In actuality, amethysts do not come in a pink color, but are actually violet. An amethyst is a variety of the quartz stone, which does come in pink. Although quartz is one of the most common minerals found on the earth, amethysts are rare and can be expensive.
Throughout history, the amethyst has come to represent a variety of things. Since purple is a color of royalty, it became a prized gem for many crowns, including Tsarina Catherine the Great's of Russia. Wine goblets were carved out of amethyst as they were thought to be an anecdote against drunkenness. Amethyst is also the birthstone of February.
Amethysts form in such places as hydrothermal veins and hot springs; basically where there is intense heat and some moisture. The amethyst crystals develop along cracks and linings deep in the crust. South America and parts of Africa have the largest deposits, while Canada, Italy, and Russia have minor deposits. They form as hexagonal prisms, which are six-sided triangles.
Color is a very important factor when buying amethysts. The deeper the purple, the better. “Siberian purple” is the deepest with flashes of red and blue and demands the highest price. Natural lighting shows off the stone the best. Look for transparency, where the light passes through the stone without hitting any inclusions.
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Hayley Pangle started freelance writing in 2009. She has experience working for Sky Vision Enterprises and she is interested in topics concerning history and culture. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history and anthropology from Grand Valley State University.