The Amethyst is a form of quartz. This beautiful gemstone comes in several colors with the purple version of this gemstone regarded as the most popular and also the most valuable. The gemstone quality of this mineral is translucent, without foreign inclusions. This stone has been treasured through the ages. Catherine the Great had thousands of unfortunate souls mine this gem in the Ural. Moses considered it a symbol of the spirit of God. This gemstone is relatively less expensive then other competing stones, possibly due to the greater volume of this stone in nature. We should enjoy this peculiar fact as a gift from nature and not let the price lower the beauty and desirability of owning loose stones or jewelry incorporating the same. Other names have been coined over time to describe various colors of this gemstone. Rose de France is a less desirable pale pinkish color. A very valuable form is called Siberian. It has red flashes mired in deep violet.
The first known users were the Egyptians who used this mineral for intaglios, which is the raised seal of image making in a malleable surface. Anglo-Saxon graves in England have produced beads which dates this use to the mid fifth century AD through the Norman Conquest of 1066. This mineral is currently found in Vera Cruz Mexico, Guerrero Mexico, Minas Gerais Brazil, Bahaia Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil, Maraba Brazil, Thunder Bay Canada, Uruguay, Amethyst Mountain Texas, Yellowstone National Park, Delaware County Pennsylvania, Haywood County North Carolina, Deer Hill Maine, Stow Maine, and Nova Scotia as well as many lesser sites.
The Amethyst is considered the modern birthstone of February. It is said that some early practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine considered this stone to be a birthstone.
New Age Beliefs and Powers Through The Ages
The name of this stone comes from the Greek word amethustos which means not drunk and was thought to protect alcohol drinkers from getting drunk. The Greeks and Romans actually made cups from the mineral to protect imbibers. It was also said that this stone would protect the wearer from seduction. This stone is associated with the astrological sign of Aries, Pisces, Sagittarius and Aquarius. It symbolizes understanding in the spiritual, religious and philosophical planes. Ranking members of the Roman Catholic Church are said to wear large amethyst rings.
This mineral is considered good for dream work and meditation. Some consider it helpful against addictions and is said to bring inner strength, calm, peace and stability. It has been used against various psychic attacks. Many use it to open communication with angels and other psychic works. Some use it to promote happiness in the individual. Some use it to attract money and help in legal issues. Amethysts are used by practitioners of New Age medicine to help overcome fatigue, immune problems, arthritis, headaches and general healing.
Artificial Forms of Enhancement
It has been said that as much as 70% of gemstone amethysts may be synthetic. This is a difficult problem that only a trained gemologist can determine. Scientific testing may ruin the stone and cost more then the value of the stone. Heating this stone may actually turn it yellow and some sell this treated material as citrine, or cairngorm. This stone may also be treated with radium radiation to alter the color. Sharp temperature changes, direct sunlight and black lights may alter the color.
The color comes in a variety of shades.
Some Scientific Information
The chemical name is Silicon Dioxide, SiO2 and it is a form of quartz.
The hardness is 7.
There is no cleavage.
The birefringence is 0.0009
The index of refraction is 1.544-1.553
The color of this stone is said to come from iron and aluminum impurities.
The specific gravity is 2.65 to 2.66
The crystalline system is trigonal.
The optic sign is positive.