Geology Home Page physical geology historical geology planetary gems
Roger Weller, geology instructor
by Blakey Mosher
Get to know Amethyst
Amethyst(SiO2 )is a type of quartz Gemstone that is purple in color and has been referred to by the Greeks as, “amethystos”, which means “not drunken”. This mineral was thought to help prevent or ward off intoxication, and this belief is based on Greek and Roman mythology. Based on Mohs scale of hardness, Amethyst ranks at a seven on a scale of 1-10. This very valuable and widely known gemstone is found in many places, some of those places are:
Ř South America
What is interesting about Amethyst is in some of these places that they
originate from they come in a different variety of colors. Some are a
deep-purple bluish, a deep red with bluish tints, and other deeper colors of
blue. Amethyst is known for its color variety and its nine different shapes.
Throughout history Amethyst has been seen as a symbol for being rich and
especially known among historic rulers.
Purposes of Amethyst
We all know Amethysts to be mineral that we wear as jewelry and sometimes
something we use to decorate our homes with. But Amethyst has other purposes
such as financial purposes, emotional, physical and spiritual state of balance.
Also used for protection and healing and where the word is derived from, a
sobriety stone. Another purpose was to show a sign of wealth. Overall most
cultures used this mineral for symbolic ritual or healing purposes. One of those
purposes for example was if you wore this gem around your neck with a string of
dog hair it was supposed to protect you from snakebites. A more interesting
symbolic use of the color Amethyst was supposedly used in Moses’s robe as a
symbol of the Spirit of God.
Other than having a hardness scale of 7 and its color being purple, when heated up Amethyst changes its color, but the color change depends on the gemstones original location. Amethyst is most recognized by its color, hardness, crystal habit, glassy luster, occurance, conchoidal fracture and lack of cleavage
How much does it cost?
Unlike most gemstones when priced, Amethyst is priced and valued for its color instead of its weight because it is found in various sizes. And because Amethyst is not a scarce gem there is no reason for this mineral to be overpriced.