Amethyst crystals are one of the world’s most popular gemstones and have been in use for thousands of years. The believed healing properties of the stone are rather impressive and trace back to ancient Greek beliefs. In fact, the word ‘amethyst’ comes from the Greek word amethystos, which means sober and alludes to the idea of maintaining a solid, sober mindset.
If you love purple gemstones, or have always wanted to know more about amethyst, now’s your chance. We’ve rounded up everything there is to know about this regal gem, from the meaning of amethyst, to its healing properties.
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- What Is Amethyst?
- Varieties Of Amethyst
- Synthetic Amethyst
- Amethyst Meaning & Symbolism
- Amethyst Healing Properties
- What Are The Benefits Of Amethyst?
- What Does Amethyst Do Spiritually?
- What Bad Effects Can Amethyst Stone Have?
- Do Amethysts Fade?
- Can Amethyst Be Clear?
- Is Amethyst A Stone or Crystal and What’s The Difference?
- Which Is More Valuable: Topaz Or Amethyst?
- Amethyst – February Birthstone
- Amethyst – The 6th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone
What Is Amethyst?
Amethysts forms in long, prismatic crystals in geodes or hollow rocks. These geodes form when there are cavities in volcanic rock. As the rock cools, the mineral-saturated water, gases and volcanic material distil and crystallize. When these crystals harden, they form amethyst. Although generally more of a deeper purple, the stone can also have a reddish-purple tinge, or a very pale purple tinge that fades into a lilac.
Natural amethyst has been used for personal adornment for at least 2000 years, while synthetic version is far newer, and not as common.
As the member of the quartz family characterised by their distinctive purple colour, amethyst has a hardness of seven on the Mohs scale. Amethyst gems are durable, and this makes them ideal for all kinds of jewellery. You’ll often find amethyst in earrings, pendants, bracelets, and rings and it’s even cut to create bracelet cuffs or beads too.
Due to its hardness and durability, the stone can be cut into a variety of shapes, making it all the more versatile. Faceted pieces, beds and cabochons are just a few of the more common cuts.
You can find high quality naturally formed amethyst in Sri Lanka, Siberia, Brazil, Uruguay, Namibia and the Far East, as well as large deposits in Namibia, Australia and America. The largest cache of this gem is found in South America.
When it comes to the price, the value of an amethyst stone depends on a number of factors, including the size of the stone and the depth of its colour.
Varieties Of Amethyst
Amethyst is available in a number of variants, each with their own unique purple colour to reddish-purple hues. Varieties of the gem include lavender amethyst, which is a lighter colour, as well as Canadian amethyst. The latter includes a red layer just beneath its surface, making the colour more vibrant. Other varieties of amethyst include ametrine, cactus quarts and Veracruz amethyst.
Amethyst stones, whether synthetic amethyst or natural, are incredibly beautiful. The gorgeous purple colour of the stone can complement every look and can be set in almost any metal.
Synthetic amethyst is available in the same shades of purple and reddish-purple as natural amethyst. However, synthetic amethyst is significantly cheaper and can be manufactured quickly too. This lab-made stone has been around for almost two decades now and has caused market prices of its natural counterparts to plunge significantly.
Over the past two decades, it’s become easy to create synthetic amethyst. These stones are created so well and so close to what the natural ones look like that oftentimes, even gemologists struggle to identify which is synthetic amethyst and which is genuine. The synthetic tones are used in almost every kind of jewellery as they are also quite durable.
Amethyst Meaning & Symbolism
Natural amethyst stones are connected to the third eye and crown chakras. The purple colour to reddish-purple hues of amethyst has long been a symbol of peace, cleansing and calming energy.
The crystals represent purification and connection to spiritual and divine beings. The meaning of amethyst is attached to serenity, understanding, trust and grace. Many cultures have linked spiritual overtones to this gem.
Amethyst Healing Properties
Amethyst is believed to have healing properties that protect the bearer against negative energies. Some believe that the stone’s calming properties produce soothing dreams by making us more in tune with the divine. The stone also brings clarity and peacefulness to the waking mind, as they help the mind flow freely in both the mental and metaphysical dimensions.
In ancient times, it was thought that natural amethyst could purify the body of all toxins. Ancient Greeks believed that the stone protected the wearer from drunkenness and enabled them to keep a balanced mindset. Wine was sipped from goblets incorporating amethyst stones to prevent inebriation, and stones laid on the sick to draw out infection.
What Are The Benefits Of Amethyst?
Over and above the physical properties and benefits of amethyst, the stone’s purple colour is a natural tranquiliser. It is said to dispel rage, help manage fears and anger, and calm rage and anxiety.
Other believed benefits of amethyst include the ability to alleviate sadness and grief and dissolving negativity. The colour of this gem is also connected to activating spiritual awareness, welcoming intuitive energies and enhancing one’s psychic abilities.
What Does Amethyst Do Spiritually?
Amethyst is held in high regard in spiritual circles. It can control evil thoughts, initiate wisdom and increase intelligence through a greater sense of understanding. The stone can help you apply your intellectual powers in challenging situations and think more clearly to make better choices.
This purple gem is also thought to have wonderful, positive effects of creativity and imaginative powers by enhancing intuition. It empowers its bearers to embrace new ideas and to put their thoughts into action.
What Bad Effects Can Amethyst Stone Have?
Natural amethyst stones are said to have bad effects from time to time, but these are not common. Some of these effects include acne, dizziness, nausea, breast pain, water retention and abdominal bloating.
Although rare, there are a few severe effects of amethyst. Migraines, pain in the abdomen and dermatological reactions such as a rough patch of skin or a slight rash may occur.
Do Amethysts Fade?
If left for too long in the sun or if exposed to any source of UV for an extended period, the amethyst colour will fade. Furthermore, if the stone is exposed to heat for too long, the purple colour is likely to fade.
With proper care and cleansing of your amethyst crystal, the stone will last for quite some time. If it’s properly protected from harsh elements like prolonged exposure to water or sunlight, the colour is unlikely to fade.
Can Amethyst Be Clear?
In general, amethyst is ‘eye-clean’, which is a term used to describe a stone that’s free of inclusions visible to the naked eye. Authentic amethyst stones are likely to be quite clear in appearance, which is also an easy way to help tell if the stone is authentic or synthetic.
Is Amethyst A Stone or Crystal and What’s The Difference?
The difference between a stone and a crystal is that a stone is made up of solid, non-metallic mineral matter. Crystals, on the other hand, comprise of ions, atoms and molecules arranged in repetitive patterns that make it solid.
Amethyst is a member of the quartz family. It is classified as a semiprecious stone, but can also come in crystal formation. The purple-coloured gem usually forms as a crystal lining within basalt rock.
Which Is More Valuable: Topaz Or Amethyst?
The value of a gemstone is dependent on a number of factors, one of which is availability. Topaz is not as freely available as amethyst, and for this reason, it is more valuable and is generally sold at a higher price.
Amethyst – February Birthstone
Amethyst is the traditional and modern birthstone for February. The stone is believed to strengthen relationships and gives the wearer more courage. It’s also a stone that brings clarity.
Amethyst – The 6th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone
Traditionally, each of the milestone wedding anniversaries are associated with symbolic materials that carry a deeper meaning. Amethyst crystals are the gemstone for the 6th wedding anniversary. They provide a calming, relaxed energy to the couple as they enter their next year of marriage.
For over 2000 years amethyst has been prized for its properties and its beauty. The gorgeous gem always makes a statement, whether in jewellery or displayed as a raw polished section of stone.