Answers to Your Amethyst Questions

There are many questions when it comes to amethyst, and in some cases, it can be hard to find the answers.

In today’s guide, let’s talk about the most popular questions asked online as well as a simple answer to each when it comes to amethyst.

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When was amethyst first discovered?

Amethyst has been known for centuries, however, there’s no definite answer as to when it was found as there’s no individual who claimed they found it.  However, it has been found in archaeological digs dating back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, where it was known that they used it for both jewelry and decorative purposes.  Ancient Greeks believed it had healing properties and would protect them from drunkenness.  Some still believe this today.  While there’s no specific year, it has been traced back to about 4000 BC at the earliest.  The discovery has been placed in the context of ancient history rather than the year.

What’s amethyst used for?

Amethyst is a very popular gemstone that has been used for centuries throughout history.  Today’s mainly used to create jewelry or simply as a home décor piece.  In addition to its aesthetic value, it’s said to have many healing and spiritual properties.  It’s said to promote calmness, clarity, and balance, and it’s often used in crystal healing practices.

How much amethyst is mined per year?

How much amethyst is mined annually will greatly depend on the location and the demand.  This can be said about any gemstone.  Brazil is currently the largest producer of amethyst, followed by Zambia, South Korea and Uruguay.  According to the United States Geological Survey, global production is said to be around 17,000 metric tons.  However, it’s important to note that not all amethyst mined is gem quality, as most of what’s mined are used for industrial purposes, such as construction materials and abrasives.  Gem quality amethyst quantities are much smaller.

Why is amethyst purple?

Amethyst is purple due to the presence of iron impurities within the crystal lattice structure.  When it’s irradiated by natural or artificial light, the iron atoms absorb some of the energy and become “excited.”  When these excited iron atoms return to their normal state, they release this energy as light in the visible spectrum, specifically in the range of purple to violet wavelengths.  This process is known as vacancy-impurity.  The exact color of purple will vary depending on the amount and the distribution of the iron impurities within the crystal.

Where is amethyst found?

Amethyst is found throughout the world, however, popular locations include Brazil, Uruguay, Zambia, Madagascar, Russia, South Korea, Mexico, and the United States. Refer to our in-depth guide to learn more about mining locations.

Which finger should you wear amethyst?

Amethyst is a very popular gemstone used for jewelry and can be worn on any finger, depending on your personal preference and cultural traditions.  However, in Western cultures, amethyst is often worn as a birthstone for February and it’s commonly seen on the ring finger of either the right or left hand.  In some cultures, certain fingers are associated with different meanings.  For example, in some Indian traditions, the ring finger is the preferred finger for amethyst, whereas in China, the ring finger of the left hand is considered to be used only for a wedding ring, nothing else.

Which month is the amethyst birthstone?

Amethyst is the birthstone of February, and this dates back to ancient times when it was believed that the wearer would be protected from drunkenness and help promote sobriety.  As a result, it was often worn in February as this was a symbol of virtue and self control.  Today, it remains the official choice for February and is a popular choice for birthstone jewelry.

What is the zodiac association with amethyst?

Amethyst is associated with the zodiac sign, Aquarius, which is the 11th sign of the zodiac, spanning from January 20 to February 18.  People under this sign are usually known for their independence as well as curiosity.  Amethyst is believed to help enhance positive qualities, including creativity, intuition as well as the ability to connect on a deeper level.  It’s also said to help keep you grounded and focused.

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Is amethyst expensive?

No usually.  The cost of amethyst will greatly vary depending on a few factors such as the size, quality, shape as well as color.  Usually, it’s very affordable in comparison to other gemstones and you can purchase spheres, raw pieces, towers, etc for less than $200 on average.  Smaller pieces can be had for much less.  If we’re talking jewelry, then the costs, based on the factors mentioned prior, can affect the price.  A few hundred dollars can easily get you almost any small piece of amethyst on the market.

Can amethyst scratch glass?

Amethyst is a seven on the Mohs scale of hardness, which means it’s very hard and durable.  It’s harder than glass, which is a 5.5 on the Mohs.  If you’re unfamiliar with this scale, it measures how scratch resistance a stone is with higher numbers being less susceptible to scratches.  While a higher number can scratch a lower number, it is noted that amethyst can scratch glass; however, it’s not recommended you do so because scratching glass doesn’t necessarily mean it will work, as the Mohs scale is seen as a relative scale.  Harder material can always scratch a softer material but scratching glass doesn’t mean the gemstone is hard since some softer materials can scratch glass.

Can amethyst be green?

Yes, it is true amethyst can occur in other color shades, including green, however, it’s extremely rare.  Known as prasiolite, this is a green-colored quartz that’s formed by heating certain types of amethyst.  The green color of prasiolite is caused by iron, which is heated during the process of creating the stone.

Why does amethyst turn white?

Amethyst will not turn white naturally, however, with human intervention it can.  One of the most common ways for amethyst to lose its color is simply by exposing it to heat.  High temperatures can cause the iron impurities, which give the amethyst its purple color, to oxidize and then become colorless.  This will result in a white color.  This will usually happen when it’s subjected to sunlight over long periods of time or even if the stone is cut and polished.

Another common cause is due to radiation.  This is when amethyst is exposed to high levels of radiation, either naturally or artificially, which can cause it to lose color.

Is amethyst a crystal?

Yes!  Amethyst is a type of crystal, specifically a variety of quartz, which is a mineral that forms in the earth’s crust from silicon dioxide.  Like other types of quartz, amethyst will have a crystalline structure, which means that it has a regular, repeating arrangement of atoms.

Is amethyst quartz?

Yes, amethyst is a type of quartz, specifically, a variety of violet quartz, which is a mineral composed of silicon dioxide.

Can amethyst be clear?

Amethyst can be clear or nearly colorless, although it’s extremely rare.  Much of the amethyst you find will be a purple variety.  Sometimes referred to as “clear” or “white” amethyst, this is caused when there are low concentrations of iron in the crystal.

Which planet is associated with amethyst?

In traditional astrology, amethyst is associated with the planet Saturn.  This is the planet of discipline, wisdom, and spirituality, and it is often associated with qualities such as responsibility, authority, and self-control.  Amethyst is said to help enhance these qualities as well as promote spiritual growth.

In addition to Saturn, some even associate it with Jupiter, as this is the planet of abundance, prosperity, and growth, and it is associated with qualities such as optimism, generosity, and expansion.   Keep in mind that these associations are largely based on traditional astrology and aren’t universally recognized.

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About Me

Hi! I'm Lauren, and I run Moonlight Gems AZ. I'm an avid crystal collector and would love to share my expertise with you.