low stress buying experience. And since they are an online only shop, James Allen can deliver a better quality product at a lower price compared to other name brands.

Click here to see the current purple gemstone offers from James Allen

What Are Purple Gemstones?

Purple gemstones have been around for centuries and are mainly used in the production of jewelry and artifacts. These stones may not be as popular as other colored gemstones, although they are quite handful available.

Generally, the color purple, obtained from chemical inclusions, is believed to have an effect in bringing out a “clarity of thoughts”. The color purple is also associated with wealth and power. Purple gemstones exude in different shades of purple like Mauve, lavender, lilac, among others. Gemstones with the deepest colors are rare and therefore the most expensive.

Where Do You Buy Purple Gemstones?

Most purple gemstones are abundant are shouldn’t be hard to find. Online retailers like James Allen or Blue Nile will have plenty of purple gemstones, either loose or incorporated in jewelry. You can also buy purple gemstones in local jewelry shops and malls.

What Are The Types Of Purple Gemstones?

The number of gemstones that are naturally purple is quite a handful. Here’s a list of the best types used in jewelry:

  1. Purple Diamonds
  2. Amethyst
  3. Purple Sapphire
  4. Purple Chalcedony
  5. Purple Spinel
  6. Lolite
  7. Purple Tourmaline
  8. Purple Jasper

1. Purple Diamonds

For the formation of purple diamonds, there must be high amounts of hydrogen present. This particular type of gemstone is extremely rare (second to red diamond). Due to its rarity, it is highly priced and a single carat can fetch tens of thousands of dollars.

High-quality purple diamonds have a deeper purple shade but are hard to find. Some of the purple diamond’s shades have acquired nicknames such as Orchid, Lilac, Grape, and Lavender diamonds. They’re found in a few locations globally and are currently mined in Russia, Australia, and recently Canada.

purple diamond gemstones

The price of purple diamonds heavily depends on the shade of purple. For instance, a 0.50 carat oval cut purple diamond is priced at $18,510 on JA, while another similar 0.51 carat purple cushion-cut purple diamond is priced at $5,640. You’ll notice that even though both stones have minor inclusions, the second stone has a fainter shade of purple.

Distinct Features

  • It is very rare
  • It is very expensive
  • Synthetic forms are less costly
  • Exclusive gemstone

The Good

  • Truly unique characteristics
  • Higher karat value compared to colorless diamonds
  • Very durable (Mohs hardness 10)

The Bad

  • Very expensive
  • Not readily available in many stores
  • Possibility of finding lab-grown types

2. Amethyst

In identifying the most popular purple gemstones, Amethyst should be number one. In ancient times, the stone was regarded as precious as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. It was only until large deposits were found in Brazil that amethyst became so common.

amethyst purple gemstone

Amethyst has all shades of purple, with those having the darkest purple hues regarded the best. Gemstones like amethyst are used in jewelry for its ability to blend with both neutral and colorful outfits. The lighter hues will add a gentle vibe to your apparel while deep hues add vibrancy. If exposed to direct light for long, amethyst can also fade.

Due to the stone’s availability, amethyst has a wide range of pricing. Pieces with deeper colors may fetch higher prices, although the stone may lose its color if subjected to sunlight for longer periods.

Read Also: What're the best amethyst earrings?

Read Also: What're the best amethyst pendants?

Distinct Features

  • Affordable
  • Easy to find/abundant
  • Quite popular
  • Generally good hardness

The Good 

  • It is readily available
  • Pocket-friendly prices

The Bad

  • Not very hard
  • Fades with time

3. Purple Sapphire

Most people confuse purple sapphire with amethyst. Even though purple sapphire is not abundant, it’s still as good-looking as blue sapphires. The purple in color in this type of sapphire is obtained from the presence of chromium during its formation.

These stones occur in very deep and vivid colors and there is no need for treating or any other form of enhancing. Purple sapphires are mostly used in engagement rings, as they are the second toughest gemstones. Generally, purple sapphires are a perfect choice for everyday jewelry.

purple sapphire purple gemstone

Distinct Features

  • A rare type of sapphire
  • Barely untreated
  • Highly durable

The Good

  • Excellent brilliance
  • Very hard (9 Mohs)

4. Purple Chalcedony

Purple chalcedony has nice shades of purple ranging from light lilac to dark purple. The purple gemstone is generally translucent to opaque and has a very rich color.

Chalcedony is compact and has no cleavages. This is partly due to the gemstone’s lack of crystal formations. It has a microcrystalline structure and a medium hardness of about 6.5 to 7 Mohs. Chalcedony has a bohemian appeal and can be incorporated in ethnic jewelry designs.

Distinct Features

  • Waxy-vitreous luster
  • Durable
  • Generally affordable

The Good

  • Quite affordable
  • Lasts for long

5. Purple Spinel

Purple spinel comes in select shades with lilac and mauve as the most attractive. The stone may be a little bit expensive but will not exceed its blue and red counterparts. It is quite durable and can be used as everyday jewelry.

Purple sapphire can be cut and faceted to add to its already excellent brilliance. Although there are lab-grown kinds of purple spines, most varieties are natural since stone’s color cannot be synthesized.

purple spinel purple gemstone

Distinct Features

  • Exceedingly brilliant
  • Very tough (Mohs 8)
  • Rather rare

The Good

  • Somewhat affordable
  • Appealing brilliance
  • Durable

6. Lolite

Since Iolites are highly abundant, they tend to be cheaper. This particular stone exhibits excellent brilliance and competes with both the Sapphire and Tanzanite. It has an ideal color, especially the purple shades. The Iolite is relatively hard (7 to 7.5 Mohs) and is used in making almost any type of jewelry.

When curated with rings, it is more appealing to place Iolite in fine settings like a bezel or even halo. These settings give the stone optimal shine, as it will attract attention from a distance. Lolite also shows high levels of pleochroism. It does have a cleavage and is sometimes easy to break or chip.

purple Iolite purple gemstone

Distinct Features

  • Abundant
  • Popular gemstone
  • Above average brilliance

The Good

  • It is easily available
  • Great brilliance
  • Affordable

7. Purple Tourmaline

Purple tourmaline is one of the least popular varieties of tourmaline gemstones. Even though people barely know them, these stones have great brilliance and show levels of pleochroic behaviors when viewed from different angles of light.

It is a beautiful gem and is used to make select pieces of jewelry. Jewelers facet these gems to add to their brilliance and pleochroism. Since purple tourmaline is not that hard (7 to 7.5 Mohs), most undergo through heat treatment. Always ask your jeweler about this process whenever shopping for purple tourmalines.

purple Tourmaline purple gemstone

Distinct Features

  • Brilliant
  • Great durability
  • Unpopular

The Good

  • Reasonable durability
  • Relatively Affordable

The Bad

  • Some varieties can be expensive

8. Purple Jasper

Jasper is mainly a blue gemstone, although there are varieties with purple shades. The purple Jasper has a hardness of about 6.5 to 7 (Mohs). Jasper has a unique matrix of veins and patterns that make the stone worthy. Since Jasper is in the Chalcedony family, it is cut en cabochon and barely faceted.

Purple Jasper is slightly opaque and can last for a long time, if well maintained. Purple Jasper is a blend of blue and red, hence its warm nature. It is widely used in statement pieces and fine jewelry. Purple Jasper has been known to have a touch of royalty, which adds to its uniqueness.

purple jasper purple gemstone

Distinct Features

  • Easily available
  • Fabricated with abstract patterns and matrix
  • Medium hardness (~6.5 Mohs)

The Good

  • Very tough
  • Unique texture
  • Relatively affordable
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Mineral, quartz variety

For other uses, see Amethyst (disambiguation).

Main amethyst producing countries

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz. The name comes from the Koine Greek αμέθυστος amethystos from α- a-, "not" and μεθύσκω (Ancient Greek) methysko / μεθώ metho (Modern Greek), "intoxicate", a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness.[1] The ancient Greeks wore amethyst and carved drinking vessels from it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.

Amethyst is a semiprecious stone that is often used in jewelry and is the traditional birthstone for February.


Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz (SiO2) and owes its violet color to irradiation, impurities of iron and in some cases other transition metals, and the presence of other trace elements, which result in complex crystal lattice substitutions.[2][3][4] The hardness of the mineral is the same as quartz, thus making it suitable for use in jewelry.

Hue and tone[edit]

Amethyst occurs in primary hues from a light lavender or pale violet, to a deep purple. Amethyst may exhibit one or both secondary hues, red and blue.[5] High quality amethyst can be found in Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Uruguay, and the Far East. The ideal grade is called "Deep Siberian" and has a primary purple hue of around 75–80%, with 15–20% blue and (depending on the light source) red secondary hues.[6] ‘Rose de France’ is defined by its markedly light shade of the purple, reminiscent of a lavender/lilac shade. These pale colors were once considered undesirable but have recently become popular due to intensive marketing.[7]

Green quartz is sometimes incorrectly called green amethyst, which is a misnomer and not an appropriate name for the material, the proper terminology being prasiolite.[8] Other names for green quartz are vermarine or lime citrine.[citation needed]

Amethyst frequently shows color zoning, with the most intense color typically found at the crystal terminations. One of a gem cutter’s tasks is to make a finished product with even color. Sometimes, only a thin layer of a natural, uncut amethyst is violet colored, or the color is very uneven. The uncut gem may have only a small portion that’s suitable for faceting.[9][10]

The color of amethyst has been demonstrated to result from substitution by irradiation of trivalent iron (Fe3+) for silicon in the structure,[4][11] in the presence of trace elements of large ionic radius,[3] and, to a certain extent, the amethyst color can naturally result from displacement of transition elements even if the iron concentration is low. Natural amethyst is dichroic in reddish violet and bluish violet,[4] but when heated, turns yellow-orange, yellow-brown, or dark brownish and may resemble citrine,[12] but loses its dichroism, unlike genuine citrine. When partially heated, amethyst can result in ametrine.

Amethyst can fade in tone if overexposed to light sources and can be artificially darkened with adequate irradiation.[4] It does not fluoresce under either short-wave or long-wave UV light.

Geographic distribution[edit]

Amethyst is found in many locations around the world. Between 2000 and 2010, the greatest production was from Marabá and Pau d'Arco, Pará, and the Paraná Basin, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; Sandoval, Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Artigas, Uruguay; Kalomo, Zambia; and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lesser amounts are found in many other locations in Africa, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Russia, Afghanistan, South Korea, Mexico, and the United States.[13]

An amethyst geodethat formed when large crystalsgrew in open spaces inside the rock.

Amethyst is produced in abundance from the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil where it occurs in large geodes within volcanic rocks.[14][15][16][17][18] Many of the hollow agates of southwestern Brazil and Uruguay contain a crop of amethyst crystals in the interior. Artigas, Uruguay and neighboring Brazilian state Rio Grande do Sul are large world producers, with lesser quantities mined in Minas Gerais and Bahia states.[13]

Amethyst from Brazil in the Mineral museum in India

Amethyst is also found and mined in South Korea.[19] The large opencast amethyst vein at Maissau, Lower Austria, was historically important,[1] but is no longer included among significant producers.[13] Much fine amethyst comes from Russia, especially from near Mursinka in the Ekaterinburg district, where it occurs in drusy cavities in graniticrocks.[1][13] Amethyst was historically mined in many localities in south India,[1] though these are no longer significant producers.[13] One of the largest global amethyst producers is Zambia in southern Africa with an annual production of about 1000 tons.[20]

Amethyst occurs at many localities in the United States. The most important production is at Four Peaks, Gila and Maricopa Counties, Arizona, and Jackson's Crossroads, Wilkes County, Georgia.[13] Smaller occurrences have been reported in the Red Feather Lakes, near Fort Collins, Colorado; Amethyst Mountain, Texas; Yellowstone National Park; Delaware County, Pennsylvania; Haywood County, North Carolina; Deer Hill and Stow, Maine and in the Lake Superior region of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.[1] Amethyst is relatively common in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia. The largest amethyst mine in North America is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario.[13]

Amethyst is the official state gemstone of South Carolina. Several South Carolina amethysts are on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.[21]


Uninscribed amethyst scarab at the center of a string of amethyst ball beads. Middle Kingdom. From Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglio engraved gems.[22]

The Greeks believed amethyst gems could prevent intoxication,[23] while medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle in the belief that amethysts heal people and keep them cool-headed.[24] Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England.[25]Anglican bishops wear an episcopal ring often set with an amethyst, an allusion to the description of the Apostles as "not drunk" at Pentecost in Acts 2:15.[26]

A large geode, or "amethyst-grotto", from near Santa Cruz in southern Brazil was presented at a 1902 exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany.[1]

Synthetic amethyst[edit]

Synthetic (laboratory-grown) amethyst is produced by a synthesis method called hydrothermal growth, which grows the crystals inside a high-pressure autoclave.

Synthetic amethyst is made to imitate the best quality amethyst. Its chemical and physical properties are the same as that of natural amethyst and it can not be differentiated with absolute certainty without advanced gemmological testing (which is often cost-prohibitive). One test based on "Brazil law twinning" (a form of quartz twinning where right and left hand quartz structures are combined in a single crystal[27]) can be used to identify most synthetic amethyst rather easily. It is possible to synthesize twinned amethyst, but this type is not available in large quantities in the market.[6]

Treated amethyst is produced by gamma ray, X-ray or electron beam irradiation of clear quartz (rock crystal) which has been first doped with ferric impurities. Exposure to heat partially cancels the irradiation effects and amethyst generally becomes yellow or even green. Much of the citrine, cairngorm, or yellow quartz of jewelry is said to be merely "burnt amethyst".[1][28]

Cultural history[edit]

Ancient Greece[edit]

The Greek word "amethystos" may be translated as "not drunken", from Greek a-, "not" + methustos, "intoxicated". Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness,[29] which is why wine goblets were often carved from it.[30] In his poem "L'Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d'Amethyste" (Amethyst or the loves of Bacchus and Amethyste), the French poet Remy Belleau (1528–1577) invented a myth in which Bacchus, the god of intoxication, of wine, and grapes was pursuing a maiden named Amethyste, who refused his affections. Amethyste prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the chaste goddess Diana answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethyste's desire to remain chaste, Bacchus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.[31][32]

Variations of the story include that Dionysus had been insulted by a mortal and swore to slay the next mortal who crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wrath. The mortal turned out to be a beautiful young woman, Amethystos, who was on her way to pay tribute to Artemis. Her life was spared by Artemis, who transformed the maiden into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god's tears then stained the quartz purple.[33]

This myth and its variations are not found in classical sources. However, the goddess Rhea does present Dionysus with an amethyst stone to preserve the wine-drinker's sanity in historical text.[34]

Other cultural associations[edit]

Tibetans consider amethyst sacred to the Buddha and make prayer beads from it.[35] Amethyst is considered the birthstone of February.[36] In the Middle Ages, it was considered a symbol of royalty and used to decorate English regalia.[36] In the Old World, amethyst was considered one of the Cardinal gems, in that it was one of the five gemstones considered precious above all others, until large deposits were found in Brazil.[37]


Up until the 18th century, amethyst was included in the cardinal, or most valuable, gemstones (along with diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald). However, since the discovery of extensive deposits in locations such as Brazil, it has lost most of its value.[37]

Collectors look for depth of color, possibly with red flashes if cut conventionally.[38] As amethyst is readily available in large structures the value of the gem is not primarily defined by carat weight; this is different from most gemstones where the carat weight exponentially increases the value of the stone. The biggest factor in the value of amethyst is the color displayed.[39]

The highest-grade amethyst (called "Deep Russian") is exceptionally rare and therefore, when one is found, its value is dependent on the demand of collectors. It is, however, still orders of magnitude cheaper than the highest-grade sapphires or rubies.[6]

See also[edit]

Améthystre sceptre2.jpg Minerals portal


  1. ^ abcdefg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Rudler, Frederick William (1911). "Amethyst". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 852.
  2. ^Norman N. Greenwood and Alan Earnshaw (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Butterworth–Heinemann. ISBN 0080379419.
  3. ^ abFernando S. Lameiras; Eduardo H. M. Nunes; Wander L. Vasconcelos (2009). "Infrared and Chemical Characterization of Natural Amethysts and Prasiolites Colored by Irradiation". Materials Research. 12 (3): 315–320. doi:10.1590/S1516-14392009000300011.
  4. ^ abcdMichael O'Donoghue (2006), Gems, Butterworth-Heinemann, 6th ed. ISBN 978-0-7506-5856-0
  5. ^"Amethyst: The world's most popular purple gemstone". Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  6. ^ abcRichard W. Wise (2005), Secrets of the Gem Trade; The Connoisseur's Guide to Precious Gemstones, Brunswick House Press, Lenox, Mass., ISBN 0-9728223-8-0
  7. ^Arem, Joel E.; Clark, Donald; Smigel, Barbara. "Amethyst Value, Price, and Jewelry Information". International Gem Society. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  8. ^"Prasiolite gemstone information". Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  9. ^Lowell, J.; Koivula, J.I. (2004). "Amethyst from four peaks, Arizona"(PDF). Gems & Gemology. 40 (3): 230–238. doi:10.5741/GEMS.40.3.230. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  10. ^Troilo, Fabrizio; El Harfi, Abdelghani; Mouaddib, Salahaddine; Bitarello, Erica; Costa, Emanuele (May 1, 2015). "Amethyst from Boudi, Morocco". Gems & Gemology. 51 (1): 32–40. doi:10.5741/GEMS.51.1.32.
  11. ^George R. Rossman (1994). "Ch.13. Colored Varieties of the Silica Minerals". In Peter J. Heaney; Charles T. Prewitt; Gerald V. Gibbs (eds.). Silica: physical behavior, geochemistry, and materials applications. Mineralogical Magazine. Reviews in Mineralogy. 29. Mineralogical Society of America. pp. 433–468. Bibcode:1996MinM...60..390H. doi:10.1180/minmag.1996.060.399.16. ISBN . S2CID 201093227.
  12. ^Amethyst.
  13. ^ abcdefgShigley, J.E.; Laurs, B.M.; Janse, A.J.A.; Elen, S.; Dirlam, D.M. (2010). "Gem Localities of the 2000s"(PDF). Gems & Gemology. 46 (3): 188–216. doi:10.5741/GEMS.46.3.188. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  14. ^Algumas Gemas Clássicas
  15. ^Rio Grande do Sul: o maior exportador de pedras preciosas do Brasil
  16. ^Os alemães e as pedras preciosas gaúchas
  17. ^Maior pedra de água-marinha é brasileira e ficará exposta nos EUA
  18. ^Pedras de Ametista são atrativos para turistas em cidade no norte do Rio Grande do Sul
  19. ^Yang, K. H.; Yun, S. H.; Lee, J. D. (2001). "A fluid inclusion study of an amethyst deposit in the Cretaceous Kyongsang Basin, South Korea". Mineralogical Magazine. 65 (4): 477–487. Bibcode:2001MinM...65..477Y. doi:10.1180/002646101750377515. S2CID 129368598. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  20. ^Anckar, B. (2006). "Amethyst Mining in Zambia". Gems & Gemology. 42 (3): 112–113.
  21. ^South Carolina State Gemstone - Amethyst. (1969-06-24). Retrieved on 2016-02-04.
  22. ^Augosto Castellani (famous Italian 19th century jeweler) (1871), Gems, Notes and Extracts, p. 34, London, Bell and Daldy, ISBN 1-141-06174-0.
  23. ^Marcell N. Smith (1913), Diamonds, Pearls and Precious Stones Griffith Stillings Press, Boston, Mass., p. 74
  24. ^George Frederick Kunz (1913), Curious Lore of Precious Stones, Lippincott Company, Philadelphia & London, p. 77
  25. ^Michael Lapidge (ed.) (2000), The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England, p. 261, ISBN 0631224920.
  26. ^Bays, P. (2012). This Anglican Church of Ours. Woodlake Book. p. 136. ISBN .
  27. ^"Quartz Page Twinning Crystals".
  28. ^Michael O'Donoghue (1997). Synthetic, Imitation, and Treated Gemstones. Taylor & Francis. pp. 124–125. ISBN .
  29. ^See, for example:
    • The earliest reference to amethyst as a symbol of sobriety is in a poem by Asclepiades of Samos (born ≈320 BCE). See "XXX. Kleopatra's Ring" in: Edward Storer, trans., The Windflowers of Asklepiades and the Poems of Poseidippos (London, England: Egoist Press, 1920), page 14.
    • An epigram by "Plato the Younger" also mentions amethyst in connection with drinking: "The stone is an amethyst; but I, the tipler Dionysus, say, "Let it either persuade me to be sober, or let it learn to get drunk." See George Burges et al., The Greek Anthology,... (London, England: George Bell and Sons, 1881), p. 369.
    • Pliny says about amethysts: "The falsehoods of the magicians would persuade us that these stones are preventive of inebriety, and that it is from this that they have derived their name." See Chapter 40 of Book 37 of Pliny the Elder's The Natural History.
  30. ^Federman, David (2012). Modern Jeweler's Consumer Guide to Colored Gemstones. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 28–. ISBN .
  31. ^The "myth" of Amethyste and Bacchus was invented by the French poet Remy Belleau (1528–1577). See "L'Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d'Amethyste" from Belleau's collection of poems "Les Amours et Nouveaux Eschanges des Pierres Precieuses: Vertus & Proprietez d'icelles" (The loves and new transformations of the precious stones: their virtues and properties), which was published in Remy Belleau, Les Amours et Nouveaux Eschanges des Pierres Precieuses... (Paris, France: Mamert Patisson, 1576), pp. 4–6.
  32. ^George Frederick Kunz (1913). Curious Lore of Precious Stones. pp. 58–59.
  33. ^The amethyst,
  34. ^Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 12. 380
  35. ^Tropical Gemstones, by Carol Clark p.52
  36. ^ abFebruary Birthstone | Amethyst. (2016-01-12). Retrieved on 2016-02-04.
  37. ^ abGeary, T.F.; Whalen, D. (2008). The Illustrated Bead Bible: Terms, Tips & Techniques. Sterling Pub. p. 69. ISBN . Archived from the original on January 16, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  38. ^THE GEMSTONE BOOK Gemstones, Organic Substances & Artificial Products — Terminology & Classification(PDF). The World Jewellery Confideration (CIBJO). 2012. Archived from the original(PDF) on August 12, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  39. ^"Amethyst Jewelry and Gemstones Information - International Gem Society IGS". Retrieved October 3, 2014.
Deep Purple - The Infamous Ritchie Blackmore Incident At The 1974 California Jam in 60FPS

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