The world’s most popular purple gemstone
From Geology.com – Amethyst is the purple color variety of quartz. It is the most popular purple gem and one of the most popular gemstones of all time. Amethyst is used to produce faceted stones, cabochons, beads, tumbled stones, and many other items for jewelry and ornamental use.
The stone has a Mohs hardness of 7 and does not break by cleavage. It is a gem that is durable enough for use in rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets and other types of jewelry. Enormous deposits of amethyst in South America and Africa provide enough material to keep the price low enough that most people can easily afford it.
Tumbled stones: A most popular tumbled stone with a purple color. Shown above are tumbled stones made of banded amethyst, sometimes called “chevron” amethyst because of its V-shaped pattern. This is an extreme example of color zoning within a single amethyst crystal. The stones above are from material produced in Namibia. The largest stone is about 1 1/2 inches in length.
While the word “amethyst” makes most people think of a dark purple gem, it actually occurs in many purple colors. The purple color can be so light that it is barely perceptible or so dark that it is nearly opaque. It can be reddish purple, purple, or violetish purple. Amethyst exists in this wide range of colors.
Today much of the light amethyst is used to cut small calibrated stones for use in mass-market jewelry. Most of the premium reddish purple color amethyst is being used in high-end or designer jewelry.