Jewelry Guide

How to Buy Amethyst Jewelry – Your Definitive Guide

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Amethysts are among the most popular gemstones and probably the most well-known purple rock. Did you know that amethysts were once ranked alongside diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds? Amethysts were considered so valuable that, at one point, the use of amethysts was restricted only to royalty.

But you might be wondering:

Is the amethyst a good choice for jewelry today? And more importantly, can it be chic and trendy or is it dated?

Let’s answer these questions and more in this definitive amethyst jewelry buying guide.

What Is Amethyst?

amethyst geode

Amethyst Geode

Amethysts used to be considered highly valuable and was seen as a ‘royal’ gem. However, when large deposits were found in Brazil in, prices plummeted. Unlike diamonds, amethyst supply was never tightly controlled, and no false scarcity existed. So, while the beauty of the gemstone remains the same, the value dropped.

Amethyst is made of quartz, a very common crystal that is abundantly found across the world. It’s the cousin of other quartz gemstones like citrine (yellow quartz), rose quartz (pink variety) and smoky quartz (smoky colored variety).

Amethyst only comes in purple shades but sometimes you’ll come across ‘green amethyst’. This is not amethyst, but actually a green variety of quartz that sometimes displays a light purple shade on the surface. Green quartz is actually called prasiolite. According to the Federal Trade Commission, it is incorrect to refer to prasiolite as green amethyst and could cause a legal action in events of intentional misappropriation and false advertisement. Instead, it should be called green quartz.

Choosing Amethyst Color

amethyst pendant purple

Vivid purple amethyst. See this pendant on Etsy.

Color, it goes without saying, is the most important factor when it comes to amethysts. Distinguished by its purple color, amethyst has shades ranging from light lavender to dark purple. Its color is caused by infections in the crystal lattice coming from irradiation, contamination of trace elements and iron impurities. When buying amethyst, what you must watch out for is zoning.

You might be wondering what this means.

Because an amethyst crystal can come in very large crystals, often its colors can be diluted and spread unevenly throughout the crystal.

Some amethyst crystals, on the other hand, have deeply saturated rich purple shades. These are the types that are popular in the jewelry world and are obviously more valuable. Although zoning does lower the value of amethyst, that doesn’t mean that they are worthless. They can still make very good ornaments.  

For your jewelry, choose an amethsyt with vibrant color. Amethysts are pretty affordable so going all out is not a guilty pleasure!

Amethyst bracelet

Vivid purple amethyst by Delarah. See more amethyst jewelry here

Use code “SAVE6DJ” for 25% off when shopping from Delarah.  

Amethyst and Clarity

Clarity is important as it allows the crystal to reflect light out of the surface. If the stone contains inclusions that hinder the movement of light, it can affect the brilliance of the stone.

Amethysts cut for jewelry is often eye-clean. This means that it does not contain visible flaws. When looking for an amethyst, make sure that there are no inclusions within the stone and that it is bright and clear.

Amethyst Cut Options

Amethysts are often cut to maximize the color of the stone. For eye-clean crystals with minimal or no zoning, faceting is more appropriate since the goal of faceting is to enable the stone to reflect as much light as possible. Depending on the size of the stone and the distribution of its color, any type of cut is possible be it oval, cushion, triangle, marquise or emerald.

For highly included crystals with prominent zoning, cutting them en cabochon is more suitable. Cabochons bank on the interesting patterns that inclusions and color zoning render on the surface of the stone. In other words, what we consider flaws (zoning, inclusions) are used to advantage with this type of cut.

fantasy cut amethyst ring in yellow gold setting

A fantasy cut amethyst ring. See it on Etsy.

Sometimes, less precious gems tend to be overshadowed by the beauty of the big four gems – diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald – mainly because of their established popularity and the stunning colors such stones produce.

However:

With the invention of fantasy cut by Bernd Musteiner in1943, less precious crystals such as amethysts can grab the spotlight. The fantasy cut is when the jeweler cuts a beautiful non-standard carving onto the surface of the gem. Because amethyst crystals are relatively softer than most precious gemstones, cutters are allowed more room for creativity with their artistic designer cuts.

Sometimes amethyst isn’t cut at all. One of the most popular versions of an amethyst ornament is an amethyst geode. Geodes are spherical hollow rock structures that are lined internally with minerals. Amethyst geodes are often cut into halves or other portions. This is widely used in crystal healing and in spiritual ways.

Amethyst Carat Weight

Amethysts can be found in a range of sizes. If you are someone who likes large center-stones, this makes a good choice because the price of amethysts does not go up with the increase in carat weight.

Are Amethysts Treated?

Sometimes, when crystals are in their natural form, colors tend to be muted or do not appear on the crystal at all. It’s like a quiet person that needs a little push to blossom. For an amethyst, this push is heat.

Heating is the most common treatment used on amethyst. When an amethyst is too dark or too light it can affect the beauty of the stone. By heating, the color is changed either by darkening, lightening or just completely changing the hue of the crystal.

For example, if a transparent or slightly green amethyst is heated, it can turn into a brilliant Royal Purple. Also, as very dark crystals can look plain black, heating can lighten the crystal to bring it to a nice, vibrant shade of violet.

Amethyst Jewelry

Amethyst is a stone that works well with minimalist or maximalist tastes. It can be trendy and chic with a classical twist and can dress up any outfit!

amethyst stud earrings

Classic amethyst copper studs. See them on Amazon.

Think dainty studs, small classy pendants, tennis bracelets or a small amethyst ring if you prefer a minimalist style.

On the other hand, if you wish to make a statement with your jewelry, amethysts are perfect as the center stone for large cocktail rings or big statement necklaces. They add class and elegance as dangle or drop earrings and can be the focal point of the outfit with their striking color.

Amethyst Promise Rings

amethyst promise ring

Amethyst Promise Ring on Etsy

Promise rings are perfect for when you want to make a gesture of love without the commitment of marriage. While there are many types of promise rings out there, amethyst rings are one of our top picks.

Amethyst promise rings can be found in a range of designs. Unlike engagement rings where stones are traditionally faceted, promise rings give you a wider leeway in terms of design. You can choose elegant, boho, traditional, modern, big or small. It all depends on your preferences. It also adds that perfect pop of color to stand out on your finger.

If your partner has a birthday in February, then more reason to give an amethyst as it is widely known as the birthstone for February. February is also when you celebrate Valentine’s Day, so yet another reason to choose an amethyst promise ring.

An amethyst promise ring is a symbol of trust, a promise to your significant other to always be loyal. If your significant other means this much to you, then an amethyst promise ring is the right gift to give. Plus, it’s not mainstream!

Amethyst Engagement Rings

While most couples go down the diamond route when it comes to engagement rings, there are those who wish to be different and opt for an alternative engagement ring.

If this sounds like you, you might want to consider an amethyst engagement ring. It’s different, beautiful and affordable. When set in the right ring setting, an amethyst engagement ring is sure to stand out.

When pairing your amethyst with a metal, consider yellow gold for a vintage look and white metals for a modern style.

amehtyst white gold ring

Amethyst set in white gold with diamond halo. See it on Etsy.

White gold brings out the natural brilliance of the purple shade. The bright white shade contrasts as well as complements the deeper shade of violet, making the amethyst gem stand out more. If your amethyst is set in a halo setting, surrounding by diamond melees, the stone’s color is highlighted.

yellow gold amethyst ring

Stunning amethyst and yellow gold ring. See it on Etsy.

Yellow gold and amethyst make for an interesting color combination. Yellow and purple are on the opposing spectrum of the color wheel and the colors contradict rather than complement. When it comes to fashion, purple and gold are not your everyday mix and match colors. However, a yellow gold amethyst ring proves this to be not always true. There are stunning amethyst and yellow gold settings out there that are real show stoppers.

While we agree that an amethyst is a gorgeous choice for an engagement ring, you will have to consider whether or not the stone is durable enough for daily wear. This brings us to our next section.

Caring for Your Amethyst Jewelry

Amethyst is a relatively hard stone, ranking 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. However, it is much softer than stones such as diamonds, sapphires or moissanites meaning that it can easily get damaged.

Caring for an amethyst is quite easy. You can remove unwanted dust and oil deposit on the crystal with warm and soapy water. In addition to regular cleaning, you must take extra care while wearing the stone. Avoid bumping or scratching the stone against a rough surface. When storing the amethyst, keep it away from harder stones and metals that could scratch its surface.

Heat is an amethyst’s mortal enemy. Extreme and repeated exposure to sunlight can cause the color to fade, so try to avoid it. Harsh chemicals such as chlorine can also harm the stone as well as the band of the ring. Avoid wearing your jewelry while sunbathing, swimming or when doing household jobs like doing the dishes or the laundry. Professional maintenance once every year or so can prolong the life of your amethyst.

Even with all this care, you may have to replace the amethyst on your ring after some time. The plus side is that because amethysts are affordable, it will not be costly to have your stone replaced.

However, there are people who’ve had amethyst jewelry that have lasted the test of time and been passed down as heirlooms to the next generation. It all comes down to how you take care of your jewelry.

Amethyst and Citrine in Ametrine

Emerald shape ametrine

Beautiful ametrine. See it on Etsy.

Ametrine (a contraction of the words amethyst and citrine) is a very rare, bi-colored gemstone that is produced in only one mine in the world. The only notable source of this bicolored gemstone is the Anahi Mine in Bolivia from which all the world’s ametrine production comes from. This is also why ametrine is the national stone of Bolivia and is sometimes called bolivanite.

Ametrine contains both the colors of amethyst and citrine, with unique color zoning and patterns.

Read more about ametrine in our ametrine buying guide.

Amethyst Symbolism and Meaning

This is a stone that is steeped in history and lore!

Amethyst originally got its name from the Alexandrian dialect word amethystos that meant “to not intoxicate”. Legend has it that Dionysus, the god of wine, wished to punish humans for disrespecting his creation because of their mindless drinking and overindulgence. He descended from Olympus and punished the first human he came across, who was then turned to white quartz. The human was said to be a beautiful lady named Amethyst. He immediately regretted what he had done when he saw the lady and began to weep tears of wine over the statue. As the wine seeped through the stone, it changed the color to purple. From this statue, all amethyst is said to originate.

Because of this connection to the Greek god of wine, the ancient Greeks believe that the amethyst was a protector against intoxication.

But amethyst is not merely there to stop us from getting drunk. Believed to be an emotional stimulant, crystal healers claim that amethyst stones inspire hidden creativity and awaken dulled imagination. By soothing a stressed mind inebriated by worldly passions, the amethyst stone allows ideas to freely flow. Looking into a deeper perspective of intoxication, an amethyst does not only protect from physical intoxication but with emotional and spiritual drunkenness as well.

Whether or not these beliefs hold true, the amethyst is undeniably a beautiful stone that should be the part of any person’s jewelry collection!

Disclaimer: Jewelry Shopping Guide does not guarantee or validate any of the claims related to the metaphysical and alternative healing powers of this or any other gemstone. This information should in no way be used as a substitute for medical advice.

Where to Buy Amethyst Jewelry

Amethyst jewelry can be found on many online stores. When buying online, ensure that you are buying from a top-rated vendor with a proven track record. We recommend starting your search on Etsy and Amazon. These platforms have endless options to suit various budgets and styles.

Etsy

For those that want something more special, unique, and handmade, Etsy has a huge assortment of vendors that offer a variety of amethyst jewelry. Their amethyst jewelry ranges from a few dollars to pieces that costs thousands of dollars.

Amazon

As it is one of the biggest online retailers worldwide, it’s not surprising that you can find all kinds of amethyst jewelry here. The range is extensive and will take some time to go through, but it’s well worth it.

Of course, since every vendor on Etsy and Amazon have their own policies and rules you might need to do a bit more digging and research, but that’s ultimately worth it in the end when you manage to find the perfect amethyst. Use the site’s extensive rating and review sections to gauge the quality of each product.

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