By Marie Chalmers
Amethyst is one of the most popular Gemstones in the world, it’s a very recognised and commercially valuable Gemstone and comes in a multitude of different qualities, colour variations and formations. It is a fascinating Gemstone and we are going to tell you a little bit more about it.
Recognised for its beautiful purple colour, Amethyst comes in a variety of hues of purple. Let’s talk about how those colours actually impact the value of the Amethyst.
Amethyst’s value is impacted by lots of different contributing factors. One of the key factors is the origin, the origin of the Amethyst can be quite important in determining how much you’re going to pay for the piece of Amethyst. The majority of Amethyst actually comes from Brazil and the commercial Amethyst that we see in the form of little Freeforms, Geodes and pieces of Rough Amethyst tends to be from Brazil, but it also comes from some selective countries like Uruguayan Amethyst.
Uruguayan Amethyst hold a very high price as it produces that deep purple, delightful colour of Amethyst with the perfect Crystals that carry a much higher value than the Brazilian material.
You can also get African Amethyst. African Amethyst has that beautiful clarity with that lovely purple, very rich colour of purple and that also impacts the value but the majority of the material does come from the mines in Brazil and it will be split across various qualities. Let’s think about Brazilian Amethyst for a moment. So Brazilian Amethyst is going to be the majority of the material you find in the marketplace. If you are looking to purchase a piece of Amethyst, then there are some really important factors that you need to consider.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN BUYING AMETHYST
When purchasing quantities of Amethyst as we do here at Chalmers Gems, we have to understand the value across all different price brackets. The main value is in the colour of the Amethyst, so the Amethyst can come in a variety of different hues and we’re looking at how purple each piece is amongst some other factors. You can see that you’ve got a beautiful pale purple Amethyst, very pretty, adorable colour, sometimes goes into a Lavender Amethyst but is great value for money, if you’re looking for a nice sizeable, affordable piece of Amethyst.
In centre quality there is some intensity to the purple, so you need to look for a lovely purple hue and sometimes you see some other Crystals growing alongside it like your Calcites or your Quartz or you might get interesting Minerals on top of the pieces of Amethyst or even interesting inclusions within the piece. The last quality is that deep intense purple Amethyst, that really top quality colour which also has the beautiful Crystal formations and that is going to carry the highest value.
Amethyst is part of the Quartz family and Quartz is the largest family of Gemstones. The purple colour in the Amethyst is created by natural irradiation of an iron bearing Quartz so that means that Quartz is a silicate and a pure Quartz is colourless but to get the purple, it needs to contain iron and on top of that natural or artificial (if its treated) irradiation will turn your Quartz into this beautiful purple colour. This can be done by nature but it can also be done artificially so its important when your purchasing your Quartz that you use a trusted supplier to make sure that you are purchasing exactly what nature intended.
Amethyst is perfect for using in Jewellery, its been used in Jewellery throughout all civilisation, so you get different types. You’re going to get Cabochons, Beads and Faceted Stones in Amethyst and they’re going to vary considerable in colour, pattern and formation. There’s lots of things to consider when purchasing for your Jewellery Designs. Sometimes a beautiful Lavender Amethyst is just the right piece with it’s beautiful pastel purple and then we go through all the different colours until you get to the top which is your African Amethyst and that brings you that deep intense purple and also that lovely clarity, great for Faceted Stones also brilliant for Cabochons and sometimes you can get it in really high end Bead quality.
Chevron Amethyst is where the Amethyst has grown alongside the Quartz and different conditions have changed in the earth as the Amethyst was growing. You can see a little bit from the piece behind me that the Quartz is around the outside and then the Amethyst is in the inside but this is in a clear Crystal and the Chevron Amethyst actually is more of a solid colour.
Chevron Amethyst is really popular with Jewellery Designers that’s because this opaque variation of Amethyst can accentuate the formation of the Gemstone itself. If you can imagine this was growing in the ground, the Amethyst Crystals are all perfectly hexagonal, and they grow in that formation. Chevron Amethyst really accentuates that by growing alongside the Quartz with different amounts of Iron and irradiation you can see the colours that will blend from one to another in different intensities of purple and white. It really highlights the formation of the Amethyst, it is quite affordable, so it’s excellent to be used for Jewellery Designs.
They can Bead this Amethyst really easily, and they can also turn it into beautiful Cabochons. The Chevron Amethyst is quite a tough material which means it’s really brilliant for Carving. You can find many different Carvings of Amethyst out there. We’ve got here some little Cuddle Stones so larger than a Tumble Stone which really again accentuates those fabulous patterns that you get within your Amethyst Crystals.
One of the most popular Collectable items is an Amethyst Geode, or sometimes known as a Cathedrale. Now lots of people want these in their Collection but how do you know you’re going to get great value for money.
When you take a closer look at the Geodes, you’ll see you get this dark outer skin. Now the ones below are painted. Their painted to make them look extra beautiful but under there is just the natural rock and that’s the outside of this bubble that’s been created by the world.
When you take a look inside the Amethyst Geode, straight away you will be drawn to that beautiful purple colour and these those are your Amethyst Crystals, if you look at the outside of the nodule itself this is how it formed within the earth. So, this outside nodule came first and then slowly over time different solutions seeped inside this nodule which created the Quartz and the Amethyst inside.
These solutions would have been silica solutions which have created your Quartz and then as the conditions change in the earth over time, different purities were present so here were looking at iron and natural irradiation which created these beautiful Amethyst Crystals.
Three top tips for a Jewellery Designer who is looking to use Amethyst from a Gemmologist which is me.
What are you going to use your Amethyst for? If you are going to go for a clear Amethyst, with those beautiful Crystals and with that lovely clarity to it then that is going to be a higher value item. You also need to look for that consistency in the colour. If you want to go for a more affordable Amethyst you could look for Chevron Amethyst which is also a little bit tougher so if you’re planning on putting quite a lot of work into setting it or you actually need to apply some pressure into your Amethyst a Chevron Amethyst is the better one to go for.
What colour is going to look desirable in your piece of Jewellery? Amethyst comes in a whole array of purple, you can get everything, every hue along the spectrum in your purple colour so would you like to go for a Lavender Amethyst or right through to that African Amethyst which is that beautiful rich purple colour. The colour of your Amethyst is going to deeply affect the value, if you go for the rich purple colour then there’s going to be a higher cost to that Amethyst.
It’s always important to use a trusted supplier, so make sure you buy your Amethyst from a trusted supplier to make sure you’re buying ethical Amethyst and also that it hasn’t had alterations from humans that haven’t been disclosed to you.
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