Reddish-violet tints of pale or almost colorless shades, and deep, rich tones of pure violet.

Hardness: 7  Toughness: Good

Brazil (major source), India, Africa, Sri Lanka, United States

Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz mineral species. It’s the gem that’s most commonly associated with the color purple, even though there are other purple gems such as sapphire and tanzanite. Its purple color can be cool and bluish, or a reddish purple that’s sometimes referred to as “raspberry.” Amethyst also commonly shows what is called color zoning, which in the case of amethyst usually consists of angular zones of darker to lighter color. 

Amethyst was as expensive as ruby and emerald until the 19th Century, when Brazil’s large deposits were discovered. Russia was once the mine source of amethyst, but near the turn of the twentieth century, new deposits were discovered in South America. After that, it became more widely available, but no less treasured. 

Even fine amethyst has a modest price tag. Large gems remain affordable as price per carat does not rise dramatically with larger size. Amethyst is available in all size ranges for setting into a variety of jewelry styles.

When quartz displays the colors of amethyst and citrine in a single gem, the material is called AMETRINE or amethyst-citrine. The contrasting colors give it an intriguing appearance. The world’s only commercial source of ametrine is the Anahi mine in south eastern Bolivia.