Friday, February 10, 2012

Rock Review: Amethyst

This Week’s Rock Review features February’s Birthstone Amethyst!
Geology Buzz
Amethyst is a member of the Quartz family. It owes it’s lavender to royal purple hue to the presence of iron that colors a Quartz gemstone through the process of irradiation, when iron replaces some silicon content inside a the Quartz gem. Sometimes this occurs in limited portions or isolated planes of the gemstone, rather than throughout an entire stone, leaving room for variegation in richness and depth of the color hue. Most gem cutters aim to cut the raw stone in a way that shows consistent coloring.
Amethyst is also dichroic, showing red violet from one angle and blue violet from another. It is vitreous, making it well suited for both cut gem and cabochon style jewelry. It registers 7 on Moh’s scale of hardness.
Fun Facts
Did you know that in the modern jewelry market, you may see other colors of “amethyst” being advertized in recent years? The most common alternative color is Green Amethyst. However, the savvy jewelry shopper should know that Green Amethyst, or any other color Amethyst is not considered to be a true Amethyst. The green color advertized is actually another Quartz family stone called Prasiolite. When heated, Amethyst turns a dark yellow to brown shade, similar to Citrine. It also loses it’s dichroism. When it’s only partially heated, it becomes artificial Ametrine, which features color fading look from purple to brown, almost like a dip dye in fabrics.
Amethyst is infinitely valuable for many people who turn to gems for aid in healing ailments. It has been cited as particularly useful in ridding headache sufferers of pain by drawing pain away from the head, neck and shoulders, which is wonderful news to those who suffer from Migrane headaches. It also releases tension and reduces bruises and swelling. It encourages a healthy metabolism, cleanses the blood, boosts the immune system and strengthens the endocrine system. Needless to say, it’s handy to have around!

Amethyst Cocktail Ring

Carved Amethyst Pendant

Paisley Pendant

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