Am I Thinking Amethyst?
Amethyst, a magnificent mineral and gemstone, is a beautiful alternative to a diamond for engagement and wedding rings alike. Amethyst comes in a wide variety of sizes, styles and prices, allowing for limitless available options. Before buying a ring embellished with this radiant purple stone, it is important to be well versed in the mineral itself and all the factors of buying an amethyst ring, ownership, and upkeep.
Tell Me More about Amethyst!
Amethyst is best known for its variety of royal purple hues which are a result of being exposed to radiation. The intensity of the hue is largely dependent on the length of exposure, but can be enhanced with the cut of the stone. Rather than overwhelming you with a list of useless knowledge, we will narrow the important factors down to two simple components of amethyst that we find most useful to the average consumer.
First, amethyst is a type of quartz, and as such, is hard and durable. On the hardness scale, amethyst sits at a comfortable 7 and is scratch resistant to matter that falls at a lower number. To test the authenticity of amethyst, scratch the surface with an item that is in the 1-6 range of the hardness scale – a fingernail, for example, sits at a low 2 – if your nail leaves a scratch on the amethyst, the stone you’re dealing with isn’t authentic.
If you’re well versed in testing specific gravity, the specific gravity of amethyst is 2.66. If none of that made sense to you, don’t worry, it doesn’t to the majority of consumers. A quick Google search will turn up easy to follow steps on testing for specific gravity and, if you’re unconvinced as to the authenticity of your stone, they may make for a useful experiment.
What about the Color?
Amethyst can be treated in various ways to produce different shades of purple. Applying heat to amethyst, for example, will make an extremely dark sample of amethyst several shades lighter. The cut of the stone can also play an effect on its color – an intricate cut with numerous angles might will cause a light stone to reflect off itself and make it appear darker than it really is.
A lot of stores and websites will discuss green amethyst – though beautiful and extremely unique, green amethyst is a product of human manipulation and isn’t natural amethyst. “Green amethyst”, or Prasiolite, is amethyst that has been altered with the use of extremely high temperature to alter the color of the stone completely and produce it stunning green hue.
Caring for your Amethyst Ring
As we’ve already mentioned, heat can lighten the color of your amethyst stone – do not store your amethyst in direct sunlight or expose it to extreme heat. If you want to be overly cautious, some retailers will recommend turning the stone towards your palm when in the sun for extended periods of time.
Amethyst can be scratched by matters that hold a hardness level of 7 or higher, it is smart to store your amethyst ring in a secured box, pouch, or away from any diamonds or products that may flaw the stone.
Amethyst can be cleaned with warm water and soap. Untreated amethyst can be cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners. As with any fine stone, it is recommended to remove your ring prior to exposing your hands to harsh household chemicals or chlorinated pools.
Let’s Talk Money
While amethyst was once a highly coveted stone, modern discoveries of colossal deposits have decreased the value of amethyst exponentially. The most expensive amethyst stones are those that display deep purple hues, while ones that hinge on the edge of lavender cost substantially less. All authentic amethyst gems will display secondary colors: while blues and whites will raise the value of amethyst, yellows and browns will decrease its cost.
The value of amethyst, as in most other stones, will also depend on the clarity – a clear and blemish free stone will cost significantly less than one with numerous impurities.
With amethyst, size doesn’t matter – you want to be more focused on the quality of the stone itself than you are on its size. Due to the high commodity of uncut amethyst on the market, it isn’t hard to find a lot of amethyst for a little money. In contrast, it is hard to find high quality amethyst, and thus, this is where the demand lies. While amethyst is generally inexpensive – about $8.00/carat – finding a blemish free amethyst in a big cut will be reflected in the price; the most expensive carat of amethyst is currently valued at $50,000!
Putting the bling on the ring!
Cut and color help enhance one another – if you have a light hued amethyst ring, for example, an asscher cut might be beneficial to intensify the light purple hues. In contrast, if your amethyst stone is deep purple in color, a simple cut that allows the color to speak for itself is your best bet.
Always entrust a professional jeweller to cut your amethyst for you. Though there are numerous tutorials on the Internet, a poor cut can greatly decrease the value of your stone.
As for the shade of the band you should choose – well, that decision is yours and yours alone. The beauty of amethyst will make a stunning addition to whatever material you choose for your band – whether it’s silver, platinum or tungsten. Spiritualists and medicine men believe that amethyst is best accented with silver due to amethyst being a ‘warm’ stone and silver being a ‘cold’ metal – this is believed to create balance and harmony for the wearer.
Am I ready to buy?
Absolutely! But we’d like to reiterate some key facts before you’re on your way.
1. Due to recent discoveries of large amethyst deposits, amethysts costs have gone down. As a result of these lowered prices, buying a synthetic amethyst is essentially nonsensical. Buying an authentic Amethyst ring within a reasonable price range is possible and highly recommended.
2. Retailers and jewellers alike are legally obligated to disclose whether an amethyst stone has been enhanced by heat or if the stone is synthetic. If you are skeptical about the authenticity of your Amethyst stone, always take it to a jeweller or gemologist for a second opinion.
3. Keep an eye out for secondary color – a stone with no secondary shades is not an authentic stone. Amethyst with secondary hues in blue and white are more valuable than those with secondary hues in yellows and greens.
Just for Fun
So you got an Amethyst ring – you’ll undoubtedly get asked about it time and time again. Here are some trivia facts to make you sound like the amethyst pro that you now are!
- The word amethyst is derived from the Greek word amethustos which loosely translates to “not intoxicated” or sober.
- The stone studded drinking cups that can now be purchased at gag stores? Those have a history. The Greek believed that accenting their glasses and cups with amethyst would increase their alcohol tolerance.
- Spiritualists consider amethyst to be an emotionally healing stone – assisting it’s wearer in a smooth transition through loss and grief.
- Amethyst is believed to bring its wearer emotional strength which, in turns, translates in control over instability.
Do you have an amethyst ring, or did you shop for one and opt for a different stone? We would love to hear all about your experience and see your rings in the comment section below.