Ah, purple! I love purple, which is why I’m a little surprised that I don’t have more amethyst in my collection.
Amethyst is in the quartz family, and it is colored by iron impurities. Amethyst can be found in a variety of purple shades, from a rosy lavender to a deep purple with magenta highlights. Most often you will find stones that are in the middle of that range. Some amethysts can be affected by daylight, losing some of their color (which is why people are sometimes nervous to open up their geodes). It’s also possible to find crystals that are color zoned, such as ametrine (which is yellow and purple). Some of the lighter amethyst is heat treated to create citrine (this is most of the citrine you will see on the market). This is why you can’t expose amethyst to heat such as soldering, you’ll change it’s color!
Amethyst has been a popular stone for centuries. It’s name is from ancient Greek meaning “not intoxicated”. People believed an amethyst amulet would protect them against drunkenness! Amethyst is also reputed to have many other useful qualities, such as: helping with insomnia, guarding against self deception(!), a meditation aid, for blood and breathing problems, for headaches, and to dispel negativity in your home. It is the traditional birthstone for February.
Amethyst is found (and mined) all over the world, including Russia (this is where some of the deeply colored material was first found), Canada, US, Europe and Asia. The largest producers are Brazil and Zambia. It used to considered a very valuable stone, in the league of rubies and sapphires, until the large deposits in Brazil were found. Which I don’t really think is a terrible thing – now everyone can afford a beautiful stone!
Hope you are well, and a little warmer now that the temperature has rocketed up from double digit negative to single digit negative!!