Amethyst vs Sapphire: Here’s the Difference

There’s no doubt that amethyst and sapphire are beautiful gemstones.  Both have unique characteristics and properties, however, to some, it can be hard to distinguish the two, especially if they are both purple.

There are several differences between the two.  You just need to know how to spot the differences.  It isn’t hard.

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Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz, known for its affordability and metaphysical properties,  It owes its color the iron impurities, whereas sapphire is more of a precious gemstone that is highly valued for its beauty.  Sapphire owes its colors to chromium, titanium and iron.

In this post, let’s explore the differences between amethyst and sapphire as well as answers to some questions to popular questions.

How can you tell a sapphire from amethyst?

Birthstone:  Amethyst is the official birthstone for February, while sapphire is the birthstone for September.

Color:  An amethyst will be a purple hue, whereas sapphire will come in a variety of colors, from blue to yellow, white, black, green and pink, to name a few.  Blue, however, is the most common sapphire color.  Keep in mind that amethyst can lose its color when it hits direct sunlight over time.

Clarity:  Sapphire will mostly be clearer than that of amethyst.  It will also have fewer inclusions.

Cut:  A sapphire will be cut more into an intricate shape because of its hardness, whereas amethyst will be cut into simpler shapes when used for jewelry.

Hardness:  Sapphires are much harder and scratch resistant than amethyst.  A sapphire ranks nine on the Mohs hardness scale, while amethyst is a seven.  Because of this, a sapphire is considered to be a better gemstone to wear around the house as it can hold up to wear and tear.

Metaphysical:  Amethyst is said to help keep you calm under stress while bringing positive energy into your life.  Spiritualists recommend using amethyst for a peaceful healing stone as it’s said to be associated with tranquility and peace.  The purple within is said to strengthen relationships and even promote a higher level of consciousness.  Sapphire is said to help enhance your mental performance, as it may aid with concentration and attention.  It’s also known as the wisdom stone since it can help sharpen your focus and may even relieve tension.

Origin:  Amethyst is found all throughout the world, mainly Brazil, and sapphires can be found in Lanka, Madagascar, and Australia.

Rarity:  Overall, sapphires are much rarer than amethyst.

Symbolism:  An amethyst is often associated with tranquility and sobriety, whereas a sapphire is associated with wisdom and faithfulness.

Amethyst vs. sapphire price

The price of amethyst and sapphire can greatly vary like most gemstones.  The price will greatly depend on the color, clarity, cut, weight as well as overall quality.

Almost always, a sapphire will be more expensive than amethyst, especially if it’s considered to be higher in quality as well as have a deep, rich color.  Sapphires are also more valuable due to their rarity and association with luxury.

Amethyst, on the other hand, will be found in a range of sizes, from big clusters to pieces of jewelry.  It’s much more affordable, but larger sizes can command a higher price.

In the end, a smaller amethyst cluster can cost $10 to $30, whereas a larger cathedral, measuring more than a few feet tall, can cost well into the thousands.  Jewelry is often less than $5 to $7 per carat.

Sapphires, however, dependent on the factors above, can range from a few hundred dollars for a lower quality stone to thousands for a larger, high-quality stone.  It’s not unheard of to see prices in the thousands per carat.

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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.