Amethyst gemstoneHome ➤ Encyclopedia of gems ➤ Amethyst gemstone
Physical properties of amethyst
|Hardness:||7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale|
|Color:||pale purple, purple, lilac, reddish purple|
Characteristics of amethyst
Amethyst (Bacchus stone, Bishop's stone) is one of the most interesting and beautiful gemstones.
The name of the stone in Greek means "not drunk" ("ametistoz"). And this is connected with the legend of ancient Greece, according to which the goddess Artemis turned the nymph Amethis into a precious stone in order to save her from the encroachments of Dionysus (the god of winemaking, in the Roman version - Bacchus, for which the amethyst received the name "Bacchus stone"). Although, according to another version, the name of the amethyst was given because of its color, similar to highly diluted wine, from which it is very difficult to get drunk.
In general, amethyst is a variety of another precious stone - quartz. But amethyst is one of the best representatives among its fellows. Amethyst colors range from dark purple to pink. There is also a special variety of amethyst and citrine - ametrine.
Amethyst has long been known to mankind. The stone is quite widespread and its price is not insanely high. But history remembers the time when amethysts were valued even more than ruby. Recently, however, people have learned to make artificial amethysts, which, first of all, is the reason for the current drop in prices and demand for amethysts.
Amethyst has the ability to change color depending on the light. Also, this gem changes color when heated (becomes transparent). Interestingly, if the amethyst is heated to 500 degrees, it will turn yellow (now it will be another gem - citrine), and if the temperature is even higher, the amethyst will become cloudy, acquire a milky color and become similar to opal.
In nature, amethyst is found in the form of crystals, druze and geodes. The first are cut, the second and third are used for various handicrafts and decorations. It is believed that amethyst is best combined with silver.
How much is an amethyst
Despite the popularity of the stone, amethyst is quite affordable. Large natural stones (more than 10 carats) are valued at $10 to $25 per carat, depending on the quality. Only the best defect-free stones with a beautiful rich color will cost more. Small amethysts (up to 10 carats) are valued even lower - from 5 to 10 dollars per carat, depending on the quality.
It is more difficult to give exact prices, as they are constantly changing. The low price of amethyst is due to the fact that the stone is found quite widely, and also to the fact that often synthetic amethyst is not inferior in quality to natural amethyst (even at prices, artificial and natural amethysts are almost equally priced).