Home :: Amethyst
A variety of quartz, amethyst gets its violet color from an iron impurity. Since the hardness is the same as quartz, amethyst is used for jewelry.
Amethyst can be found in different parts of the word. It is found in abundance within volcanic rock in Brazil and neighboring Uruguay. Zambia, Africa is home to one of the largest global amethyst producers and has an annual production of approximately 1,000 tons. It can also be found in South Korea and Austria. Thunder Bay, Ontario is home to the largest amethyst mine in North America. Within the United States, amethyst can be found at Yellow Stone National Park and Amethyst Mountain, Texas.
Amethyst, until the 18th century, was considered a valuable gemstone, like sapphires and diamonds. Since then, such large deposits have been found in places like Brazil and Uruguay, causing the value to go down dramatically. While the value may have decreased, there is an amethyst called Deep Russian which is considered to be very rare. When this rare amethyst is found, the value will depend on the demands of collectors at that given time.
The birthstone of February, amethyst has a hardness of 7 and comes in many different varieties and shades of purple.