Gem Mining Vacation – Amethysts

Amethysts can be found in all shades of purple, lilac and mauve. Amethysts from Veracruz, Eastern Mexico, tend to be very pale. Amethysts from Guerrero, South-Central Mexico, tends to be very bright colored. Amethysts are also found in India, Brazil, Uruguay, Madagascar, United States, Soviet Union, Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

The color of an amethyst is very unstable and can diminish with protracted exposure to sunlight. Pale amethyst gem stones may be set in a closed setting with a backing of foil to enhance it's color. The purple color of the amethyst gem stone actually comes from iron impurities within. Deep rich purple colors in an amethyst are the most valuable kind.

Amethysts are graduated, with the best-quality, the dark specimens called "Siberian," regardless of where they are from. Mid quality amethyst gem stones are "Uruguayan" while lesser quality amethyst specimens are called "Bahain." Pale amethyst gem stones are called "Rose of France."

Amethysts are actually a type of purple colored quartz. The natural abundance of these purple colored quartz, the amethyst, have made it the most widely used of all gem minerals. It is found in the form of six sided crystals or in invisible, geodes and metamorphic rocks, particularly granite and gneiss "a high grade metamorphic rock." Amethysts have a hardness rating of 7. The physical properties of amethyst vary greatly from one location to another. Experts can tell where an amethyst is from just by looking at it.

Were you or someone you know born in February? Do you just like the color violet? Are you or someone someone you know having a 6th or 33rd Anniversary? Did you know amethysts represent 6th and 33rd anniversaries? Indeed, the amethyst is the perfect gift!