Is Amethyst toxic? Yes, it is. But that doesn’t mean it is dangerous or will hurt you.
Confused? We’ll explain.
Why is Amethyst Toxic?
When you read about the toxicity of amethyst, you’ll see lots of articles which say that it is toxic, and also that it isn’t. It is stable and mostly quartz, which everyone uses. While it might contain elements which could harm you, they don’t. So it’s not toxic.
To make the answer more clear, let’s start with the definition of toxicity we are using here. Toxic means that a substance (like the amethyst) can cause serious physical injury or death if you ingest, consume, or otherwise take it into your body.
Next, let’s break down what amethyst is. Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz. Quartz is silicon dioxide, meaning it is made up of silicon and oxygen chemically bonded to each other.
The color of amethyst comes from impurities of iron and/or other metals as well as other trace elements. In some cases, you might not even know what your amethyst contains.
As a result, your amethyst might have trace elements of the more harmful substances out there that humans should not be over-exposed to, like mercury, asbestos, copper, and others.
Can silicon cause physical injury or death?
Yes. Significant exposure to silicon can cause physical injury or death. The most common way that people suffer health problems from silicon is breathing fine particulate dust created during mining, processing, grinding, cutting, or polishing silicon or silicon containing products.
Injecting silicon is a bad idea too.
Can iron or other metals cause physical injury or death?
Yes. Significant exposure to iron can cause illness or even damage to internal organs. Exposure to other metals can also cause sickness, cancer, and other neurological disorders.
Amethyst Contains Toxic Materials, But…
Amethyst contains materials that can cause serious physical harm or even death. It is toxic.
However, that is not the end of the inquiry. In general, when people are asking about the toxicity of a material, they are really asking, is it going to make me sick?
Will Amethyst Make You Sick? Is It Dangerous?
In general, the answer to this is that no, amethyst will not make you sick. Amethyst is a form of quartz, which as people discuss, is really stable. The material is pretty hard, a 6-7 on the Moh’s hardness scale. It is not soluble or really that reactive if at all to solutions or mixing with other materials.
There is bad stuff in that material (silicon, iron, other metals), but it is hard to get those materials out of the rock and into your body.
And because it is hard to get those chemicals into your body, people argue that amethyst is not toxic.
How Could Amethyst Make Someone Sick?
If someone was going to be poisoned with amethyst, they could have to someone get it into their body in a way that the body could absorb it.
If someone was to swallow a whole piece of amethyst (like a gem), the odds are bad that any of the silicon or metals would be absorbed by the body. Our bodies wouldn’t have a good way to really take the amethyst apart in the gut, and the gem would probably be excreted before any damage could result from absorbtion.
But if someone was to grind up the amethyst and consume it or inhale it, this is the most likely way someone would cause themselves harm.
We read about making “crystal elixirs” or “gem elixirs” or other concoctions made with ground up gems or other crystals. This is bonkers to us, honestly. Knowing that some of these crystals can contain trace elements of asbestos or mercury do not motivate us to make a drink out of them.
Please don’t drink ground up gems.
As for the most likely accidental exposure is through repeated inhalation of amethyst dust while working with the material. This can easily be avoided by wearing a mask and goggles if you are doing anything that creates fine particulate dust that you could breathe in.
How Much Amethyst Do You Have To Inhale Before You Get Sick?
While there aren’t solid numbers of how much amethyst you have to take in to become ill, you can compare amethyst to commercial manufacturing using silicon products. In those cases, people who became sick because of silicon did so after long term and significant exposure to the particulate.
While we don’t recommend breathing amethyst dust, it would need more than one random exposure to cause noticeable harm.
Can You Put Amethyst In Water?
We actually answered this question recently over in this article. But in general, if you want to place your amethyst gem in water for a bit before drinking the water (removing the gem first), there is no evidence that this will cause you harm.
Can You Eat Amethyst?
We don’t recommend it.
Can You Safely Hold Amethyst?
Amethyst is safe to hold with bare skin. There shouldn’t be any issues from wearing it in jewelry, holding worry stones, or even sleeping with it.
Is Amethyst Radioactive?
Amethyst gets its color through the trace elements in the material, but also as a result of irradiation. In general, natural amethyst is not going to contain any trace radiation that could be any damage to you.
But gems which are artificially irradiated to change their color could actually be radioactive for months after treatment. In general, these materials are not sold commercially until their radiation levels reach an acceptable point.
So the answer is that your amethyst (if it is real and natural) probably isn’t radioactive, and if you bought your synthetic amethyst from a reputable source, it probably isn’t radioactive either.
Summary Wrap Up
To sum, amethyst contains toxic components but unless you drink it or breathe a lot of it, you don’t have to worry.
Find this interesting? Click here if you to learn more about which if your favorite crystals are actually toxic.