Amethyst Guide - February's Birthstone
February is almost here...so we wanted to show all the February birthday babies their perfectly purple birthstone, Amethyst! Amethyst is a quartz gemstone that is plentiful all over the world but for many years it was considered as rare as the ruby until large deposits were found in Brazil and other locations. They come in a wide array of purple from a light lavender to to a deep royal purple. Fun fact, citrine and amethyst are the same stone. Citrine is an amethyst that has been subjected to more iron during extreme heat conditions which turns its color to yellow. Here are some of the different shades of vintage amethyst jewelry from Scotch Street Vintage.
click on the images for product information
The use of Amethyst goes back thousands of years appearing often in the Royal Crown Jewels and religious artifacts. The deeper wine shaded amethysts have been used all the way back to the Greek Era where they were thought to bring clarity and intelligence. Mostly because they believed the wine color could prevent drunkenness...not sure I can vouch for that but here are some of our oldest pieces.
Ametrine is a gorgeous gem created when an amethyst crystal and a citrine crystal adjoin together. While this is not a terribly rare occurrence these stones are still rare because only the adjoining section can make these gemstone.
What to Know Before You Buy
Well let's start with the obvious...it should be some version of purple. Unlike some gems that can come in different colors (like topaz) amethysts are always purple. As we said early, they do come in a wide array of purple from the lightest of lavender to a deep rich violet. With this color variation there is also a clarity variation. The very light amethysts are crystal clear without any visible inclusions it should be almost like looking through glass. As the color of these stones deepens the color gets thicker and less transparent. These darker stones may have inclusions but you most likely can't see them because the color is so thick.
There really is not a lot to worry about as far as buying treated, fake, or synthetics amethysts. They are not heat treated because it diminishes their color. They are an abundant, fairly inexpensive, stone so there is no reason for synthetics. The only stone I have ever mistaken for an amethyst was a purple sapphire, which is much more rare and expensive, so there is no need to worry about that. So in the end find a good reputable jeweler or dealer and then find a piece that is that perfect purple for you! These are a few of our favorites and you can see them all at Scotch Street Vintage Amethyst Jewelry Collection.
Interested in finding information on other gemstones... you can find them all here Scotch Street Vintage Gemstone Buying Guides
Happy Treasure Hunting - Lori & Scotch Street Vintage