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Gemstones Facts


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February Birthstone

Amethyst Amethyst birthstoneAmethyst birthstones

Mohs scale hardness: 7

Amethyst is famous for its purple color. Not all amethyst is purple in color, there are also light purple, reddish-purple, bluish-purple, dark purple and there is even almost black in color. Top quality ametyst is a deep medium color of purple with rose-colored flashes. In its purest form, amethyst is colorless. The color agent of amethyst is iron. A fine amethyst is transparent, which allows light passes through the gem unhindered, while a translucent amethyst slightly weakens the passage of the light thrrough the stone. Amethyst of best quality is "clean" or free of visible inclusions of any kind. In order for the color of the gem to shine through and eliminates any darker or unneven patches of color, most amethyst pieces are cut into circular or round shapes. Amethyst crystals consist of two types. The first is a six sided piece (looks similar to a pyramid) and the other type is a crusty type with pointed ends.

Pieces of amethyst cut are graded or labeled as Uruguayan, Bahain or Siberian. These cuts represent high grade and low grade pieces and are used no matter where the piece comes from. Fro example a Mexican amethyst may be labeled as Bahain depending on the quality. Expert can identify where the piece of amethyst comes from based on its characteristics and color. The Siberian deep purple with blue and red flash commands the highest prices.

Amethyst and Citrine

Today, most of amethyst gemstones on the market are heat-heated to produce deeper color. The process is permanent and these gems will not fade over time. Amethyst can lighten if exposed too long to strong sunlight. Its color will change to dark reddish brown or yellow when heated to 550-560 Centrigade (they are then called citrine, they are more expensive and richly colored than natural citrines). Also note that most citrine found on the market today is actually heat treated amethyst.

Since purple has always been the color of royalty, amethysts abound in the ornaments of in the British Crown jewels and in the adornments of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians as well. Purple dye was once scarce and very expensive, therefore it was reserved for the garment of royalty, the color then regarded as symbol of power and status. Tibetans consider amethyst sacred to Buddha and fashion rosaries from amethyst beads.

Amethyst is the most popular crystalline quartz for jewelry and is the most valued member of the quartz family, it is considered to be a semi-precious gemstone. Amethyst gemstone appears to be transparent to translucent and it is a Type II gemstone and is usually included. The Crystal structure of the Amethyst is hexagonal. Amethyst can occur as six sided crystals on either end. It also forms as drusy (sometimes misspellled as druzy) which are crystalline crusts covering the host rock. It is founnd inside geodes and in alluvial deposits and occurs in both crystalline or massive forms. Ametyst is produced when manganese is present in clear quartz, while the amount of iron contained in thhe specimen accounts for the depth of purple.

Amethyst Healing Properties

Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February and the traditional anniversary gemstone for the sixth of marriage. The name “amethyst” comes from the Greek which means “sober”. In ancient Greece, the gemstone was associated with the god of wine, and it was common practice to serve this beverage from amethyst goblets in the belief that this would prevent overindulgence. Even today, amethyst is considered a stabilizing force for those struggling to overcome addictive behaviours. Once amethysts birthstones considered more valuable than diamonds, it occurs naturally as crystals within rocks. Amethyst generally illuminate if exposed to strong sunlight for a long time.

It is believed amethyst have special properties:

Astrologically, amethyst is associated with the zodiac sign of Pisces.
February birth flower: Iris.



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