Amethyst is an incredibly popular gemstone that is not rare.
Amethyst is readily available in a wide range of sizes and in varying shades of purple.
How Rare is Amethyst? (EXPLAINED)
What is Amethyst?
Amethyst is a variety of quartz that is violet in color.
It is a silicate mineral that is semiprecious and frequently used in jewelry.
It is the traditional birthstone for people born in the month of February and it is the official state gemstone of South Carolina.
It gets its purple color from the presence of iron and other transition metals and trace elements.
It has the same hardness as quartz, which is a 7 on the Mohs scale.
Amethyst is transparent or translucent.
Amethyst can range in color from a very light colored lavender or violet to a deep shade of purple.
What is the History of Amethyst?
Amethyst has been a popular gemstone ever since it was discovered.
Ancient Egyptians used amethyst in jewelry and to guard them against thoughts of guilt and fear.
The Greeks believed that amethyst could prevent drunkenness.
They were so fervent in this belief that goblets were commonly carved from amethyst.
Amulets were used by medieval soldiers in Europe as a form of protection.
These soldiers believed that amethysts would help in healing them and keeping them calm.
Amethyst is considered a sacred gemstone to the Buddha and they use the gemstone to make prayer beads.
Amethyst was also intertwined with royalty and religion throughout history:
- British Royalty: The British associated amethyst with power and wealth and the royal families often used amethyst in their crowns and wore other jewels containing the gem.
- Catholics: Holy men and bishops would wear amethyst rings because they believed it offered protection to them.
- Christians: Christians believe that the deep purple color of the amethyst symbolizes the agony that Jesus Christ endured during the crucifixion.
- Judaism: Jewish people believed that amethyst would cause powerful dreams. Amethyst is also used to symbolize one of the 12 Tribes of Israel and it was used for the breastplate of Aaron the High Priest.
Where is Amethyst Found?
Amethyst is found in a variety of locations around the world, including:
- South Korea
- United States of America
The greatest concentration and production of Amethyst in recent years has taken place in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Amethyst is frequently found here in large geodes embedded in volcanic rocks. Uruguay is the second largest producer of amethyst in the world.
Amethyst geodes can be massive and, in rare cases, so big that a person could even stand in it.
The largest known geode filled with amethyst was found in the Artigas region of Uruguay before it was moved to Australia for display.
It is called the Empress of Uruguay and it stands over 10 feet tall and weighs around 5000 pounds.
What are the metaphysical properties and uses of Amethyst?
Amethyst is widely believed to hold many healing and spiritual properties and it is heavily used in the metaphysical and new age community for much more than just jewelry.
None of the benefits and uses below are medically proven.
Perceived Healing Properties and Health Benefits of Amethyst:
Amethyst is believed to have some physical health benefits, including improving endocrine function, boosting the immune system, improving the appearance of skin, improved health of the digestive system, the regulation of hormones and the reduction of headaches.
It is also credited with being a gem that can:
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- soothe irritability
- Balance mood swings
- Relieve anger and rage
- Ease sadness and grief
Perceived Spiritual Benefits of Amethyst:
Amethyst is one of the most common gemstones used by people for spiritual practices.
Spiritual practitioners advise that placing amethyst in the home will create a sense of tranquility and disperse negative energies.
Amethyst is also believed to heighten spiritual visions, enhance psychic abilities and increase intuition and spiritual awareness.
Why is Quartz Common?
Amethyst is a type of quartz.
Quartz is the second most abundant mineral after feldspar.
It is found in all forms of rocks: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary.
Quartz is resistant to weathering and when the rocks that they exist in do erode, the quartz grains become concentrated in soil, in rivers and on beaches.
White sands in river beds and on beaches are mostly composed of quartz.
Quartz is found all around the world.
It is particularly abundant in the United States (especially in Arkansas) as well as in Brazil.
Quartz can produce a positive electrical charge, which makes it valuable for use in electronics.
How Rare is Amethyst?
In ancient times and up until the 1800’s, Amethyst was considered to be a rare and valuable gemstone.
In the 1800’s large deposits of amethyst were discovered in Brazil and other locations.
Amethyst is still mined in abundance in Brazil and other locations, so in general, it is no longer considered to be a rare commodity.
However, there are varieties of amethyst that are exceptionally rare.
The highest grade of amethyst is called Deep Russian and these amethysts are extremely rare and valuable.
What Factors Make An Amethyst Rare?
While a few types of amethyst are very uncommon and hard to come by, in general amethyst is considered a common gemstone that is available in abundance.
The only time an amethyst is considered rare is when it is found in colors that are not the normal range of purple shades.
Extremely dark shades of purple are usually the types of amethyst that are considered the most rare.
There are some historically significant pieces of amethyst that are housed in museums around the world including:
- The Delhi Sapphire – This gem is an amethyst that is believed to be cursed after it was stolen from a temple in India. It is now in the collection at the Natural History Museum in London.
- The Tiffany Amethyst Necklace – This necklace was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany around 1915. It is a 56 carat cushion cut amethyst and it was donated to The Smithsonian in 2007.
- The Morris Amethyst Brooch – This brooch has a 96 carat heart shaped amethyst that is surrounded by diamonds in a platinum and yellow gold setting. It was likely created during the Edwardian period and is currently on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
Whether amethyst is rare or common, it has a rich history and is a gorgeous gem that can be enjoyed by everyone.