Gemstone Index: Amethyst
Amethyst Gemstone Beads and Pendants: Amethyst is the most highly prized variety of quartz and if not for its widespread availability, would be very expensive. With its luscious color, it is the official birthstone for February and one of our best-selling gemstones. Amethyst is formed in silica-rich liquids deposited in gas cavities (geodes) in lava. It occurs in crystalline masses, but the crystals are generally not well developed, so they are generally found as clusters of crystal points. Though geodes are the best place to find amethysts, they also sometimes grow as stalactites. The stone's name is derived from the Greek word amethystos, meaning "not drunken," because people of ancient times believed it to protect the wearer from drunkenness. For this reason, wine goblets often were carved from it!
Most bead-quality amethysts are a medium purple, but sometimes we have deep royal purple amethysts and lab-grown amethyst beads. Some amethysts will lose their color with prolonged exposure to sunlight, so store them away from direct exposure to help maintain their rich purple.
In order to keep your amethyst beads in good condition, avoid exposing them to direct sunlight. If the original color does fade due to wear and exposure, the color can be restored by X-ray radiation; next time you go in for an X-ray, ask the technician if you can bring your amethyst components along!
In addition to "preventing" drunkenness, people also once thought the stone encouraged celibacy and symbolized piety. Amethyst was therefore very important in the ornamentation of churches in the Middle Ages. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst had the power to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken intelligence. The stone also makes an appearance in L.M. Montgomery's classic book Anne of Green Gables, in which Anne admires an amethyst brooch; she explains that she once thought diamonds must be this beautiful purple color, and cried when she learned they were just plain white. In Tibet, amethyst is considered sacred to Buddha, and rosaries are often fashioned from it. Western mystics say the stone helps instill the highest ideals and urges one to do what is right. They also claim amethyst cures impatience, alleviates feelings of victimization, balances high energy, eliminates chaos and helps keep one grounded. The official state gemstone of the state of Georgia, amethyst is mined in the U.S.A., Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Zambia, Namibia and other African countries.
Ametrine: We occasionally have pendants or beads cut from ametrine, which is a blend of amethyst and citrine, often with a band of clear quartz between them. Ametrine is frequently heat-treated to improve (or create) the color blend.
Cape Amethyst beads are cut from amethyst that is layered or striped with milky quartz, forming attractive patterns in the stone. This semiprecious gemstone is usually translucent and ranges in color from light purple to medium purple. Our cape amethyst beads are created by Mother Nature, so keep in mind that the beads you buy will not have identical patterns to the strands pictured in our secure online store.
Lavender Amethyst beads are cut from a pale, subtly striped variety of amethyst. Lavender amethyst is generally less expensive than darker, more translucent amethyst beads. Many of our Cape Amethyst and Lavender Amethyst gemstone beads are limited to stock on hand, so don't wait to buy and be sorry later!